The following post is from Simon Halliday who started his BILT Associate role on the theme of evaluating of projects.
I am an economist who works predominantly in Experimental and Behavioral Economics and Economic Education. My work in economics education includes projects in improved teaching of data literacy, using R and RMarkdown for improved reproducibility and integrity in undergraduate teaching, and including students as partners in teaching and learning to promote an ethical economics classroom (Halliday 2019a, Dvorak, Halliday, O’Hara and Swoboda 2019, Halliday 2019b). I am also the co-author, with Samuel Bowles, of the forthcoming intermediate microeconomics textbook Microeconomics: Competition, Conflict, and Coordination (OUP, 2021). This work is allied to ongoing work using evaluation and assessment to better understand economic education and the preferences and outcomes of students (e.g. work eliciting the preferences of students in different economic classrooms; see Girardi, Mamunuru, Halliday, and Bowles 2020).
As a BILT associate working on Evaluation of Projects I hope to draw on my work on economics education, surveys, and experiments to inform the work done at the University of Bristol and to help fellow faculty members as they strive to produce work that will inform their teaching practices at Bristol and from which we can draw insights into practices that may transfer to other disciplines and beyond the university. I also hope to draw on the expertise of colleagues in BILT to improve a new project on which I am working with two colleagues at Bristol (Christian Spielmann and Danielle Guizzo) using a grant we received from the Royal Economic Society to understand the ways in which student learning and instructor teaching practices having changed because of COVID. The project draws on insights from the learning sciences on spaced repetition, interleaving, and the testing effect alongside newer work on transformative tools for thought (Brown, Roediger and McDaniel 2014, Matuschak and Nielsen 2019). Recent evidence in economics suggests that implementing tools from the learning sciences in introductory economics classes results in dramatically increased learning (Boyle and Goffe 2018). This work will also inform a grant I am currently working on and I hope to be able to draw on the expertise of colleagues and share best practices subsequent to my time as a BILT associate to help colleagues who are committed to understanding teaching and learning, to improve the experiences of our students at the University of Bristol, and to help share best practices with colleagues internationally based on the innovative work with which we engage at the university.