A continuing FDTL5 HEFCE funded project offering a free consultation service and technical support to tutors wishing to adopt WinEcon.
The aim of this project is to provide economics lecturers with the opportunity to embed the award winning WinEcon software into their individual modules/units.
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Angela Scott, Project Coordinator, Nottingham Business School on 01158488159 or Angela.email@example.com
To support the embedding process, free 1 year licences are available. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Embedding computer-based learning & effective uses of WinEcon & VLEs
This project, which emerged from a user consortium, has trained a peripatetic team to work with lecturers during 2005 and 2006 in their institutions to enable them to customise WinEcon to their particular modules and institutional VLE. By exploiting the power of VLEs and the new Web facility within WinEcon, this team is helping lecturers to customise the resource to fit their modules (rather than the other way around) in a fraction of the time it would normally take unfamiliar lecturers. An expert team member will visit any participating HEFCE institution, and work directly with module leaders, in order to embed WinEcon in their teaching. The project is already proving particularly useful in supporting students entering programmes with diverse backgrounds in Economics and second level education more generally.
Project Leader: Cillian Ryan, Birmingham University
The WinEcon software
The award winning WinEcon software, to date the most successful TLTP funded project, is a ‘not for profit’ economics teaching and learning package. Used in many UK universities, all profits from sales are re-invested to maintain and develop the software. However, institutional network licence prices are kept competitively low and the student software is heavily subsidised.
In 2005, as a direct result of feedback from users via the University of Birmingham’s FDTL5 project and following a number of meetings with their team, the WinEcon Consortium undertook the most extensive program of technical development since WinEcon was first written. The result is WinEcon 7 published in 2006 - a web-enabled, customisable version including 10 expertly authored courses.
Introduction to WinEcon
Each comprehensive course is divided into chapters and sections, comprising manageable sized topics, to match a taught course or market leading text book. A flexible navigation system allows entry at any chapter, section or individual topic in a variety of ways; you can use WinEcon's own contents page, the web-based course contents listings or hyperlinks to WinEcon from your web based course notes or VLE.
Comprising over 100 hours of interactive tutorial material supported by a virtual tutor, the 900+ expertly authored tutorials include theory and graphic enhanced, interactive exercises bringing the theory to life. Students can see how their changes affect graphs and models, while immediate feedback questions test their understanding as they progress through the tutorial. Links to additional and more advanced information and exercises tailor the learning to suit an individual's own strengths and weaknesses. And the easy to use navigation gives complete control of the pace and style of learning in a fully-supported environment.
WinEcon's flexibility enables it to be used in many different teaching and learning environments, either as comprehensive standalone courses or integrated into a taught course or VLEs such as Blackboard or WebCT. Specific chapters, sections or individual tutorials can be added to web pages, Word documents, PowerPoint presentations or any document or application that allows hyperlinks. Plus customisation features allow lecturers to adapt the software to meet their own course requirements with their institution's look and feel where preferred.
The software is available as a download for PC based use, and for installation on a network for an unlimited number of users including free online technical support, free updates and free online teaching support. Various licences are available with multi-course licences offering substantial discounts. Heavily subsidised PC licences are available for HE students or institutions may purchase a NetworkPlus licence adding PC installation to their network licence for as little as £3 per student.
The award winning, web-enabled WinEcon software offers:
WinEcon is Web-enabled. Links from any Web page, Word, PowerPoint, Excel document or, in fact, any document that allows hyperlinks can easily be made to specific WinEcon topics. To integrate WinEcon into your Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) course you simply have to add links to your VLE course, or to any document in your course, that will take your students direct to a specific chapter, section or topic in WinEcon. That's it! It really is very easy.
WinEcon is not, however, on the Web itself. The linking does not require browser plug-ins, applets or scripts and is achieved through a highly secure method that avoids the hacking risks associated with these technologies. WinEcon is a normal Windows application. For a large, interactive graphical application like WinEcon this combination of a native Windows application and Web VLE delivers all the speed advantages of native applications whilst maintaining the flexibility and convenience of Web hyperlinking.
As with any normal Windows application, WinEcon must be installed on the local area network (LAN) or student's own PC. Students can then jump to specific WinEcon screens quickly and easily from their lecturer's Web pages. Institutional licences to allow network and PC installation are avialble or students can buy their own PC software which is heavily subsidised for HE students.