Matthew Holian

Matthew Holian
Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Economics
Contact
Phone: (408) 924-5406Email: matthew.holian@sjsu.edu

Course:

ECON 2B

Course Material:

  • Random-draw, multiple choice quizzes, implemented through D2L
  • Textbook chapters available in PDF format
  • Clickable-HTML version of the textbook that is also integrated with the online quizzes

Cost of Material: Free

Comments:
This course works by integrating Flat World Knowledge content with our Learning Management System (D2L), and a web page hosted on the SJSU server. There are about 30 students per semester in Econ 2B (and Econ 2A). Before, we were having them spend about $40 to a company called Aplia, which administered basically the same type of quizzes to the students. So, I think I am saving students in my class $1,200 per semester. Between both Econ 2A and Econ 2B, our department is saving students about $4,800 per year.

Course:

MBA Program

Course Material:

  • Online primer for the MBA program
  • Free PDF versions of economics and statistics principles books
  • Similar setup as for ECON 2B, but tailored for MBA students

Cost of Material: Free

Comments:
This saves the students about $50-100. I guess around 10 or 20 students need the primer each year, so we might estimate the savings at around $2,000 per year.

Course:

ECON 1A/1B

Course Material:

  • Random-draw, multiple choice quizzes, implemented through D2L
  • Textbook and LMS content published by Worth

Cost of Material: Free for online labs, market rate for textbook

Comments:
Students buy the textbook, but then get free online labs.  Before the integration of the LMS into the course, I was assigning a textbook and online lab bundle from Aplia.  I suppose the savings is about $30 per student, but actually the quality is higher now, for two reasons.  First, students have a hard copy of the book, whereas with Aplia, most students choose the eBook option, and the D2L Dropbox feature facilitates assigning more sophisticated assignments than was possible through Aplia.  So for around 80 students, the total savings is $2,400, with no reduction in quality.

Course:

ECON 108/205A

Course Material:

  • SJPL and the SJSU Library have eBook versions of the main texts for 108
  • For 205A, SJSU has an ebook for one main text, and students buy the other

Cost of Material: Free for 108; about $100 for 205A

Comments:
For 205A students must buy one, fairly expensive textbook, but I think it is worth it, especially because the publisher provides excellent supplemental content.  In Econ 108 the savings is about $100 / student, and in 205A the savings is about $40 per student. There are say 30 students in each class. Total savings of $4,200 for the two classes.

Course:

ECON 121

Course Material:

  • eBook version of the main text

Cost of Material: Free

Comments:

Students can get by without buying anything.  The main text costs about $60 new, and so students are saving about $30 (because they could sell the book back if they bought it.)  There are about 30 students in the class. Total savings of $900.


If I think about the total amount of money I’m saving students across all the courses I teach, I suppose it is at least $10,000 per year, and this figure would be larger if we considered the positive externalities my ALS activity has generated in our department.