The Economics Network

Improving economics teaching and learning for over 20 years

Preface to the Revised Edition

This revised chapter incorporates numerous enhancements to the original chapter published in 2002.

There are now more examples of how PBL has been used to teach undergraduate economics within a UK context, accessible via the Economics Network website, and which are listed in Section 6, “Where Next”, of this revised chapter. These applications offer potential users of PBL an excellent information source on how the basic PBL concept can be modified to suit particular learning environments. An Appendix has been added containing 4 exemplars of PBL tasks that have been used successfully on a first-year economics module at the University of Ulster. These exemplars reinforce the general principles of PBL design outlined in Section 3, “Designing Problems/Tasks”; an updated “UK Housing Market” exemplar has been retained in Section 3Section 2 has been extended to highlight some of the recent PBL innovations introduced on economics modules at the University of Ulster.

The original chapter attracted positive comments, for example:

“This chapter is self-contained in that it provides all the information one needs to implement PBL, including the preliminary information that should be given to students, how to set up a successful PBL environment and designing PBL tasks. Group work is very important in teaching Economics. It can be used in various forms in seminars, in Problem Based Learning, in Simulations, Games and Role play, in Case Studies, in Cooperative Learning.”
Higher Education Academy, June 2002.

“This is a set of guides to inform and improve the practices of university teachers of economics; however, it is interesting and informative for teachers in all curriculum areas.”
University of Leicester, “Employment skills within an accessible curriculum”

It is hoped that the revised chapter remains a useful learning resource for anyone contemplating a PBL approach to teaching.