EPP – blog feedback

Over the past three months, I’ve been using this blog (and its predecessor) to post additional readings for my MBS Economics & Public Policy class. I’m now keen to get feedback from the class on how well this has worked. Would you mind answering the following three questions?

  1. How often do you check the blog? (If you’re only reading this because you saw my email, please be honest and say “never”)
  2. Do you find it a useful way to learn about announcements and readings?
  3. Do you have suggestions for me (or other academics) on how to effectively use a blog as part of a class?

Feel free to post either as yourself, or anonymously. If you post as “anon”, and enter your real email address, rest assured that I won’t look at it.

I’d also welcome comments from non-EPP students on the issue, though I’d appreciate it if you’d identify yourself as such.

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11 Responses to EPP – blog feedback

  1. Ian Holsman says:

    1. I have it in a RSS reader, with about 2-300 other feeds in it including some of your fellow economists that you have mentioned in the past, or have mentioned you.

    2. It checks every subscription about once every 4 hours. and I can see when there is something new without checking, and I find it easier than email as I can easily skip thorough them, and categorize them (yours and the others thouands of messages).

    3. other suggestions, sure.. let me set something up and I’ll ping you

  2. Ian Holsman says:

    It’s a aggregation of a couple of economist’s blogs

    this should help people find other economist’s blogs and see what is the ‘buzz’ with you guys.


  3. Sylvia Teh says:

    I have added your blog to my RSS reader. Although I’m not a daily blog reader, I do read them as and when I’m ready to read.

    As for EPP, yes, I do find the posted EPP related articles interesting and relevant, especially recent debate and views.

  4. Yelda says:

    I’ve been checking it almost daily, more for other interesting discussions/links rather than EPP info. This added to my learning experience without necessarily being directly related to class content. I still default to the mbs website for important class announcements.

  5. Chaucer Shen says:

    I added your blog in my favorites and will check around each 2 weeks. Your blog helped me digest some concepts from the class.

    If you can add a forum to let us interactively discuss some topics (lecture time is short), it will be fun & provoking!

  6. Sam Fraser says:

    1. A couple of times a week

    2. Yes, and I enjoy the side discussions as well.

    3. nice resource Ian, thanks. As for other suggestions, a blog is just another channel for presenting information. I suppose you could incorporate something more sophisticated like interactive testing, other than that you use the medium well.

  7. Adam Whybrew says:

    Haven’t checked the blog recently but did read it thoroughly before the mid-term exam, and will do so again before the final exam. It’s excellent for readings, and was generally very interesting – I followed most of the links, and many of the links from those too.

    I guess because I don’t check it consistently it’s not ideal for announements (unless I know to look for one there). I hate to confess, the RSS business is a bit beyond me – perhaps some training in the class might help here. Although doing IT support for your students might not be why you decided to lecture, it has some powerful positive externalities.

    Only suggestion I can offer is perhaps to ask people via the blog what they have found difficult recently (apologies if you do this already – as I say I’ve not checked it recently).

  8. David Low says:

    I don’t check the blog frequently or regularly but the times that I do, it is certainly quite interesting.

    As a form of announcement will probably be not a bad idea if you directed students there in the first place for that purpose. This will also help facilitate additional readings.

    Think the blog will be a great tool for interactive discussions but don’t think blogging is used by all so it may take some getting used to.

  9. Khai says:

    1)I used this blog maybe 4-6 times in total from week 1 to 5. But after week 6, i stop using. Why ? i guess, i have enough materials to read. Also, the standard website for the subject in on the MBS, unless this is the standard website, for all the posting of notes, assignments.

    2) The students website is commonly used for all subjects. I usually stick to that.

    3) Well, i think this site is great source of information. maybe quick demo on the class may be helpful to spark.

    I have this site on my bookmarks. Love to read more during free time.


  10. Jane Bennetts says:

    Hi Andrew,
    1. I have used the blog about 5 times, and it is great for general background reading and to follow the on going debates
    2. 2 points for announcements is confusing, it is easier to check all subjects at once on the MBS website. A direct link from the MBS website to the blog would have been helpful. Having 2 sites undermined the potiential value of the blog. For other courses with no central website, I think the blog would be very valuable.
    3. Some of the reading posted for EPP required subscriptions and payment for downloads ie: Greg Mankin’s paper on RBC. I can’t image many students will actually pay for extra reading.

    Also.. In posting the lecture slides on the MBS website it would be helpful is they were in powerpoint format to make it easier to print 6 to a page etc. I couldn’t print directly and had to save them as pdf’s prior to printing- It was a slow process.

    Cheers and Thanks

  11. Cam Kiley says:

    1. Two to three times per week.
    2. I’ve found it useful as a source for interesting wider reading (especially for procrastinating while studying) however for announcements I tend to rely on the MBS website.
    3. I would like to see the blog more tightly integrated into each week’s teaching. Perhaps along with the weekly quiz questions, you could set a discussion topic, for us to debate on the blog. This could be tied to a participation mark, to ensure everyone gets involved. (Of course this last part is very easy to suggest now that semester is over!)

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