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Economics

College or Campus: College of Arts and Sciences

Student Learning Outcomes

UNDERGRADUATE

Mission Statement : Through the teaching of microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics, the undergraduate Economics programs help students to establish in-depth understanding of the functioning of domestic and global economies and to develop the necessary and portable skills to perform economic analysis for both public and private sector positions as well as for graduate studies in related fields.

Learning Outcomes

The Department of Economics has established the following learning outcomes for its undergraduate programs - BA4221 and BS4225:

Economics Knowledge:

  1. Students will learn how markets organize core economic activities, such as production, distribution, and consumption, and the growth of productive resources.
  2. Students will learn about the determinants of macroeconomic conditions (national output, employment, and inflation), causes of business cycles, and interactions of monetary and fiscal policy.
  3. Students will learn to apply economic theories and methodologies in analyzing economic issues in various sub-fields of applied microeconomics and international economics.

Analytical Skills in Economics:

  1. Analytical and economic reasoning skills: deduce reasonable predictions about possible economic outcomes based upon economic conditions and economic theories.
  2. Quantitative analytical skills: collect and analyze data to support economic decision making using statistical and econometric techniques.
  3. Critical thinking skills: evaluate and critique alternative economic policies.
  4. Self development skills: learn new theories about economic activities, create explanations for new economic phenomena and device innovative approaches to solve various economic problems.

GRADUATE

Economics M.A.

The M.A. in Economics program emphasizes practical applications of economic theory. It is organized to provide students with analytical tools by which they can use to solve many economic problems existing in the real world. The program provides students with practical econometric skills that are popularly used in both private and public sectors.

Students will be able to apply:

  1. Critical thinking
    1. Apply economic analysis to evaluate everyday problems
    2. Apply economic analysis to evaluate specific policy proposals
  2. Quantitative reasoning skills
    1. Understand how to use empirical evidence to evaluate an economic argument
    2. Obtain or collect relevant data using specific research methods
    3. Interpret statistical results
    4. Perform appropriate statistical analysis of data
    5. Develop deeper quantitative thinking skills
  3. Problem-solving skills
    1. Analyze problems that have clear solutions
    2. Propose solutions for problems that do not have clear answers
  4. Communication skills
    1. Communicate effectively in written or spoken form about specific economic issues
    2. Develop a well-organized written argument that states hypothesis
    3. Present an economic argument orally

Assessment Plan

UNDERGRADUATE

The Department of Economics will use both direct and indirect measures of student learning.

Direct Measures:

  1. Capstone projects from Econ4850. The projects are directly related to learning outcomes in Analytical Skills in Economics. The assessment committee will review finished sample projects from the capstone course using the assessment rubrics in the appendix.
  2. Scores from the REVISED Test of Understanding in College Economics (TUCE). TUCE is an assessment tool created by the National Council for Economic Education. The test is a standardized test of economics nationally norm-referenced in the United States. The test is a direct measure of learning outcomes in both Economics Knowledge and Analytical Skills in Economics.

Indirect Measures:

  1. Faculty consensus/feedbacks on program improvement through undergraduate committee and assessment committee meetings.
  2. Survey and interviews from outgoing cohort students on the learning outcomes and possible program improvements in achieving them.
  3. Follow-up survey to recent graduates on program learning outcome achievements and improvements.

Implementation and Utilization:

Direct Measures:

  1. The three-year cycle: The assessment committee have successfully implemented the direct measure 2, the revised TUCE tests in the 2016-2017 academic year and the direct measure 1 in the 2017-2018 academic year. We then will skip one year so that faculty can adjust their teaching practices according to improvement suggestions based on the assessment results. This means the direct measures are implemented on a three year cycle.

Indirect Measure:

  1. Faculty meetings for the undergraduate committee and the assessment committee should be held every academic year to review and discuss the newest assessment results and possible improvements.
  2. Indirect Measures 2, and 3 can be implemented on a three-year cycle according to the following order: The out-going cohort survey and interviews (2) have been conducted at the end of 2016-2017 academic year and we will conduct the follow-up survey to recent graduate (3) in 2018-2019 academic year.

