Saturday, December 6, 2014

Class Reflection

Over the course of the semester I learned a lot more about organizations than I expected. Coming into the class I thought I had a strong conceptual understanding on how organizations work and the nuances that go into the decision making process. However, once we started exploring the economic modeling portion of the class I realized that the economics of organizations is much more complex than I previously thought. Taking to account human error, politics, personal goals, utility etc. there are many variables that need to be considered when examining an organizations structure. From my perspective, it seemed that the most difficult portion of the class was trying to understand how incentives and accountability fit into the overall success of a an organization. In sum, I guess I now have a greater appreciation for management and a deeper understanding on the many different approaches organizations take to maximize efficiency.

I enjoyed working through the excel homework, I found it very satisfying to tie the concepts we learned in class to deriving the mathematical equations.  In some instances, I think it may be helpful to use different examples going forward. At times I felt as though we didn't cover the material in the excel homework until after the assignment was due. In addition, I thought the lecture style was interesting, but difficult for me to get used to. In all my other classes we usually have a set agenda with powerpoint slides and rarely stray from the topic. I enjoyed some of the tangents we went on in class, but other times I thought it was very confusing to follow the topic of discussion.However, I do admit that this class also allowed me to explore a new creative aspect that I normally don't see in other courses. 

I really enjoyed to blogging aspect of the course. At first, I wasn't quite sure exactly what was required and thought the directions were a bit loose, but after a few weeks I really enjoyed writing about the different topics. I think the combination of planning out a blog post, thinking about the topic of discussion and tying in personal experiences helps students to synthesize the course material. I personally think I learn better when I take a subject and attempt to relate it back to my own knowledge/experience. I think it also would have been helpful if we spent the beginning of lecture on Tuesday breaking up into small groups and discussing out blog posts. For this type of lecture style I think there should be more student to student interaction. Overall I thought this was an interesting course. 


  1. You are right about the Excel homework and that we only discussed the material after the homework was due. That is intentional and part of my course design. So in that sense students get ready for class by doing the homework before class. This may be different than what you have in other classes, where the homework "tests understanding" of material already presented. The reason I do it my way is that with the other way students are often unprepared when they come to class and use the class as their first pass at the ideas. That is really an inefficient way to use the live class time. It is conceivable that there could be video lectures on all the Excel homework, rather than on just a few. Perhaps I will make some of those before the next iteration of the course. Right now they are there only for the stuff I thought students would think is difficult.

    The idea of team discussion rather than ensemble class discussion is interesting. So far you are the only one to come up with that suggestion. Truthfully, I had thought of teamwork on doing the math stuff and other problem like the Excel homework. But when push came to shove I abandoned that idea and instead designed a couple more of the Excel worksheets. Maybe next time...

  2. Professor,

    I am glad I had the opportunity to be exposed to a new style of teaching. I now understand why you structured the class the way you did. Although it was difficult at times to work through the excel homework, struggling with the material really helped me to utilize my creativity and brain power. Having the discussion after the assignment was due was helpful in clarifying some of the more challenging points.

    I think discussion is a great way to interact with other students and gain new perspectives on the material. Everyone has a different background and preferred method of thinking, so it would be a nice platform to open ourselves up to new ideas.