To assess the impact of blended learning on students’ experience in Intermediate Microeconomics, the course was divided into two sections: an experimental “flipped” section and a control section. Students in the flipped section attended normal lectures twice a week as well as weekly collaborative peer learning sessions facilitated by undergraduate Teaching Assistants. Students in the control group also attended lectures, but did not participate in the collaborative problem-solving sessions.
Brief online videos (“microlectures”) created by Professor Pedro Dal Bó during the summer and previous semester provided highly focused instruction and were integrated with the problems presented to students in the experimental section of the course. In many cases, microlectures worked through specific problems or scenarios, but also often paused to prompt students to solve or think about more challenging problems on their own. These formed the instructional and conceptual basis for the collaborative problem solving efforts of each student team during the weekly two-hour section. Students who participated in the peer learning sessions have shown significant learning gains.