Utilization:

Because relative shortcomings in the students learning outcomes can be directly revealed by our direct and indirect measures, faculty meetings will focus on identifying the possible causes of and formalizing remedies for the shortcomings found. The assessment committee and the undergraduate committee will work together via round table discussions to review the assessment results from various measures and come to a consensus on possible improvements. Both changes in teaching practices and curriculum modification will be considered based on the findings. Seminars or round table discussions on teaching methodology will be held so that faculty members can share their experiences on best practices to improve student learning outcomes. Curriculum changes are subject to approval by the departmental committees and university committees.

Appendix: Rubrics for Assessment of Learning Outcomes

 

Level

Score

Criteria

Economic Knowledge

 

Excellent

3

  • Demonstrates in-depth understanding of the key economic factors in the economic issues under study with clearly explained details that are particular to the situation.
  • Appropriately applies theories and methodologies in analyzing the economic issues under study with adjustments in assumptions that reflecting the particular situation.

 

Acceptable

2

  • Correctly identifies the various driving forces or factors in the economic issues under study.
  • Utilizes the correct or most relevant economic theories or methodologies in economic analyses.

 

Weak

1

  • Most economic forces or factors are identified correctly, but minor misunderstandings exist on some of the concepts.
  • The basic analyses of the economic issue are plausible with some minor mistakes in reasoning or minor errors in conclusions.

 

Deficient

0

  • Exhibits major misunderstanding of key economic factors or forces in the economic issue under study.
  • Key conclusions are incorrect due to misuse of economic theories, erroneous reasoning or both.

Analytical Skills

 

Excellent

3

  • Demonstrates logical, coherent and clear economic reasoning in analyzing economic phenomena and predicting possible economic outcomes.
  • Clearly distinguishes: assumptions vs. conclusions, normative vs. positive statements, causes vs. consequences.
  • Provides logical, coherent and clear economic reasoning when debating alternative explanations for an economic issue under study.
  • Creates clearly labeled illustrations of diagrams which effectively facilitate the analysis of economic problems.

 

Acceptable

2

  • Provides plausible explanations to an economic issue using some logical reasoning with some degree of coherence and clarity.
  • In formulating an economic argument, can largely distinguish: assumptions vs. conclusions, normative vs. positive statements, causes vs. consequences.
  • Provides reasonably plausible arguments when debating alternative explanations for an economic issue under study.
  • Creates some illustrations or diagrams that are helpful to communicate the analysis of economic problems.

 

Weak

1

  • Provides some explanations to an economic issue with weak logical reasoning and low degrees of coherence and clarity.
  • In formulating an economic argument, occasionally mixes up: assumptions vs. conclusions, normative vs. positive statements, causes vs. consequences.
  • Dismisses alternative explanations for an economic issue under study without clear analyses or reasoning.
  • The provided illustrations or diagrams are not clearly labeled, only loosely connected to the analysis performed or with insufficient explanations.

 

Deficient

0

  • Lacks logical reasoning in explaining or analyzing an economic issue under study.
  • In formulating an economic argument, constantly mixes up: assumptions vs. conclusions, normative vs. positive statements, causes vs. consequences.
  • Dismisses alternative explanations for an economic issue under study with illogical argument or based on misunderstandings.
  • The provided illustrations or diagrams are labeled wrong, unrelated or unhelpful to the analysis performed or without necessary explanations.

 

Quantitative Analytical Skills

 

Excellent

3

  • Collects sufficient and relevant data that can provide insight in the economic issues under study and generate meaningful statistical conclusions.
  • When analyzing collected data, correctly chooses the relevant statistics and econometric models, with necessary modifications.
  • Accurately interprets the statistical results from the quantitative analysis.

