Mette Gørtz, Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen

Activating teaching – options and challenges

According to Albert Camus, ”Some people talk in their sleep. Lecturers talk while other people sleep”. However, during the last couple of decades, it has gradually been acknowledged that teaching is more efficient in achieving deeper learning if students are active when learning. Moreover, in university teaching, methods to activate students are increasingly tested and implemented. This project surveys some of the literature that looks into the challenges of introducing activating lectures and classes in economics. Furthermore, I discuss a recent pilot project at the economics department that applies active internet-based learning (using Socrative) in the first year bachelor course on sociography (samfundsbeskrivelse). A full scale evaluation has not yet been undertaken, but preliminary evaluations suggest that students have been positive towards the introduction of this tool in lectures in sociography. It appears that the Socrative tool is particularly well suited for a course like sociography which uses rather basic methods and with little theoretical content. Applying active learning based on tools like Socrative to other bachelor courses using more complexe methods and a higher level of theoretical abstraction is expected to create new challenges.