It’s not just our web site that’s been given a complete redesign. For September 2015 we have rewritten and redesigned the first 10 units of our ebook, based on feedback from academics, teachers and students. You can now access our new beta in two clicks – but what will you find?
In April we asked you to tell us what you would change in the February 2015 beta. We received hundreds of responses, and acted on as many of the suggestions as we could. The rewritten units have the same spirit: motivated by the questions raised by real-world events, incorporating recent insights in social sciences, and designed to be interactive.
But there are also many entirely new sections, figures and models, and improvements which make the material in the February beta easier to understand and teach. The best way to find out what’s new is to explore the ebook, which is now embedded on CORE’s redesigned web site.
You can now access all our ebook’s multimedia content inline: embedded on the page you will find new videos (a discussion of the value of data in Unit 1 for example, featuring interviews with James Heckman and Thomas Piketty) and clickable interactive figures to make models clearer and easier to learn.
All of this makes our ebook something that you use, not just something that you read. We think it makes learning more fun, and even the most complex concepts become easier to understand.
We have introduced a series of boxouts called How economists learn from facts, which shows how research has helped to understand the most important problems in economics. We also have a new set of definition boxes for important concepts, and have added new names to our series of Great economists, including Elinor Ostrom and Herb Simon.
Students told us that they wanted more, and better, revision aids. So we have rewritten and expanded the multiple choice quizzes we provide. At the end of each unit we now provide links to the most important definitions and concepts. We have improved the Key points section, which you can now access as an interactive slideshow.
Teachers also have new support material that goes beyond the ebook, featuring access to data and figures. In the future we will add lecture guides and extra multiple choice quizzes, so that it is easier for teachers to prepare lectures and test students.
There are literally hundreds of new links to supporting content: references contain hyperlinks to original research where possible, so students can click through to the source material. Popups take you to relevant videos, blogs, news articles and podcasts. We’ve also improved and expanded our glossary: just click on the highlighted word to see a definition.
We have already started rewriting units 11 to 19, with the same improvements. We will constantly be adding more support for students and teachers, and remember you can read our ebook offline using our mobile app for iOS or Android. So check back often, and let us know what you think.