Economics lecturer scoops national prize for teaching innovation

Economics lecturer scoops national prize for teaching innovation

The co-author of an economics e-learning tool has won a prestigious national award for his innovative teaching at the University of Aberdeen.



Dr David McCausland, a Senior Lecturer in Economics, beat off fierce competition to win the Higher Education Academy's Economics Network eLearning/Electronic Resource Award.

Dr McCausland was singled out for his work encouraging students to help develop LiveEcon as part of their assessment.

The online resource allows students to build economic models and then test them using interactive, on-screen tools.

Dr McCausland, who has since been made an Associate of The Economics Network, said he was thrilled to receive the award.

"I'm proud and privileged to be recognised for doing something in teaching that is both innovative and extremely worthwhile," he said.

"In a university environment where research often takes priority, the support I've had from Aberdeen to work on improving learning technology has been incredible.

"This award also cements LiveEcon's reputation as a cutting edge learning tool and it will be an important springboard for the future."

Over 500 undergraduate economics and postgraduate MSc Finance and Investment Management students at the University of Aberdeen have tested LiveEcon in specially designed workshops over the past five years.

The students' comments and suggestions have been incorporated into subsequent versions of Macroeconomics Principles and Macroeconomics Intermediate, which have been taken up by 16 other universities in the UK.

LiveEcon has also been adopted in institutions in Australia, India and Europe and is being launched in the USA next year.

And, Dr McCausland is already planning to take his 'innovation' to the next level.

"Students will trial YouTube as part of the course I'm teaching next term," he added.

"They will have their own video diary to talk about the course and their experiences of LiveEcon. It's all about broadening the learning community – getting them to show others how they are using LiveEcon to solve problems as well as picking up on their experiences in a social context."

Director of The Economics Network John Sloman said that Dr McCausland was a worthy recipient of the prize.

"The eLearning award was given to David for his innovative use of eLearning at Aberdeen, including his role in the development of the LiveEcon interactive courseware," Mr Sloman explained.

"LiveEcon is a powerful, attractive and highly interactive product and the panel was impressed by the work that David had undertaken in producing this path breaking software."

 

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