Interactive Teaching Strategies

Sample Strategies

My Best Shot

My top suggestion is based on a SourceFed YouTube video  about rising bacon prices caused by a drought that increased the price of pig feed. After demonstrating the textbook once-over shifts of demand and of supply (Figures 4.2 – 4.5), play the video and ask students to analyze the story using a demand and supply graph. Start with just the price and quantity axes on the board. Ask  students to identify the market (bacon or pork), and describe what happens starting from an initial equilibrium. Besides the decrease in supply due to an increase in input prices, there is also a segment – analyze separately – about how the show Epic Mealtime may have increased preferences for bacon, increasing demand. I have used this video many times, and it always generates laughs, interest, and lots of discussion. The exercise shows students how they can use the demand and supply model to explain real-world events.

Learning Catalytics Clicker Questions

Through MyEconLab, Learning Catalytics provides clicker questions that student can vote by texting or through a wi-fi connections. Question for this chapter include:

  • Prompt: Electronics manufacturers can either make iPhone chargers or android chargers.  If the price of iPhone chargers decreases, what happens to the supply of iPhone chargers?
    Answer/Explanation: A change in the price of a good changes the quantity supplied of that good, not the supply.
  • Prompt: Electronics manufacturers can either make iPhone chargers or Android chargers. If the price of iPhone chargers decreases, what happens to the supply of Android chargers?
    Answer/Explanation: Android chargers and iPhone chargers are substitutes in production.  If the price of iPhone chargers increases, producers will switch production away from Android charger and this will decrease the quantity supplied at every price.
  • Prompt: Assume new research comes out proving definitively that pizza causes heart disease.  Draw any changes on the following supply and demand graph.
    Answer/Explanation: This is a change in preferences for pizza that would cause demand to decrease.  P* would decrease and Q* would decrease.
  • Prompt: Now assume that in addition to new research proving pizza causes heart disease, the cost of cheese decreases.  Sketch the changes in the market for pizza on the graph below.
    Answer/Explanation: Demand decreases due to a change in preferences and supply increases due to a change in the cost of inputs.  The combination of these two shifts leads to an unambiguous decrease in price, but an uncertain change in quantity.

In-Class Experiments

Through MyEconLab, there are market simulation experiments  for a single player or multiplayers.