Monday, December 5, 2016

Final Critique

Over the course of the semester I have gained a great deal of knowledge on the economic implications of differing organizational strategies, and how economic changes effect the actions of organizations. While I don't feel that there are any new concepts that I learned about organizations from the class, what I do feel I gained was the ability to apply some of the lessons described in class, to situations I have seen in my own life. Being able to better identify some of the situations described from examples in class, and applying the knowledge from those examples to real-life scenarios is something that I have already utilized working with the RSO I am a part of on campus, and something I will continue to utilize going forward in other organizations.

While the blogging and in-class discussions were useful for learning the material, I felt at times that there was a bit of overkill, as far as covering the materials goes. The blog-posts having a word requirement of 600 words minimum, as stated in the syllabus, led me to feel the need to ramble-on in some posts, and delve into irrelevant material simply to fill out the word count. I feel that a word requirement of 400 words may have been more practical, as I feel this is sufficient to cover the topics in the prompt without forcing students to write extra, less relevant material.

The live structure of the class itself flowed well, but would have flowed better without the distraction of electronics in the classroom. As much as our current generation of students loves to have technology with us at all times, it was noticeable that the students who more frequently had their laptops in front of them, were significantly less likely to participate in the discussion much, if at all. Since some of the discussions were somewhat hard to follow if you did not give 100% attention, this caused some of the discussions to have the same people talk repeatedly, while other students did other work on their laptops.

As far as the blogging, I preferred to read the prompt Thursday night in order to give myself some time to think about an appropriate response, and then write the actual blog post the following morning, or afternoon. The actual writing of the blog posts usually took anywhere from an hour to two hours, depending on the complexity of the prompt. For the most part, I thought this process allowed me to give sufficient insight into each topic suggested in the prompts.

The excel homework was fairly easy throughout the semester. There were rare situations where I got stuck, or stumped by any of the excel homework questions. I would usually do the excel homework the night that it was due. It would usually take me anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour, but usually closer to the fifteen minutes side.

Overall I felt that  the class could have been slightly improved if there were to be slightly shorter word requirements for the blog posts, as I mentioned earlier, and mandatory attendance for the class. The way learning was done in this class was through blogging, and discussing those topics blogged about in class. For those that did not attend class, I feel like they got a significantly diminished learning experience in the class, compared to those who did go at least somewhat regularly. As ridiculous as it seems to require attendance for a 400-level econ class, many of us students can find any information we need for classes online, and there is simply no need to go to classes. In fact in most cases, time can be used more efficiently learning the material from online sources, rather than trying to learn it from class. This is not the case for your class, but students will only realize this if they are required to go to class everyday.


  1. I think you make some excellent points. Some of these points I touched on in my post, but a couple of them didn't really cross my mind. When you brought up the minimum word requirement of 600 words. I do agree that it should have been brought down a bit. Some of the earlier posts in the semester, I felt like I was searching for more material which probably made my post seem long and boring at times. Do you feel like there should have been a word requirement at all? Secondly, I definitely learned some new terms this semester, but being able to apply economic principles to our daily lives was definitely the biggest benefit of the course in my eyes. Do you see yourself applying this knowledge in life after school? Either way, I think we can agree that this course provided us with beneficial knowledge to help us in the future.

  2. Padding the posts - I wonder if it occurred to you that a different path was available - to ratchet up you own thinking on the subject so you had more to say about it without padding. Have you actually worked it through to its maximum or only skimmed the surface?

    Now it may be you need some training on hot to step up your thinking in this way. It may not be immediate how to do this. My hope (and I confess it was only a hope) is that the in class discussion would teach you something about how to make your writing better. In other words, I wanted you to be the one to ask questions in the blogging, questions that weren't immediately obvious given the prompt, but questions that nonetheless followed if you thought about the prompt some. It is addressing those questions that would have gotten you easily to the word limit without padding and would have made your posts more interesting as an exercise.

    You have a habit of counting things - pages to be read, paragraphs in things I write, and here words in a blog post. I don't fully understand that compulsion, but if you must count try ideas. How many have you come up with? That would be a good measure of performance.