 

Acceptable

2

  • Data Collected are relevant for the analysis of the economic issues under study and has potential to provide some statistical insights.
  • Provides the relevant statistics and apply econometric models that are commonly used in analyzing the economic issues under study.
  • Correctly interprets most of the statistical results from the quantitative analyses performed.

 

Weak

1

  • Data collected are loosely related to the analysis of the economic issues under study and have limited potential to provide statistical insights.
  • The statistics provided and the econometric models applied has weak relationships to the economic issues under study.
  • Interpretations of the statistical results are exaggerated or contain minor mistakes.

 

Deficient

0

  • Data Collected are unrelated to the analysis of the economic issues under study and cannot provide statistical insights.
  • The statistics provided and the econometric models applied are not suitable to analyzing the economic issues under study.
  • Interpretations of the statistical results are incorrect.

 

Critical Thinking Skills

 

Excellent

3

  • Clearly distinguishes various alternative or related explanations of the economic issue under study with a detailed comparison of their differences and similarities.
  • Accurately describes the advantages and shortcomings of alternative or related explanations of the economic issue under study.
  • Clearly explains the potential flaws in one’s own arguments or explanations for the economic issue under study.

 

Acceptable

2

  • Compares alternative or related explanations of the economic issue under study with some clarity.
  • Offers reasonably clear descriptions for the advantages and shortcomings of alternative or related explanations of the economic issue under study.
  • Explains limitations in one’s own arguments or explanations for the economic issue under study with some clarity.

 

Weak

1

  • Compares alternative or related explanations of the economic issue under study without clarity.
  • Offers vague descriptions for the advantages and shortcomings of alternative or related explanations of the economic issue under study.
  • Vaguely explains or fails to realize minor limitations in one’s own arguments or explanations for the economic issue under study.

 

Deficient

0

  • Fails to distinguish alternative or related explanations of the economic issue under study.
  • Fails to recognize the advantages and shortcomings of alternative or related explanations of the economic issue under study.
  • Fails to recognize the major limitations in one’s own arguments or explanations for the economic issue under study.

Self-development Skills

 

Excellent

3

  • The expositions of concepts or theories not taught in the Economics curriculum are clear, precise and intuitive.
  • Formulates new concepts, measures or theories in explaining new economic phenomenon, which can facilitate logical understanding and analyses.
  • Correctly invents new methodology or modifies existing methodology in analyzing new or unique economic phenomenon.

 

Acceptable

2

  • The expositions of concepts or theories not taught in the Economics curriculum are reasonably clear.
  • Formulates new concepts, measures or theories in explaining new economic phenomenon, providing some insights into it.
  • Attempts to invent new methodology or modify existing methodology in analyzing new or unique economic phenomenon.

 

Weak

1

  • The expositions of concepts or theories not taught in the Economics curriculum are reasonably understandable but not very clear.
  • Newly formulated concepts, measures or theories are not very well defined or explained or can only provide limited insights.
  • Makes limited attempts to modify existing methodology in analyzing new or unique economic phenomenon.

 

Deficient

0

  • The expositions of concepts or theories not taught in the Economics curriculum are not explained clearly.
  • Formulates no new concepts, measures or theories in explaining apparently unique new economic phenomenon where existing economic tools are not suitable to explain.
  • Makes no attempts to modify existing methodology in analyzing new or unique economic phenomenon, which leads to erroneous predictions.

GRADUATE

Economics M.A.

Direct assessment:

1. Assessment of the master’s program learning outcomes is conducted in arequired capstone course: students elect to take the Master’s Seminar (Econ 6960) or Master’s Thesis (Econ 6950).

ECON 6960 – Master’s Seminar

This is the capstone course that measures the overall knowledge of students in the field of study. Two advisors will supervise the student. Students are required to submit a proposal first.

In reviewing the proposal, the committee examines if the student has

  1. Developed a testable hypothesis on the basis of theory.
  2. Conducted a review of literature related to the hypothesis at hand.
  3. Developed a testable model to examine the hypothesis empirically.
  4. Gathered the data needed or knows where to go to gather the data. 

