To begin my review of Econ 490, much of the class material covered was new to me. I would like to start with a couple of lessons and specific material that I benefited from the most. The book written by Bolman and Deal that was a complimentary text to the class taught me a lot about management and organizations as whole. It highlighted the various components of successful teams and organizations as well as show how and why less effective teams function. Hoping to be the leader of a team one day, maybe management, this was pertinent information for me. We built on the different types of managers in class and how each deal with conflict. Also further discussed in class was the incentive based way employees operate and how managers can make the office more efficient. This led to excel home works that explained the math behind this. I felt that the content discussed in class was always made more clear by doing the excel home works. I learned a lot from these. I also felt that the blogging in this class was a useful way to tie course material to real life experiences. Each week I would write up a very short, rough draft and continuously edit and add more leading up to Friday. When writing, it is good to take breaks and come back with a fresh mind. This allows you to re-read your work having milled it over a few times. I did not feel that this course was especially tasking. The excel home works were relatively challenging but not very time consuming. There was always videos that could help and professor Arvan was quick to respond to questions posted on the website. Blogging was a bit more time consuming if you drafted your posts as suggested. How much time you spent on them was entirely up to the writer. What you put into this class is what you got out of it.
I also found that the final project was especially useful. Most students have never read scholarly articles written for economics purposes. We took that to a new level when we had to read and critique an article that pertained to the class. This was much needed exposure that will help students transfer into graduate school. It sometimes seems daunting reviewing the work that has had so much more experience with economics but this project helped eliminate this fear.
One thing I would have liked to see in this course was an option to watch or listen to lectures online. Missing class caused you to fall behind and only sometimes were there online options to catch you up. I also would have liked more of the math behind the home works to be taught in class. The videos posted were very helpful but sometimes an in class visual would have made things much more clear. Although this might take away from the discussions on the blog posts, it may make the excel work done more useful.
In the future, perhaps after I graduate, I hope to continue blogging and reviewing economics articles. This class developed a style of writing for me that I had not been exposed to before. I would definitely suggest this course for economics and non-economics majors alike.