Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Final Post

Final Post

            Having some prior experience with an Econ 490 course, I expected this class to be almost all theory. To my surprise, Econ of Organizations offered a balance between the theory and applications of organizations. I had no prior knowledge beforehand of the great effect that organizations played within firms and the overall market and I was introduced to its effects from the first week of the semester. For example, I became immediately intrigued with the class when I found out that improper organization and coordination played a big factor in the collapse of the Soviet Union. It also surprised me how small companies could compete with larger corporations and even surpass them in production with proper organization.
            Coming into the class, I was unaware on how complicated organization can become. I always believed that organizing was just a matter of shifting the allocation of resources, yet this class showed me how much one has to consider when coordinating organization. For example, certain aspects such as being low or high risk, such as in insurance, must be consider when making choices.
            The live class was structured like your typical discussion class would be. It was small enough that it allowed students to ask question and have them answered in class. Though most of the time only a few, and sometimes the same students were the ones discussing, the class did encourage student involvement. What I did like from the live class was that it covered the topics we encountered in the excel homework and the blogs, something that is not always the case in college classes. It was a nice change since we are usually given textbooks and forced to learn a good chunk of the material on our own in other classes. 
            What was one of the most unique aspects of the class was the blogging. Though I hate writing, I found the blogging quite beneficial since it allowed students to apply what they learned to the real life events that they’ve had. The blogging also served as a method for us to reflect if we really understood our readings or what we were shown in class since we had to really understand for us to be able to apply those aspects to our stories.
            In my case, writing my blog would take an average of three hours since the process would compromise of other work besides the pure writing. I would usually take sometime reflecting on applicable life events and would usually review some of the economic terms or lessons we had learned throughout the week in order to properly create a connection. 
            I’ve had prior classes that required me to work with excel but this excel homework was by far the most unique I’ve encountered through my college career. It was unique in the sense that it offered an in depth explanation of the material that would be covered in the upcoming questions, not only that, but once you arrived to the correct answer excel would give an explanation on why that was that was the correct answer. It was also interesting how excel would automatically modify itself and add graphs once the correct answer was achieved. There was a few things that at times were confusing within the excel homework but questions were quickly answered in the discussion posts. On average, the excel homework would take about an hour, though there were about two that took more than that.
            Besides the blogging and the excel homework, this class offered other resources as well. PowerPoint’s were available explaining the lessons we learned in class. We also had videos that explained things we missed or didn’t cover as in depth in class. To even further complement those resources we had the two required textbooks that explained economic terms in depth just incase we needed to review certain aspects of the class.

            One thing I would have loved to have seen in class is a project were groups managed their own virtual firm. I think such a project, if possible, would have given students real practice on how to coordinate and allocate resources to develop a successful firm.


  1. Thanks for the detailed review. I appreciate that you didn't like to write, but I wonder if the blogging changed that for you. Writing is an important part of work life, especially in jobs that entail knowledge production. Plus it is a good way to learn. So I hope you will stay at it after the course concludes.

    And regarding your remarks about the live class session, note that the blogging and the Excel preceded those sessions. So it still was necessary for you to learn it yourself first. The live session then was a second pass at the subject. In many other classes, the live session serves as the first (and perhaps last) pass at the subject. For us, the videos did that. I think it is poor use of the live session if students come unprepared to it. That is why it was structured the way we did it.

    You are not the first to suggest a class project, but your idea of having a virtual organization for students to manage is new to me. If after the course is over you have further ideas on how to pull that off, I'd like to hear about it.

  2. I feel like having to blog weekly helped out my writing at least a bit. Though I do dislike writing I do know it is a big component to future classes and to my future career regardless of where that leads.

    The structure of the course does in fact make sense and I think that the homework, blogs, live class and videos complement each other enough to make the class run smoothly.

    Though I do think a class project would have proven to be beneficial I’m also a little lost on what the project should entail. For example, a previous econ course I had taken required three projects were groups of three would meet and complete a set of complex problems and questions related to econometrics. For our final project we had to come up with our own model, create a hypothesis and then use technique used in class to analyze our hypothesis. Though the same structure of the project may not apply to this class something similar may work.