One Reason Our National Economic Policy Stinks

<a href=""><img class="wp-image-2757 alignleft" src="" alt="Macroeconomics" width="276" height="276" /></a>Every year I attend a major economics conference to geek out with and learn from a significant collection of global economists. While just breathing the air at such an event can be inspiring, talking to people often leads to sheer terror about the future of our national and global economy. Last year’s event was no exception. At one of the many receptions I attended, I was nibbling hors d'oeuvres & sipping a glass of wine surrounded at the table by young professionals. About half worked for government agencies and the other half were PhD Students. One of the PhD students, we’ll call him Frank, was getting ready to graduate from a prestigious university in a few months with a degree in Macroeconomics and Econometrics and move to a job at the Federal Reserve. Frank fancied himself an expert on inflation targets and monetary

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Online Learning, Only Better

<h2><a href=""><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-2079" title="ID-10058190" src="" alt="" width="300" height="199" /></a>Improving the Online Learning Experience for Students</h2> By Holly A. Bell (Note: This article was originally published in <em>The Chronicle of Higher Education </em>on 1 October 2012) I truly believe that most of my full-time, tenure-track colleagues would rather quit their jobs than teach an online course. And that's a shame, since they are exactly the people who should be helping to set standards for meaningful online education. My colleagues' concerns about the quality of online education could largely be overcome if more such courses were taught by talented and experienced professors known for excellence in face-to-face delivery. Some of the best learning experiences are student-centered, not faculty-centered. I realize that this requires us to let go of the idea that the three hours of weekly lectures we deliver in face-to-face courses add significant value to student learning. We need to get over ourselves. We

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When Did Collaboration Become Cheating?

<h2><strong><a href=""><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-1967" title="ID-10056573" src="" alt="" width="300" height="196" /></a> We Need to Teach Collaboration for an Office-Less World</strong></h2> By Holly A. Bell <h3><strong>Cheating vs. Collaboration</strong></h3> Earlier this month we heard about a cheating scandal at Harvard University in which students worked together on a take-home exam they were expected to complete independently. As a professor I have a couple of concerns with this. First, while I understand the honor code (although ironically the exam was in an “Introduction to Congress” course), I wouldn’t give my students a take-home exam and not expect them to work together. Why not give an in-class open book, open note, open computer exam if independent work is required? Sarah Green articulated my second concern very well in an article for <em>The Harvard Business Review</em>, entitled “<a href="">Cheating at Harvard, and in the ‘Real World</a>’”. In the ‘real world’ of work, no one operates in a vacuum. We

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4 Challenges of ‘Teaching’ Business Ethics

<h2 align="center"><strong><a href=""><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-1733" title="ID-10068675" src="" alt="" width="198" height="300" /></a>'Teaching' Ethics is Not as Easy as it Seems<br /> </strong></h2> <p>By Holly A. Bell</p> <p>The perpetual drone of news stories describing corporate scandals has lead to criticisms that business schools aren’t doing enough to teach ethics. This criticism is not surprising when you look at the self-interested microeconomic decision-making models we teach based on the rational choice tautology of marginal costs and marginal benefits. Yet, ultimately business is not physics. It cannot be explained with mechanical-mathematical models alone. Business is a social science that includes the values/ethics of individuals in the decision-making process and the actions businesses take. To teach ethics we have to know how these individual values are formed. However, reviewing the theories of value formation leads to one significant concern for those who wish to include ethics education in the business curriculum: Can ethics be ‘taught’ or only

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Faculty: Anarchists Sharing A Parking Lot

<h2><a href=""><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-1551" title="ID-10045929" src="" alt="" width="300" height="199" /></a>Faculty are great at educating students--just keep them out of meetings.</h2> I still view higher education with a bit of an outsider’s lens as I spent the first 20+ years of my career in the “real world” of business. I’ve found higher ed. requires a sense of humor. Moving from a corporation to a university goes beyond a simple transition from the private sector to the public sector; it’s more like leaving the planet. As an outsider I suppose I was rather idealistic about working in higher education. I had visions of a highly collaborative environment where everyone had deep thoughts, shared ideas, and the women were liberated and smoked pipes. I’ve found it to be more like a cross between an Attention Deficit Disorder support group, British Parliament, and an independence movement—all with the goal of educating students. And I love