The proposal must have an organizational structure and a clear focus throughout.

The master’s seminar paper should demonstrate if

  1. The student can write clearly and ideas are presented effectively. Whether sentences and paragraphs are grammatically correct and subheadings are shown appropriately.
  2. The introduction overviews the conceptual and theoretical issues related to the study hypotheses.
  3. The student has an outstanding critical thinking
  4. The econometrics methods used are correct to test the hypothesis.
  5. The empirical findings clearly align with study hypothesis and the data analytic plan. Tables are well integrated and discussed in the section. The results are well explained and justified.
  6. Explains conclusion that can be drawn from the empirical findings.

Upon a student’s completion of the master’s seminar, each member of the committee will complete an assessment form in order to evaluate the student’s achievement. The student receives a score from 1 to 3 in each of the six measurement units listed above: with 1 being limited, 2 acceptable, and 3 Excellent. Upon approval, the student will receive a CR for the course.

ECON 6950 – Master’s Thesis

This capstone course is taken rarely by ECON graduate students (perhaps one every decade). It utilizes the same measurements that apply to Econ 6960. In addition, the student should follow the College of Arts and Sciences guidelines for the Master’s Thesis. The student also makes a presentation of his/her thesis before an audience of students and professors. The defense of the paper may take up to one hour.

To receive a pass for the oral presentation, the following factors are taken into account. Was the students able to:

  1. Present the thesis paper effectively.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the content area.
  3. Accurately answer questions.

Upon a student’s completion of the defense, each member of the thesis committee will complete an assessment form in order to evaluate the student’s achievement in both the thesis and the oral defense. .Students receive a score from 1 to 3 in each of the nine measurement units listed above: with 1 being limited, 2 acceptable, and 3 Excellent. There are six measurement units under Thesis and three under presentation. Upon approval, the student will receive a CR for the course.

These requirements assess the MAE program outcomes 2(a, b, c, d), 4(a, b).

2. Program outcomes are also assessed within individual graduate ECON courses; please see below for information on alignment of the program outcomes with course-level assessments.

Econ 6003 – Mathematical Economics and Statistics

Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand “Matrix Algebra”
  2. Apply “Partial Differentiation”, “Total Differentiation,” and “Total Derivatives.”
  3. Apply “Unconstrained Optimization”
  4. Understand “Constrained Optimization”
  5. Explain “Probability Theory”
  6. Understand “Mathematical Expectation”
  7. Explain “Sampling Theory” and “Central Limit Theorem”
  8. Apply “Estimation“ based on a sample drawn from a population
  9. Apply “Confidence Intervals” and “Hypothesis Testing”

Assessment

Mid-term and final exam.

These learning outcomes align with the MAE Program learning outcomes 2(c, e), 3(a).

ECON 6030 - Advanced Microeconomic Theory I

Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand the intuition and the mathematics of the basic economic model of utility maximization subject to a budget constraint under certainty.
  2. Be able to use the demand relationships from the above model to study the effects of income, own price and cross price changes.
  3. Understand the intuition and the mathematics of modelling individual choice under uncertainty; understand the role of insurance and diversification.
  4. Understand production and cost functions. Understand the intuition and the mathematics of the fundamental model of supply behavior by profit-maximizing firms.
  5. Understand the intuition and the mathematics of the partial equilibrium model of price determination in competitive markets.

Assessment

Three exams and homework assignments.

These course learning outcomes align with the MAE program learning outcomes 1(a, b), 2(e), 3(a, b).

 

ECON 6031 - Advanced Microeconomic Theory II

Learning Outcomes

  1. Discuss the general equilibrium 1 st and 2 nd Welfare Theorems
  2. Explain the Monopoly Model and contrast its outcomes with the Perfect Competition Model outcomes
  3. Apply the basic concepts in Game Theory including Nash Equilibrium and Backward Induction
  4. Apply the Game Theory techniques to the Imperfect Competition Models of Cournot and Bertrand Competition in both the simultaneous and sequential forms
  5. Explain five (5) different causal identification techniques: random trials, regression, instrumental variables, regression discontinuity, and differences-in-differences

Assessment

Two (2) exams [40%], four (4) quizzes [20%], and four (4) homework sets [10%] assesses knowledge of the theoretical material, one project [20%] and one presentation [10%] demonstrate mastery of the causal identification techniques

These course learning objectives align with the MAE program learning outcomes 1(a, b), 2(a, c, e), 3(a), 4(a, c).

