My hybrid course in a nutshell – Intro to Environmental Economics & Policy

My course is an introductory course to microeconomics with applications to the environment and environmental policy. The course focuses on solutions to environmental problems as seen through an economic perspective. Students will learn to use economic models and intuition to analyze i) market equilibrium, ii) environmental policy interventions in markets, iii) the benefits and costs of environmental policy, and iv) the role of competition in markets. The course emphasizes problem-solving skills and application of basic economic models to environmental problems.

The course is hybrid design with significant online material and complementary face-to-face learning. Online learning material consists of traditional lectures in video format, student discussion boards, and an online problem-solving homework management system integrated with the course textbook. Video lectures introduce and teach core economic ideas, concepts, and applications in a traditional slide-based manner. Discussion boards ask students to analyze basic economic applications and the role of assumptions in economic modeling. Online homework allows students to develop their economics skills through focused quantitative problem-solving exercises that encourage learning through the offering of repeated attempts at alternative versions of graded problem sets.

Face-to-face learning activities are designed to complement rather than repeat the online learning material. Face-to-face learning consists of experiential classroom experiments, question-and-answer time for difficult concepts, group problem-solving activities, and classroom discussion. Classroom experiments are interactive exercises that illustrate key points from the online video lectures and readings. Question-and-answer time allows students to ask questions over difficult material from the video lectures, or allows the instructor to highlight and expand on key concepts from lecture. Group problem-solving activities allow students to work together in small groups to solve economics applications, with instructor guidance. Finally, classroom discussion time allows for extensions off online discussion board and applications to current events in the news that relate to class material.

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