Semester, Trimester or Block Plan? Retention of Economics Principles by Undergraduates on Alternative Curricular Structures

Colorado College Working Paper No. 2008-07

41 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2008 Last revised: 28 Oct 2008

Daniel K. N. Johnson

Colorado College - Department of Economics and Business

Kristina M. Lybecker

Colorado College - Department of Economics & Business

Corrine H. Taylor

Wellesley College

Date Written: August 13, 2008

Abstract

This paper investigates whether the curricular structure of an Economics course (semester, trimester, or compressed block schedule) has an effect on an undergraduate's subsequent retention of course material. We test separately for theoretical/process comprehension and for graphical construction/interpretation, while separating micro from macro content as well. We use an instrument to address the no stakes testing problem, and our Heckman two-stage estimations present some interesting results for educators and institutional policymakers alike.

Keywords: education, curriculum, knowledge, retention, liberal arts, college, principles, low-stakes testing, heckman

JEL Classification: A22

Suggested Citation

Johnson, Daniel K. N. and Lybecker, Kristina M. and Taylor, Corrine H., Semester, Trimester or Block Plan? Retention of Economics Principles by Undergraduates on Alternative Curricular Structures (August 13, 2008). Colorado College Working Paper No. 2008-07. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1224522 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1224522

Daniel Kent Neil Johnson (Contact Author)

Colorado College - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

14 E Cache La Poudre Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
United States
719-389-6654 (Phone)
719-389-6927 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://faculty1.coloradocollege.edu/~djohnson

Kristina M. Lybecker

Colorado College - Department of Economics & Business ( email )

14 E Cache La Poudre Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
United States
719-389-6445 (Phone)
719-389-6927 (Fax)

Corrine H. Taylor

Wellesley College ( email )

106 Central St.
Wellesley, MA 02181
United States
781-283-2152 (Phone)

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