Flipping and virtualizing learning

Adopting new technology for teaching has been one of my passions, and luckily my students have been understanding even during glitches or choices that turn out to be ineffective (such as the mobile/Internet voting technology that I wrote about last year). My goal has been to use technology to make my courses more interactive: I use clickers for in-class polling (to start discussions and assess understanding, not for grading!); last year, after realizing that my students were constantly on Facebook, I finally opened a Facebook account and ran a closed FB group for out-of-class discussions; In my online courses on statistics.com … Continue reading Flipping and virtualizing learning

Launched new book website for Practical Forecasting book

Last week I launched a new website for my textbook Practical Time Series Forecasting. The website offers resources such as the datasets used in the book, a block with news that pushes posts to the book Facebook page, information about the book and author, for instructors an online form for requesting an evaluation copy and another for requesting access to solutions, etc. I am already anticipating my colleagues’ question “what platform did you use?”. Well, I did not hire a web designer, nor did I spend three months putting the website together using HTML. Instead, I used Google Sites. This … Continue reading Launched new book website for Practical Forecasting book

New Google Consumer Surveys: revolutionizing academic data collection?

Surveys are a key data collection tool in several academic research areas. As opposed to experiments or field studies that yield observational data, surveys can give access to attitudes, reaching “inside the head” of people rather than observing their behavior. Technological advances in survey tool development now offer “poor academics” sufficiently powerful online survey tools, such as surveymonkey.com and Google forms. Yet, obtaining access to a large pool of potential respondents from a particular population remains a challenge. Another challenge is getting fast responses — how do you reach people quickly and get many of them to respond quickly? We may … Continue reading New Google Consumer Surveys: revolutionizing academic data collection?

Polleverywhere.com — how it worked out

Following up on my earlier post about the use of polleverywhere.com for polling in class, here is a summary of my experience using it in a data mining elective course @ ISB (38 students, after four sessions): Creating polls: After a few tries and with a few very helpful tips from a PE representative, I was able to create polls and embed them into my Power Point slides. This is relatively easy and user-friendly. One feature that is currently missing in PE, which I use a lot, is the inclusion of a figure on the poll slide (for example, a … Continue reading Polleverywhere.com — how it worked out

Active learning: going mobile in India

I’ve been using “clickers” since 2002 in all my courses. Clickers are polling devices that students use during class to answer multiple-choice questions that I include in my slides. They encourage students to participate (even the shy ones), they give the teacher immediate feedback about students’ knowledge, and are a great ice-breaker for generating interesting discussions. Of course, clickers are also fun. Most students love this active learning technology (statistically speaking, around 90% love it and 10% don’t). Clicker technology has greatly evolved since 2002. Back then, my students would watch me (in astonishment) climbing on chairs before class to … Continue reading Active learning: going mobile in India

Consumer surplus in eBay

A paper that we wrote on “Consumer surplus in online auctions” was recently accepted to the leading journal Information Systems Research. Reuters interviewed us about the paper (Study shows eBay buyers save billions of dollars), which is of special interest these days due to the change in CEO at eBay. Although the economic implications of the paper are interesting and important, the neat methodology is a highlight in itself. So here’s what we did: Consumer surplus is the difference between what a consumer pays and what s/he was willing to pay for an item. eBay can measure the consumer surplus … Continue reading Consumer surplus in eBay