First, regarding research tools:
1. The American Community Survey provides some new “product types”:
- Narrative profiles (back by popular demand?)
- Geographical comparisons and rankings
- Time comparisons (ex. 2010-12 v. 2007-9)
I usually teach students to use a database like SimplyMap or DemographicsNow to make rankings and time comparisons, but it’s nice to have ACS data as an alternative, at least for large geographies. 2. The value of 1-year ACS data v. 3-year data for the same places. Students asked “when should I use 1-year data or 3-year data?” After studying an ACS manual, my answer:
- Value of 1-year ACS data = most current data
- Value of 3-year ACS data = higher quality data.
Interacting with students
4. For a class that has no prerequisites (except junior-status or higher), you can’t assume that students have knowledge of even basic business concepts, ex. “nonprofit” or “sales”. So be extra careful when using terms and jargon.
5. The Accounting masters students are usually very smart and capable, even if some of them don’t like to speak up in class. Try to take advantage of their capabilities during small group active learning time.
6. Students don’t think New Yorker cartoons are very funny. (Sigh. I’m not much of a joke teller, so showing cartoons has been plan B for bringing humor into the classroom. Sometimes my misspellings on the whiteboard are amusing, apparently.)
7. Guest teachers are great! It’s like taking a mini-vacation from teaching. No wonder librarians sometimes get asked to guest-teach even when the class has no research projects.
8. Math is really hard for some students, like Marketing and Library Science majors. Do I feel guilty for making the students do some basic calculations and unit conversions? Heck no.
9. Ratios continue to be a pain to teach. I really need to work on that. Or videotape my friend Mary Scanlon from Wake Forest University, who teaches this topic really well, and show that video in class.
10. The paperless classroom works fine. Students have to email me their assignments and exhibits (downloads from data sites and databases in appropriate formats, or sometimes screen captures), which I filter into email folders for each assignment. There have been no problems with this approach.
11. Teaching a credit class is really fun and makes my day.