Heterogenous Clientele and Product Differentiation: Teaching Economics in a Changing Environment

Alauddin, Mohammad and Foster, John (2005) Heterogenous Clientele and Product Differentiation: Teaching Economics in a Changing Environment. Discussion Paper No. 340, School of Economics, The University of Queensland.

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Author Alauddin, Mohammad
Foster, John
Title Heterogenous Clientele and Product Differentiation: Teaching Economics in a Changing Environment
School, Department or Centre School of Economics
Institution The University of Queensland
Open Access Status Other
Report Number Discussion Paper No. 340
Publication date 2005-07-01
Language eng
Subject 340000 Economics
330204 Curriculum Studies - Economics, Commerce, Management and Services Education
Abstract/Summary The increasingly diverse student clientele that we now have has significantly changed teaching and learning environment in universities. Correspondingly, the academic focus of courses and programmes has shifted. Understanding this transition is essential if programmes are to be effective, relevant and attractive to students. This paper examines the process of teaching business and economic statistics in the presence of a highly heterogenous student clientele. Employing non-parametric techniques and multivariate analysis, including discriminant analysis, it is argued that product differentiation, epitomised by a diversified portfolio of instruction strategies and methods, is a sine qua non for addressing the needs of a heterogeneous student clientele. A two-pronged strategy of problem-based and individual need-based learning, underpinned by flexible consultation, delivery and presentation, lecture handouts both in hard copy and on the web, a semester project, computer lab sessions and tutorials in the traditional mode, was examined. Evidence, based on student perceptions, supports the hypothesis that the overall satisfaction rate in such a statistics course compared favourably with seemingly more attractive economics and non-economics courses. The paper also identifies factors affecting learning and derives implications using a game theoretic anaysis.
Keyword heterogeneous clientele
product differentiation
problem-based learning
nonparametric tests
discriminant analysis
non-cooperative game
Dionysian-Apollonian pedagogical spectrum
diversified portfolio of teaching
Additional Notes ISBN:14455523

Document type: Department Technical Report
Collections: Discussion Papers (School of Economics)
School of Economics Publications
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Created: Tue, 21 Mar 2006, 10:00:00 EST