Notes on the Remaining Meta Activities

Here are my rough notes on the last nine meta exercises done by my students. It’s probably accurate to characterize this as raw data, so this posting is mostly for me.

Meta 4 — N = 18/52 submissions
This is the meta we roughed out in class on the day before Fall Break. It looks as though I received fewer submissions than the number of students who were in class that day, though a few submitters weren’t in class. Also, the submissions don’t appear to have gone substantially further than we went in class. This is disappointing. Could the students have decided that our class outline was sufficient to study from?

Meta 5 –N= 8
Few submissions, but a third very well done. Also, 5/8 from 10am; only the two foreign students submitted from 11am. This was the topic I did the day before Fall break. I mostly referred the class to my lecture notes on Blackboard. The absent students may have missed this reference & topic. But what about the others? Was the fact that we didn’t spend class time on this short topic meaningful? Students apparently didn’t make the effort to do this work on their own. 2/3 of these submissions were so poor that I couldn’t differentiate them from meta 6.

Meta 6 — n = 4 + 5 = 9
Submissions were only adequate on this assignment. Lots of concepts identified as institutional facts/findings. Lots of concepts & IFFs identified as theories. What is the hypothesis for these theories? Not enough justification of the selections students made.

Meta 7 — n = 3 + 4 = 7
Generally good submissions. Submitted by people who have submitted most metas previously. Some students continue to have difficulty defining metas by chapter instead of by topic. I’m beginning to wonder if this is more than a trivial difficulty since it suggests perhaps that they can’t think outside the chapter. The two students who do this the most are foreign students could their English listening skills to what we do in class be the culprit? But for Meta 5, I didn’t spend any substantial class time, merely referring students to my lecture notes which I posted on Blackboard, so this hypothesis can’t explain Meta 5.

Meta 8: n = 4
Pretty good submissions for the handful of students who did them. This was due right before the second exam, and I blogged on this earlier.

Why the declining numbers of submissions?

Meta 9: n = 9 + 4 =14
This is the first meta after the second exam. This is better than the last one, but why still so few. Are they too busy with other work as the semester winds down? I see this topic (Economic Growth & Business Cycles) as primarily focused on theories: The income-expenditure model and the economic growth model. Students pegged it as conceptual or focused on findings. The major shortcoming of these submissions was the lack of emphasis on theories. Many students included no theories in their submissions. The rest choose one, but not both. Usually they chose the growth model. This makes a certain amount of sense given that the text chapter focused exclusively on economic growth–there was no chapter on business cycles per se, even though in class we emphasized cycles (in the form of the income-expenditure model) slightly more than growth. In general, these submissions weren’t very strong, though my sense was the students were trying. Five submissions were from students who submit regularly. Two submissions were from students who haven’t. Perhaps these guys were motivated by my speech. The rest were in between.

Meta 10: n = 8 + 3 = 11
Most submissions were quite good, clearly genuine attempts to do a good job. One was trivial. Most submissions were from the early class, where I believe the complaining students came from. This is the last week of class, so people are running out of time. This meta was due Wednesday. The previous was due last Friday. The last will be due this Friday. This compacting of deadlines probably hurts too. Notably, five submissions were restarts: students who haven’t turned anything in a while (except chapter 9 for some).

Meta 11: n = 2 + 1 = 3
These were pretty good.

Meta 12:
One person submitted this despite the fact that we never got to this material.

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