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Warning: Your Education Might Be Making You Awkward

<a href=""><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-1485" title="1138864_48957166" src="" alt="education"width="300" height="225" /></a>I’m convinced the primary goal universities have for Doctoral students is to make them even more socially awkward than they were when they showed up. I realized this at a party the other day when I noticed I wasn’t talking to people as much as I was observing them. I used to be interesting, now I’m just weird. This <b>education</b>-induced awkwardness doesn’t start in graduate school. Remember your elementary school days? I’ll bet you were a happy, outgoing kid with a lot of friends, right? Remember High School? How did those years work out for you socially? See what I mean. More <i>education</i> equals more social awkwardness and it doesn’t stop at high school. OK, so just because there appears to be a correlation, it doesn’t imply cause and effect. But really, what else could explain my need to observe patterns associated with

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WSJ: Which College Majors Pay Best?

<h3>By Phil Izzo</h3> We know that a <a rel="nofollow" href=""><b>college</b> diploma boosts earnings</a>, but a student’s choice of major also plays a big part. <div><dl><dt><img src="" alt="college"width="262" height="174" /></dt><dd>Getty Images</dd></dl></div> The gap wages rates between electrical-engineering and general-education majors is nearly as large as the difference between <i>college</i> graduates and high school graduates, according to a <a rel="nofollow" href="">wide-ranging study</a> by <strong>Joseph G. Altonji</strong>, <strong>Erica Blom</strong> and <strong>Costas Meghir</strong> of <strong>Yale University</strong>. <a rel="nofollow" href="">To read the full WSJ article, click here</a> <a href="">Return to The Tolling Bell homepage</a>

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Determining ‘Value’ in Higher Education

<a href=""><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-803" title="55973z0nf14698b" src="" alt="education"width="200" height="300" /></a>By Holly A. Bell Last week <a rel="nofollow" href="" target="_blank">The Princeton Review</a> released their annual list of “<a rel="nofollow" href="" target="_blank">Best Value Colleges</a>”. While the Princeton Review makes their selections based on a formula that includes academics, cost of attendance, and gift aid, it does make you wonder about the definition of “best value”. Many of the colleges and universities on the list have rather high price tags. While some of the usual expensive schools were on the list including <a rel="nofollow" href="" target="_blank">Yale</a>, <a rel="nofollow" href="" target="_blank">Vassar</a>, and <a rel="nofollow" href="" target="_blank">Reed</a>, the top three included <a rel="nofollow" href="" target="_blank">Bates</a>, <a rel="nofollow" href="" target="_blank">Colby</a>, and <a rel="nofollow" href="" target="_blank">Middlebury</a> Colleges. Granted, they make up for their high tuitions with significant student grants, but what if they didn’t? Would they still be a value? How do students measure value in their educations? <h2>How

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The Gold Standard of Posts

<a href=""><img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-120" title="66835yotz4mn9w8" src="" alt="gold"width="300" height="282" /></a>A few thoughts on my week, hope for the future, the <i>gold</i> standard, and an update on private jets. By Holly A. Bell <strong>My Week</strong> had a record number of visitors Monday and Tuesday of this week, but considerably fewer comments than usual. I’m not sure what to make of this, but I’ll try not to take it personally. Perhaps people were forwarding the link to others under the subject “Can you believe this idiot!” and then having a good chuckle. Or maybe not. <h2><strong>Hope For The Future</strong></h2> This was the first week of classes at the university that employs me. You will be relieved to know that I still have hope for our future. I look out and see many bright and motivated students. We (like the generations before us) are quick to believe the next generation is hopeless, will never pull up their

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