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HNU College of Economics explores innovative micro-lessons

Updated: 2020-05-20

The College of Economics of Hainan University (HNU) has been exploring the use of online micro-lessons in microeconomics and macroeconomics classes since 2015, which has achieved remarkable achievements.

Each micro-lesson, which normally focuses on one knowledge point, lasts five to 12 minutes. The concise content allows students to stay concentrated in the learning process and study in fragmented times.

Not only can students preview the knowledge points and interact with teachers in class with questions, but also review things that they are unclear about after class, said Yu Shengguo, deputy dean of the College of Economics.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, online classes became the main method of teaching, which made the concept of micro-lessons well received by more people. However, the use of this new teaching method also posed challenges to teachers' teaching skills.

To arouse students' interests, Yu has integrated his scientific research projects and pressing societal issues into his teaching, encouraging students to take part in discussion. For example, he brought in the theoretical analysis of product demand elasticity and enterprise revenue into microeconomic classes when some agricultural products in Hainan province were able to sell out, as well as added the new concepts of "supply-side structural reform," "New Normal," and "Hainan Free Trade Port" into macroeconomics teachings.

Student Guo Saiping said that she once saw a senior schoolmate selling melons for farmers in WeChat Moments. Soon after, the teacher used this as a case in the micro-lesson to explain the theory of elasticity, and they conducted in-depth discussion in class, which was very interesting.

Last year, the college compared the grades of students that took micro-lessons with those of students that took traditional lessons and found that the former had made more prominent progress.