Arnold Kling  

Experimenting with Teaching Videos

The Economy as Machine... Do We Need all this Expectatio...

These are for my high school classes, where I teach AP statistics and AP economics. I am trying to do my version of Khan Academy. My hope is that the students can watch these on their own, and then I can use class time for other things. In stats, for letting the students work problems. In econ, for discussions of current events and/or for students working exercises.

This is the first econ lecture:

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COMMENTS (13 to date)
Jared writes:

This is a great idea. I've been thinking of reorganizing my entire course structure around this setup. Do you have any recommendations for software, etc?

Peter H writes:

I didn't know until the other day that you taught high school classes as well as at GMU. How do you find the experiences compare?

il falcone writes:

Will Arlo be making econ class appearances?

Pretty good start. I started using Khan Academy almost two years ago to refresh my calc and physics and I'm not surprised to see its success. I'd been trying to get him on EconTalk for awhile, alas to no success so far.

It could be familiarity, but I think the aesthetics are tough with the traditional green board. Khan's black background feels very natural on youtube. The idea of bringing in video clips (i.e. Social Network) is great.

It will be interesting to see the differences between the stats and econ classes. Khan's math classes come off quite naturally, even from the beginning videos, but his history classes struggled to find flow. It'll be interesting to see if you experience the same with these two subjects.

Bret Sikkink writes:

Dr. Kling,

Just beginning my first year teaching IB and high school introductory economics. Look forward to seeing more of these as well as seeing how A Means A develops. Thanks for being open!

[private url removed--Econlib Ed.]

Jonathan Bechtel writes:

A good start, but I want to give you a few constructive criticisms:

I like the idea of starting off with the entrepreneur, but I would have gone more into the theory behind why he's important. To me that's the meat of the message, and you just browsed on it at the very end.

Given the passive nature of video, I always find this type of content more engaging if it's wrapped up with some mental exercises that get you thinking hard about the important concepts. Questions you should try and answer, mini assignments, etc.

Arnold Kling writes:

The set-up is Khan's: Camtasia Studio to record, Bamboo pen tablet to write with.

I don't still teach at GMU. The undergrads there were not fun to teach. The high school students are sometimes fun, sometimes not fun, but generally much higher quality. It's a private school.

Daublin writes:

I will be impressed if you really get students watching a significant number of hours of video outside of classroom.

I would be interested if you can clarify two questions:

1. Before the current offering of this class, how many hours of homework each week would you assign them?

2. In the current, experimental offering, how many hours of video are you asking them to watch?

Various writes:

Great stuff! I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think your disclaimer on the "profiling" is probably a good idea.

blink writes:

I enjoyed the video and hope you continue to share what you create. To push back a bit, though, I am still wondering: What is really gained here vs. (say) asking students to read a blog post or two where you spell out your classification scheme for entrepreneurs? Are students more likely to watch than to read? Will they retain more? Are there other benefits?

In any case, I applaud your efforts and hope that you keep blogging about your experiences with these techniques.

Seth writes:

I like it.

Did you look at Screen-o-matic Pro? Looks like you get good functionality for $12/yr.

Why write it out on screen while talking?
Why not type it or have it laid out on some slides?
Just wondering if the writing helps it settle into the gray matter better or if that's just an attempt to follow Khan's (successful) format.


ChacoKevy writes:

I've been thinking about Khan Academy a lot since I was introduced, too. I've been making some "Intro to Excel" reference videos for employees at my company. 30 seconds on how to freeze panes, 60 seconds on conditional formatting, that sort of thing.

I went the open-source route- Camstudio, since all I'm doing is screen capture, not any blackboard activity.

Joshua W. Scott writes:

I promote Khan Academy every chance I get, and I'm glad to see others embracing the format. I think the missing piece from this model, in terms of modularity and expansion across disciplines, is a standard markup language for curriculum. Not a national curriculum standard, but a standardized way to programmatically catalog videos and other learning modules. In this way students can be fed content, interactively examined for mastery, then fed different content covering the same learning objectives if mastery isn't achieved.
On the back end you can streamline the process by noting module A' "clicked" for students X and Y over module A, and since module B' worked better for student X than module B, B' becomes the default for Y and any other forthcoming students for whom A' is more effective than A. Like recommendations on hulu and netflix this is a non-trivial algorithm, but a better alternative than instructor assignment by geography.

Keep up the great work!

Maddog writes:


I am waiting for someone like you are Salman Khan to produce a course by course tutorial of the London School of Economics BS discussed by Prof Mark Perry here:

I believe Khan either has or will have the maths materials available soon. The econ materials do come with extensive study aids but only limited Khan like tutorials. I would like to see one or more US Universities follow this path but I do not think this will happen in the near future.

The LSE degree seems to be very highly regarded worldwide (seems to be ranked about 15th worldwide) and the testing is available nearly worldwide as well.

I expect this to be one of the models of the future and with a price of $5,000 for the degree it is affordable to everyone in the industrialized world and very many in the third world.

Mark Sherman

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