During my years at UNC I have taught graduate-level courses in international trade, international finance and economic development.
At the undergraduate level I have taught a number of courses in international economics, economic development and introductory economics as well as our senior honors seminar. I also taught our 400-student introductory economics course, Economics 101, for five years.
Teaching Awards Received.
The University community has recognized my teaching with a number of awards, including
- the Undergraduate Teaching Award from Economics students in 1993, 1995 and 1998
- the Park Graduate Teaching Award in 2003 and 2005
- the William A. Friday/Class of 1986 Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2001. This latter award is given to one faculty member at the university each year.
- the Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Professorship in 2007 by UNC in recognition of my teaching and research success.
- the Kenneth G. Elzinga Distinguished Teach Award in 2019 by the Southern Economics Association in recognition of my teaching excellence and contributions to the teaching of economics.
- the Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2023. This award is the highest teaching award on campus, given to one faculty member per year on the UNC-CH campus.
New Courses Introduced.
I have developed a number of new courses for our undergraduates. One, entitled The Economics of North Carolina, has been taught as a First-Year Seminar. Another, entitled International Economics from a Transactions Perspective, has been designed to serve students in our International Studies major.
Our department has developed a training program for our graduate students to prepare them for their first experiences in the classroom. For the years 2000-2002, 2007-2008 and 2010 to the present I have served as an instructor in that Teacher Training Program within the Economics Department at UNC.
In the period 2011-2016 I have also inaugurated a training program for undergraduates wishing to serve as undergraduate learning assistants (ULAs) in undergraduate courses they’ve completed. These students are typically among our brightest, and they have proved to be very effective in reaching the students struggling in our basic courses. The ULAs receive course credit for a training course that they take in tandem with their work in the classroom. This training course is designed around the principles of active learning.
In spring 2019 I first offered the course Economics of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Economics 111. This is a course in introductory economics that is customized to address the focal questions of entrepreneurs. It does not count towards the major in Economics, but is accepted as a substitute for Economics 101 by the Shuford Minor in Entrepreneurship. It has become quite popular among undergraduates.
Using Active Learning and the Case Method in Economics Courses.
One common theme found in most of my instruction has been the use of active learning and case method techniques for teaching economics. I have given seminars and workshops on this for the American Economic Association, the World Bank, and individual universities.
I’ve authored (or co-authored) two recent summaries of the value of case use in economics.
- “Cases in Economics Instruction”, chapter 9 in Salemi, M. and W. Walstad: Teaching Innovations in Economics. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2010. Co-authors: D. Stimel, A. Davis and M. Hartmann.
- “Case Use in Economics Instruction”, chapter 2 in Hoyt, G. and K. McGoldrick, eds: International Handbook on Teaching and Learning Economics. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2012.
My views on the importance of these techniques were reported in ECCHO, the newsletter of the European Case Clearing House, in the Spring 2001 and Autumn 2001 editions. The organization is now called the Case Centre, and you can find information about those articles here. The articles were entitled THE USE OF CASES AS VEHICLES FOR ACTIVITY LEARNING IN ECONOMICS CLASSES, with reference number ECCHO26A, and are available from that source.
If you are interested in experimenting with case use in your classroom, I have created a web library of cases that I have used in the classroom.