CORE’s progress in 2015

Thu 31st December 2015 | Blog

As we begin our work in 2016, we wanted to briefly look back on we have managed to do in the past 12 months. We are very grateful for the funding for CORE provided by INET, Friends Provident Foundation, Azim Premji University, Sciences Po, and UCL: without them we would not have been able to do any of this. And for all of you who contributed this year, we want to thank you for your work: almost all of the CORE community is unpaid, and we couldn’t manage without you. The generosity of our funders and volunteers mean that CORE remains free to access.

So what have we achieved?

Key points exampleThe CORE course

  • Our new pilot users in 2015 included: Birkbeck College London, Kings College London, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Middlebury College and UNAM Mexico City.
  • We now have more than 17,000 registered users and more than 500 registered teachers. We redesigned our web pages so that you could get to the course material in two clicks. It now attracts five times as many visitors as it did last year.
  • In March we undertook a review of the entire course. We asked students, teachers, potential adopters and subject experts what they thought of our first beta, including surveys and focus groups.
  • As a result of the review comments and survey results we have so far rewritten and published the first 15 units, including the Leibniz supplements, multiple choice questions and other support material.
  • If you’ve been using our course this year, you’ll know that we have made it more interactive: slidelines, quizzes, slideshows and hyperlinks to further reading, videos and audio mean that students learn by doing, in contrast to traditional textbooks.
  • Also on our web site, registered users can now easily find a growing bank of support material and downloads, written for both students and teachers.

teaching 2015Teaching and learning

  • We established our Teaching and Learning Committee (TLC). The TLC oversees production of the quizzes, and the discuss and data questions in the units. New teaching material includes additional MCQs for use in exams, outline answers, games and experiments for classroom and online use, PowerPoint slides, all our datasets, and interactive diagrams for use in lectures.
  • We want to help adapt new economic thinking and teaching to regional problems and questions, and so internationalising CORE is a priority. In December 2015 CORE and the International Economic Association (IEA) shared a workshop at Lahore University of Management Sciences, to introduce CORE to universities across Pakistan. CORE was introduced at LUMS in autumn 2015, led by Ali Cheema and Faisal Bari.
  • We also have an active south Asian working group, helping to adapt CORE teaching to local needs, led by Arjun Jayadev.
  • In Europe, CORE has been taught in French and Italian translation thanks to teams lead by Yann Algan (Sciences Po, Paris) and Massimo D’Antoni (University of Siena).
  • In December we created CORE Labs, an online development community to allow teachers to share and rate each other’s materials. We’ll be launching it in early 2016.

Spreading the word

Check our we page for media coverage this year (which has included pieces in the The Economist, The FT, The Times of India and Frankfurter Allgemeine).

  • We try to attend as many public talks and panels as possible. In 2015 CORE has been represented by (among others) Yann Algan, Sam Bowles, Antonio Cabrales, Parama Choudhury, Diane Coyle, Alvin Birdi, Rajiv Sethi, Margaret Stevens, Christian Spielmann, Andrew Sykes and Alex Teytelboym.
  • That means we have given presentations at Cambridge University, The Bank of England, the ESHET conference in Rome, INET’s Conference at the OECD in Paris, University of Siena, Berlin, EUI (Florence), Australian Conference of Economics in Brisbane, Kings College London, ERC (London), Keene State University (US), Japanese Society for Political Economy, Tokyo, Boston ARC and the Spanish Conference of Economics, in Girona.
  • In December Wendy Carlin was asked to give a lecture as part of the Ralph Miliband programme at the LSE, entitled What Should we Study When we Study Economics?, which you can listen to here.
  • Almost 900 of you have signed up to receive our blog updates by email.

What’s coming in 2016?

We can’t tell you everything that we plan to do in 2016, but here are some highlights:

  • The revised Unit 16 will follow at the beginning of January, revised Units 17 to 19 will be published soon afterwards and, in the first half of half of 2016 there will be two entirely new units, on innovation and political economy.
  • On January 28 we will hold the first of our 2016 workshops on teaching CORE at the University of West of England, Bristol.
  • We are currently planning other teaching workshops at the University of Sheffield, University of Glasgow and the College de France. Please let us know if you would like to organise a workshop with us, or would like to attend these events.
  • In early 2016 we will hold a workshop at the Santa Fe Institute on publishing, creating a sustainable business model for CORE, and our new projects.
  • There will be a new series of our popular Economist in Action videos funded by ERC and Sciences Po featuring Alvin Roth, Anat Admati, John Van Reenen, Arin Dube, Barry Eichengreen, Esther Duflo and Olivier Blanchard.
  • In December 2016 in Bangalore our South Asian Working Group will review its local adaptations for all units, and its plans for Hindi and Urdu translations.

Best wishes from @coreeconteam for 2016! We hope you will continue to work with us. Together we can create a better way to teach economics.