 

 

ECON 6040 - Advanced Macroeconomic Theory

Learning Outcomes

  1.  Understand and apply methods to measure macroeconomic variables and short-run empirical regularities
  2. Formulate and solve simple static and dynamic equilibrium models
  3. Use of models to explain macroeconomic phenomena and evaluate macroeconomic policies
  4. Acquire basic preparation for reading more advanced literature.

 

Assessment

Quizzes, problem sets (assignments), two exams (midterm and final).

These course learning objectives align with the MAE program learning outcomes 1(a, b), 3(a, b), 4(a).

 

ECON 6041 - Advanced Macroeconomic Theory II

Learning Outcomes

1. understand methods to measure long-run empirical regularities;

2. estimate and apply dynamic panel data models.

3. estimate time series models to forecast economic variables and do forecast evaluation;

4. solve and simulate of dynamic equilibrium models for macroeconomic analysis and policy evaluation;

5. formulate a well-organized economic argument and hypotheses, and communicate them effectively in written or spoken form.

Assessment

Problem sets (assignments), two exams (midterm and final), a project or student’s Expo presentation.

These course learning outcomes align with the MAE program learning outcomes 1(a, b), 2(a, c, d, e), 3(a, b), 4(a, b, c).

 

ECON 6350 - Econometrics I

Learning outcomes

  1. Understand the theoretical foundations of the linear regression model and its estimation.
  2. Be able to interpret the results of an estimated model and conduct statistical inference to evaluate an economic model.
  3. Be able to identify specification problems in an estimated model.
  4. Be able to identify the limitations of the results.
  5. Earn an intermediate level of proficiency using a statistical software such as R or Stata for regression analysis and data management.

Assessments

Short computer-based tests for applied questions and short paper-based tests for analytical questions (at least two of each), problem sets with analytical questions and problem sets with applied questions to be solved in the computer lab, homeworks with analytical and computer-based questions, a research project with some potential to be improved in Econometrics II.

These course learning outcomes align with the MAE program learning outcomes 2(a, b, c, d), 3(a), 4(a,b).

 

ECON 6380 - Applied Econometrics

Learning outcomes:

  1. Apply and interpret the Classic Linear Regression (CLR) model
  2. Assess violations of core assumptions of the CLR model
  3. Apply and interpret CLR extensions (Difference-In-Difference and Regression discontinuity)
  4. Apply and interpret limited dependent variable models (Linear Probability Model, Logit, Probit, Tobit, etc.)
  5. Apply and interpret basic time-series models (VAR, VECM, ARIMA, ARCH, GARCH)

 

Assessment

Six lab assignments, extensive research paper, and final exam.

These course learning outcomes align with the MAE program learning outcomes 2(a, b, c, d, e), 4(a,b,c).

2. Indirect assessment:

The Economics Department conducts an exit survey to assess the overall program at the conclusion of the program.

Department of Economics Graduate Program Exit Survey

Congratulations on completing your Master's degree in economics. The faculty of the Department of Economics would appreciate a candid evaluation of your graduate experience at Ohio University by completing this survey. Our main purpose is to learn from you how we can improve the quality of education and training for our students as well as the overall graduate student experience. Your honest and thoughtful responses are essential to improving our program for graduate students in

the future. Please reflect on those experiences that were positive, those that could be improved, and any possible additions to the program that you think would be beneficial.

Your responses are voluntary and you may skip any question. Responses will be provided to the Graduate Chair, without any personal identifiers so your anonymity will be maintained.

