Friday, October 7, 2011

Maximizing Economics Students

I have a class that meets Monday, Wednesday & Friday each week from 12:30p-1:20p. At the beginning of this class there is a quiz of five questions on the readings for that day's lecture (Approximately 30 quizzes for the semester). The lowest 10 quizzes are dropped & there is usually anywhere from 1-2 pt curve per quiz with an additional +1, if you provided a face pic for the professor's seating chart. So, clearly all you have to do is show up for the quiz, get 2-3 questions correct on 20 of them and you have a perfect quiz score for the semester.

Now, add in that the professor also posts his notes for the lectures and the PowerPoint presentations that he uses to teach the class. They are cute slides and help convey the material, but the professor himself is rather monotone.

What would be the expected result of the  combined quiz requirement and the note/PowerPoint benefits in a class full of economic students? The result is that a majority of the class decides to leave after the quiz. This allows them to maximize their time, if they a) value leisure over class time, b) have other class work to complete, or c) any other item that the opportunity cost of missing out on would exceed the benefit of staying in class.

The professor, who is a PhD student, should think about writing research on this subject as he has test subjects in front of him...briefly...daily.

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