Professor Oskar Harmon and Robert Szarka (Visiting Assistant Professor, SUNY Oneonta) co-authored the article “Using Google Drawings to Create Homework Exercises” that appears as the lead article in issue number 2 (2018) of the Journal of Economics Teaching.
The article shows how Google Drive’s Drawings tool can be used to create homework exercises suitable for both online and face-to-face classes. This approach allows students to create graphs actively “from scratch,” similar to the traditional pencil-and-paper approach, with a minimal investment of time and money. This could be a useful active-learning tool for online, blended, and traditional courses. The tools presented in the article have been adapted by the publisher TopHat in a recently published Principles of Micro/Macro online textbook.
The New York FED is one of five Federal Reserve Banks that host the FED Challenge Competition. The regional winners go to the final round at the FED in Washington D.C. College Fed Challenge is a team competition for undergraduate students. Teams analyze economic and financial conditions and formulate a monetary policy recommendation, modeling the Federal Open Market Committee.
The 5 team participants were:
Front row: Ryan Dodd, Olga Jaramillo; Middle row: Chris McLaughlin (a two time participant), graduate assistants PD Aditya and Gul-e-Rana; Back row: Esteban Peralta, Randall Giles.
The students were assisted in their preparations by Professors Oskar Harmon, Kanda Naknoi and Steven Lanza.
The team received invaluable assistance from three graduate student assistants (PD Aditya , Di Yang, and Gul-e-Rana from the Stamford Business School MBA.
During the UConn Metanoia on Racism November 8. 2017, Professor Oskar Harmon participated in the panel: Taking a Knee, Raising a Fist: Race, Sport, and Politics in Historical Perspective, with Professors Joseph Cooper, Sport Management, and Jeffrey Ogbar, History.
The panel topic was the protest act of taking a knee during the pre-game ceremony of a football game was started in Sept 2016 by NFL player Colin Kaepernick. President Trump’s Tweet: The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this! ignited a national referendum, and in the following weeks, taking a knee became a widespread event at professional football games.
At UConn, Metanoia has become tradition wherein the University community sponsors workshops and panels around an important issue confronting the university, the state, and the nation. This semester the issue for Metanoia Day was racism.
On February 21, 2017 Professor Oskar Harmon provided testimony before the Connecticut State Senate Labor and Public Employees Committee, in opposition to SB 596 – An Act Concerning the Definition of Managerial Employee.
On March 9, 2017 Professor Harmon provided testimony before the Connecticut State Assembly Higher Education Committee in opposition to HB 971 – An Act Concerning the Promotion of Transfer and Articulation Agreements.
At the symposium “Understanding Our Neurodiverse World: Teaching Business and Economics to Students Who Learn Differently,” on Saturday, October 1, 2016, Professor Oskar Harmon gave an invited presentation on Universal Design in Online Instruction.
The keynote speaker was Paul McCulley, former chief economist and managing director at Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO). The other speakers at the day long symposium included Peter Fisher, J.D., senior lecturer at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, and Manju Banerjee, Ph.D., VP of Research and Innovation at Landmark College.
The symposium was sponsored by the Morgan Le Fay Center for Advances in Business, Economics, and Entrepreneurship, Landmark College, Putney, VT.
Congratulations to the undergraduate students from the Stamford and Storrs campuses who took part in the College Fed Challenge this month!
Sponsored by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, the “College Fed Challenge is a team competition for undergraduate students. Teams analyze economic and financial conditions and formulate a monetary policy recommendation, modeling the Federal Open Market Committee.”
The Stamford team (above left) participated in the NY Fed Challenge, competing against forty-one other schools.
The Storrs team (below right) presented at the Boston Fed Challenge, competing against twenty-four other New England schools.
Congratulations to both teams on all of their hard work in this competition!
Dr. Julia Coronado (Advisor)
Professor Oskar Harmon (Advisor)
Professor Steven Lanza (Advisor)
Professor Kanda Naknoi (Advisor)
Professor Owen Svalestad (Advisor)
Professors Oskar Harmon and Owen Svalestad, and Paul Tomolonis (PhD Candidate) participated in the Sixth Annual Conference on Teaching & Research in Economic Education, June 1 – 3, sponsored by the American Economic Association Committee on Economic Education.
Oskar Harmon moderated the panel session “The Experience of Managing a Team in the FED Challenge Competition: Pointers and Pitfalls”, and Owen Svalestad presented “The First Timer Experience”.
Oskar Harmon and Paul Tomolonis presented the paper “Can Social Media be an Effective Tool for Discussion in the Online Classroom?”. The paper makes a comparison between the use of social media and traditional Course Management System (CMS) discussion groups in a fully online (Microeconomic Principles) course. Using the experimental design of a randomized trial, the paper tests the popular hypothesis that students using social media (Facebook discussion group here) have greater engagement with the class and higher learning outcomes relative to students not using that platform for coursework (the CMS control group here) because of the ease of use and student familiarity with social media. Our findings were contrary to this popular hypothesis with lower levels of engagement and learning outcomes for the Facebook groups compared to the CMS discussion groups. We attribute this to the more casual and less formal environment of social media compared to the CMS since students postings were shorter via the social media discussions.
The work of University of Connecticut Professors William Alpert, Kenneth Couch, and Oskar Harmon, entitled “A Randomized Assessment of Online Learning”, appears in the May issue of the American Economic Review. The paper was selected for inclusion in the Papers and Proceedings issue after being submitted in response to a national call for papers on economic education.
The study provides the fourth randomized examination of online versus face-to-face education ever conducted for a semester length college course. In this case, the course studied was microeconomic principles. The study shows that students in a face-to-face course did about half a letter grade better than students in a purely online course developed consistent with best practices for online education. The study finds that there are no meaningful differences in performance when comparing students in a course with a blended versus face-to-face format.
Prof. Harmon was a panelist at an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The panel addressed voter disenfranchisement including current/past court challenges to the Voting Rights Act, and stricter voting requirements, following passage of this landmark legislation.
The panel was moderated by Professor Beth Ginsberg (UConn Political Science). The panelists were US Congressman Jim Hines; Scot X. Esdaile – CT NAACP State Chair; Professor Harmon; Khalilah L. Brown – Dean Quinnipiac University; Rev. Tommie Jackson – Faith Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church; Michael Pollard – Chief of Staff for Stamford Mayor David Martin; Jasmine Pierre – Future 5 of NAACP; and Peggy Reeves – CT Secretary of State Election Affairs.
The event (April 11) was attended by approximately 75 students and community members. It was held in the main concourse of the Stamford Campus. It was organized by the staff of Congressman Jim Hines; Terrence Cheng, Director of the Stamford Campus; Jack Bryant, President NAACP Stamford Chapter; and Professors Ginsberg and Harmon as part of their Spring 2016 Service Learning Courses.