Coursework

  1. At the orientation meeting, students were adequately informed of the overall program objectives, required courses, the methods of evaluation to be used, and the capstone course at the conclusion of the program.
  1. Strongly Disagree2Disagree     3. Neutral       4. Agree         5. Strongly Agree
  2. The professors in my classes utilized instructional methods that provided me with the opportunity to achieve the objectives of the program.
    1. Strongly Disagree  2. Disagree    3. Neutral    4. Agree    5. Strongly Agree      N/A
  1. The methods of instruction in my classes were appropriate for the level of the classes.
  1. Strongly Disagree  2. Disagree    3. Neutral    4. Agree    5. Strongly Agree      N/A
  1. The courses Itook gave me a good grounding in the theories of economics.
  1. Strongly Disagree  2. Disagree    3. Neutral   4. Agree    5. Strongly Agree      N/A
  1. The courses I took gave me a good grounding in the applications of economics.
  1. Strongly Disagree  2. Disagree    3. Neutral    4. Agree    5. Strongly Agree       N/A

6.The workloads and expectations in my courses were high enough to be appropriate for graduate credit

  1. Strongly Disagree     2. Disagree      3. Neutral    4. Agree     5. Strongly Agree       N/A
  1. My professors provided clear and helpful feedback on my assignment/exams/presentation in a timely fashion.
  1. Strongly Disagree     2. Disagree      3. Neutral    4. Agree     5. Strongly Agree       N/A
  1. My professors were willing to meet with me outside classroom to answer my questions/concerns.
  1. Strongly Disagree     2. Disagree      3. Neutral    4. Agree     5. Strongly Agree       N/A
  1. My graduate courses challenged me to analyze, explore, and question the knowledge and skills I learned in the program.
  1. Strongly Disagree     2. Disagree      3. Neutral    4. Agree     5. Strongly Agree       N/A

Advising/Research  Project

10.I had sufficient access to and time with my master's paper/thesis advisors to successfully complete my research work.

  1. Strongly Disagree     2. Disagree      3. Neutral    4. Agree     5. Strongly Agree       N/A
  1. My master's paper/thesis advisors provided me with clear guidance and good mentoring in the completion of my research work.
  1. Strongly Disagree     2. Disagree      3. Neutral    4. Agree     5. Strongly Agree       N/A
  1. I found my thesis research project to be intellectually challenging.
  1. Strongly Disagree     2. Disagree      3. Neutral    4. Agree     5. Strongly Agree       N/A
  1. My research project was a good learning opportunity that facilitated the acquisition of useful skills that will aid me in a career in economics.
    1. Strongly Disagree     2. Disagree      3. Neutral    4. Agree     5. Strongly Agree       N/A

 

Overall Experience

  1. The department fostered a supportive environment for learning and research and encouraged scholarly interaction and accessibility among faculty and students.
  1. Strongly Disagree  2. Disagree    3. Neutral    4. Agree    5. Strongly Agree N/A
  1. I am well prepared for employment in economics.
  1. Strongly Disagree  2. Disagree    3. Neutral    4. Agree   5. Strongly Agree N/A
  1. I believe I am well prepared to continue my education at a higher level.
  1. Strongly Disagree  2. Disagree    3. Neutral    4. Agree    5. Strongly Agree
  1. In general, my overall economic educational experience has been worthwhile.

    1. Strongly Disagree  2. Disagree    3. Neutral    4. Agree   5. Strongly Agree   N/A

  1. I found the economic graduate program to be challenging.
  1. Strongly Disagree  2. Disagree    3. Neutral    4. Agree   5. Strongly Agree   
  1. I would recommend  Ohio University as a place for economic graduate education.

1. Strongly Disagree  2. Disagree    3. Neutral    4. Agree   5. Strongly Agree   N/A

 

Open Questions

What are the strengths of the Department of Economics graduate program?

What are, if any, areas in need of improvement in the Department of Economics graduate program?

What additional courses, experiences, or opportunities would you like to have seen in the Department of Economics graduate program?

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