Hunter, K.A. & Tse, H.P. 2013, 'Making disciplinary writing and thinking practices an integral part of academic content teaching', Active Learning in Higher Education, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 227-239.
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Educators and researchers are increasingly calling for the processes of writing and knowledge construction to be an integral part of disciplinary learning. This article contributes to the literature by presenting an empirical analysis of a programme that was designed to expose students to the complexities of academic practices in conjunction with disciplinary concepts. The impact of the programme was evaluated through analysis of student grades before and after its implementation and student and tutor perception of its effect. Data collected included surveys, interviews and focus groups. The data showed that the programme generated student engagement with the processes of knowledge construction and reflected better thinking in the subject. This was evidenced by effective utilisation of feedback and improved grades in written assignments. The findings suggest that similar programmes are of value potentially to any discipline.
Hunter, K.A. & Tse, H.P. 2013, 'Does Socio-Economic Background Affect First Year Economics Performance? A Preliminary Study', Australasian Journal of Economics Education, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 14-31.
The paper examines the determination of academic performance in tertiary economics by adding a slightly broader range of factors that include socio-economic background to the main factors already identified in the literature.
Tse, H.P. 2011, 'Using oil price shocks to teach the AS-AD Model in a blended learning strategy', Australasian Journal of Economics Education, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 63-87.
This paper reports a pedagogical strategy employed to teach the AS-AD model. Dolan & Stevens (2006) stress the importance of teaching macroeconomics with relevance, and in this vein the issue of the macroeconomic effect of substantial increases in oil prices was used as a focus for teaching the AS-AD model in the first semester of 2006. This strategy also had a substantial blended learning dimension which Fox & MacKeogh (2003) argue can generate deeper student learning than traditional, pure, face to face strategies and which Hughes (2007) suggests can enhance the confidence with which students approach learning tasks, improving what they take away from these experiences. The paper describes the behaviour of oil prices in the years leading up to 2006 and the factors affecting this price. It outlines the structure of the AS-AD model presented to students and how oil prices can be incorporated into this model. It then discusses details of the overall strategy used for teaching the model and finally presents some evidence that students reported better and more relevant learning experiences than did students in the three prior semesters which had not used this strategy.
Docherty, P.T., Tse, H.P., Forman, R. & McKenzie, J.A. 2010, 'Extending the principles of intensive writing to large macroeconomics classes', Journal of Economic Education, vol. 41, no. 4, pp. 370-382.
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The authors report on the design and implementation of a pilot program to extend the principles of intensive writing outlined by W. Lee Hansen (1998), Murray S. Simpson and Shireen E. Carroll (1999) and David Carless (2006) to large macroeconomics classes. The key aspect of this program was its collaborative nature, with staff from two specialist units joining forces with two economics instructors to provide students with significant resources and direction in a short program of writing, embedded within an intermediate macroeconomics subject at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). The objective was to test potential strategies and to identify points of improvement for a more intensive program of writing development at the next stage of implementation. The authors review the literature on student writing and associated assessment issues, outline the central design features of the UTS program, and take a closer look at the centerpiece of a strategy for overcoming writing problems: a series of writing workshops targeted at two related assignments within the intermediate macroeconomics course.
Docherty, P.T. & Tse, H.P. 2010, 'Reducing the expectations gap: Using an academic literacies approach to improve student writing in economics', Australasian Journal of Economics Education, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 31-58.
This paper reports on the evaluation of a writing program embedded within an intermediate macroeconomics course at an Australian university. This program was designed to address core issues identified by an academic literacies analysis of what might be called the higher education writing problem: an observed poor quality in the writing of higher education students across a range of disciplines. The program attempted to close an expectations gap between student and academic perceptions of what constitutes good writing by using clear and detailed assessment criteria, providing exemplars of good writing, and interacting with students about their writing in a series of writing workshops. Regressions of assignment results on a range of factors and a comparison of assignment results for students who attended the writing workshops versus those who did not, indicate a small but positive, and statistically significant, effect of important aspects of the writing program on assignment outcomes. A distributional effect was also observed whereby students at the pass-fail margin who attended the writing workshops performed better than those who did not. Limitations of the study are identified and suggestions are made for further work.
Docherty, P.T. & Tse, H.P. 2009, 'A survey of AS-AD models for teaching undergraduates at intermediate level', Australasian Journal of Economics Education, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 52-81.
The Aggregate Supply-Aggregate Demand (AS-AD) model has been an important part of undergraduate teaching in economics for many years. It has, however, been the subject of recent criticism and new frameworks have been suggested to replace it. Given this antagonism, it seems a useful time to reflect on the AS-AD models suitability for teaching intermediate macroeconomics. A preliminary step in this process would be to provide a careful survey of AS-AD models used at this level. This paper surveys four common versions of the AS-AD model used in intermediate macroeconomics texts, considers the structure of these models, and carefully analyses their adjustment dynamics for negative demand and supply shocks. It argues that incorporating more than one of the approaches considered into intermediate classes would provide students with a better understanding of the state of economics and would enhance their critical skills by requiring them to understand the similarities and differences between the different approaches.
Docherty, P.T. & Tse, H.P. 2009, 'Re-evaluating the AS-AD model as a device for teaching intermediate macroeconomics', Australasian Journal of Economics Education, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 64-86.
In the previous issue of this journal, we provided a survey of AS-AD models used in intermediate macroeconomic textbooks. That exercise was seen as preliminary to a careful consideration of criticisms made of the AS-AD model that suggest it should cease to be used as a device for teaching intermediate macroeconomics. In this paper, we undertake this investigation and examine a range of problems that have been identified with the AS-AD model. We argue that that while a number of these criticisms are valid, they may be overcome in ways that leave the model largely intact as a device for teaching the neoclassical explanation of price-output determination. One of these ways involves a new interpretation the model. We do, however, point out two more fundamental criticisms of the AS-AD model that have not featured in the literature, and argue that acceptance of these criticisms would require replacement of the neoclassical paradigm itself. Until a decision to do this is taken by the profession, we argue that a revised AS-AD model has a continuing role to play in teaching intermediate macroeconomics.
Hutcheson, T.J. & Tse, H.P. 2006, 'Tutorial attendance and grade achievement (F&E paper #145)', School of Finance & Economics Working Paper Series, vol. 145.
Docherty, P.T., Tse, H.P., Forman, R. & Menzies, G.D. 2006, 'Reducing the expectations gap: Facilitating improved student writing in an intermediate macroeconomics course (F&E paper #150)'.