Friday, December 6, 2013

Course Review

I enjoyed learning the material in this course.  While some of the material was not directly applicable to my life, such as transfer pricing, the topics were still interesting and new to me.  It was interesting to think about the scenario with the case of an upstream and downstream division of an organization, in which one division could make a profit and one could make a loss.  I always imagined that an organization in general cooperated in the best interest of all divisions, but learning about this topic has made me believe otherwise.
Another topic I really liked was on the idea of gifts and expectations.  While it seems obvious now that there is an obligation associated with receiving a gift, I had never really thought about the concept of gifts.  

I really liked how this class was structured.  I liked how the class was discussion oriented.  While I never talked, when I was at class I felt more engaged in the topics being discussed as it was not just one person talking the whole time and this allowed me to absorb more information.  Furthermore, I was pretty happy with the online blogging.  In a few of my other classes I've done online blogging, so it was not too much of a burden.  The feedback you provided was not only enjoyable, but helped me get on the right path with a few of the concepts.  Of course I also enjoyed the feedback of Carl Shapiro.  Ultimately, I probably spent around an hour per blog formulating my thoughts and getting them down, so it was not such a painful task and overall it was enjoyable.  

The Excel homework was also not too difficult.  They also did not take too long to complete and the videos were often not needed to complete the assignment.  However, i'd often complete the homework too fast and end up not fully grasping the material, so the videos were a good supplement to understanding the topics.  

Ultimately, the teaching structure was great, but I had difficulties with the midterm exams.  Often the topics on the midterm exams were quite specific and you would always make some critical changes from the previous year's midterm exam.  On the first midterm I was not expecting one of the questions and was completely unprepared and was screwed as it was weighted so heavily.  Also if I was unable to think through some of these modifications to the questions I would often miss multiple parts as understanding one part was imperative to understanding the next.  Although I know spoon feeding all of the answers is not ideal either, perhaps providing more opportunities to practice some of these application problems was necessary.  Overall, I enjoyed this course and if not anything else I picked up the word shirking to add to my arsenal of vocabulary. Thanks for instructing this course!


  1. Given that you write so well, I too was surprised by your exam performance. It's one of those things where the blogging gives me one sense of you understanding and the tests another. I'm not entirely sure what to make of it, but I will say I don't see the exams as being that reliable except for identifying outliers. Since you mentioned Carl Shapiro, he did show up well on the exams.

    Perhaps in responding to this you could say more about why you listened but didn't chime in on the class discussion. I'm aware that this semester international and Asian-American students tended to remain quiet in class. I've not seen that before and I wonder what explains it. In your case in particular, since I enjoy reading your posts, I'd also value your face to face contribution.

    We will talk about the gift exchange model more on Tuesday. It is my favorite among what we discussed and I want to use it as a way to frame how the class might improve.

  2. I can not really speak for others who did not talk in class, but I think the absence of talking on my part is more personality driven. I barely talk in most of my classes unless I feel I have something important or exigent to contribute. I should probably still talk more in general, but that is just the way I am.

  3. I enjoyed reading your blog, it was useful to see the topics from different perspectives. I agree that it would be helpful to get a better feel on how the test questions were going to be asked, because, especially for the first test, I wasn't really prepared for them.