In this section, Professor David Autor shares his multi-pronged strategy for supporting students in mastering the content of 14.03 Microeconomic Theory and Public Policy.
I want students to succeed in 14.03 Microeconomic Theory and Public Policy, so I offer them multiple tools to master the content. The first tool I offer is an online forum where students can post questions about the course. I don’t allow students to email the teaching team with questions about course content because that limits others’ ability to learn from those questions. When students post their questions online (which can be done anonymously), everyone has access to the responses from the teaching team.
Office Hours and Recitations
The second tool I offer is office hours. My teaching assistants also have office hours. This is a time for students to ask in-depth questions and to get direct feedback. Additionally, the teaching assistants offer recitations, during which they help students review for exams and think through problem sets. It’s an essential support system for students.
Materials and Modalities
Finally, I offer materials that support students’ mastery of the subject. I have hundreds of pages of lecture notes that I’ve written, to which students also have access. During the lectures, I try to teach through multiple modalities, representing concepts orally through stories, formally through mathematics, and visually through graphs.