Unique learning tool brings economics to life

Unique learning tool brings economics to life

A new and innovative learning package that will change the way economics is taught was launched at the University of Aberdeen today (Wednesday).

An Aberdeenshire company, The Enterprise Library, is pioneering the teaching and learning of economics with the launch of “LiveEcon” - a totally new and interactive distance-learning tool, bringing economics to life.

Key figures from the world of business education gathered today for the launch of LiveEcon at a special event at the University of Aberdeen, which has been highly supportive of the product since its first prototype in 1999.

Special guests included John Sloman, Director of the Economics Network of the Higher Education Academy, Bristol, and leading UK author of economics textbooks, and Professor Alan Sangster, the UK’s best selling accounting textbook author. John Sloman then lead a workshop for the University’s Business School students in the afternoon following the launch.

LiveEcon enables first and second year economics students to interact with an economic model, reinforcing what they have learnt in lectures and testing their drastically improved understanding. Its groundbreaking, moving charts demonstrate key economic principles in a vivid and memorable style.

The key highlight of LiveEcon is the “U-Drive-It!” section which allows students, through the use of scroll bars, to run experiments on variables such as consumption, taxation, government spending and investment, and immediately see the effects on interest and exchange rates, exports, imports and GNP, all graphed on the computer screen.

Dr W David McCausland, Senior Lecturer in Economics, at the University of Aberdeen, and one of the authors of LiveEcon, said: “The University has been involved with the testing of LiveEcon since its inception in 1999 with great success.

“I have tried and tested this product on around 3,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students, including MBA’s and MSc’s and using LiveEcon has really helped students get to grips with difficult concepts in macroeconomics.

“There really is no other product like LiveEcon out there that has this level of sophistication and interactivity – it’s a must for any serious student of economics.”

The technology allows students to watch moving tutorials accompanied by text covering all the main economic topics. They can then manipulate all the economic assumptions themselves and test their understanding with the quizzes, which accompany each chapter.

LiveEcon is the first product launched by The Enterprise Library, a digital educational software publisher located in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire where a nine-person team works on the software development, sales and marketing. The company creates interactive learning solutions for Universities, business education and training establishments worldwide.

Its economics authors include Chris Taylor, who was head of economics at the Bank of England, Dr W. David McCausland and Dr Ian McAvinchey, both of the University of Aberdeen, Dr Jochen Runde of the Judge Business School, Cambridge and Dr Phil Faulkner and Dr Simon Taylor, both of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge.

Charles Jordan, CEO of The Enterprise Library, said: “LiveEcon takes interactive learning to a new level. In addition, being all digital, students of economics from Delhi to Vladivostok can just download it to their PC – text, moving graphics and English voiceovers, and fire it up. It is every distance learning student’s dream.”

“Its pioneering levels of interactivity not only make the learning of economics faster, but by turning it into a movie, make it much more fun, and above all, memorable.

“The control that students have over the moving model enables them fully to grasp the reality of the concepts being taught.”

LiveEcon will be available for purchase online at www.liveecon.com or by calling (01339) 886262.

Further information on the University of Aberdeen Business School is available by visiting: www.abdn.ac.uk or by calling (01224) 272000.

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