This paper reviews the various ways in which computers are currently used in teaching economics at undergraduate level, and more generally by professional economists. It attempts to identify those key skills which an economics student would be expected to have on graduation. We suggest there may be benefits to the profession in establishing some kind of consensus on what should be included on this list of key skills, although it would have to be recognised that such a list must be expressed in terms of generic types of tools used to complete certain types of tasks rather than relating to specific software tools. Such a list may also be divided between basic skills which one would expect all students to have and those which relate to specific areas of study. It would need to be kept under constant review to keep up with hardware and software innovations. The paper also comments on how such skills might best be taught and considers how competence in their application can be confirmed and assessed. We argue that although students should be able to demonstrate their ability to use the various tools in the completion of integrative economics subject based tasks (such as mini projects, reports or presentations), there may also be benefits of first checking that they can demonstrate specific skills in a more controlled environment. We describe the approach which we have developed at Portsmouth, which we call the "driving test".
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Computers in Higher Education Economics Reviews (Virtual edition)|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 1998|