You all know that in MobLab graphs are available immediately after game play. But, how much have you thought about how to present the information those graphs contain? In this blog post I argue that presenting information sequentially is a good way to talk students through theory and data. Let me show you what I mean with a quick example from the Competitive Market game.
When you click the “Results” button you see a graph with all lines present. However, you can use the legend below the graphs to add and subtract pieces of information as shown below. This is the crux of this blog post.
Let’s start with the Competitive Market Game:
- Using the checkboxes in the legends for these two graphs, hide all of the lines.
- Reveal the market demand curve. Ask students what it represents and ask them to provide reasons why it slopes downward.
- Reveal the market supply curve. Ask students what it represents and ask them to provide reasons why it slopes upward.
- Reveal the equilibrium price line. Ask students to explain why it is an equilibrium. If students simply give a textbook response probe them about the game. Often buyers start out submitting stingy bids and sellers hold out for high prices. Across time sellers must undercut each other to find willing buyers. Buyers must bid up each other to find willing sellers.
- Is the equilibrium price-quantity pair a good prediction?
- Reveal the transaction markers.
This sequential presentation of the data helps review content and walks students to the prediction. Then showcasing the data emphasizes economics as an empirical science.