November 15, 2017 Reading Time: 2 minutes

Exciting news! AIER’s innovative work in the experiential-learning field is featured in chapter 4 in a new book — Intuition, Trust, and Analytics — edited by Jay Liebowitz, Joanna Paliszkiewicz and Jerzy Goluchowski. This book just came out on October 31, 2017, from CRC Press.

Chapter 4 is called “The Missing Link: Experiential Learning.” It is a practical guide for implementing a collaborative, experiential-learning exercise. The innovation featured in this chapter comes from AIER’s Applied Economic Research course, which I described in several of my earlier blogs. The essence of the course is the opportunity for AIER to enhance academic instruction through involving students in an ongoing research project.

My coauthor of this chapter and my partner in the research it presents is Lorri A. Halverson, professor of business administration at the University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota. Over several years, we refined the approach of blending academics’ and practitioners’ expertise to enhance economic instruction for students. Through the years, we assessed the outcomes of this collaborative approach and presented the results at various national conferences. The response from the national audience of academics and practitioners was overwhelming. Everyone in the economics profession recognizes the need to prepare students for careers and the workplace, to give students a set of skills that would be useful to them on the first day of their employment. Therefore, everyone wants to know how to implement such a meaningful and impactful program. Due to limited resources, AIER cannot accommodate very large classes for this course. Thus, we decided to create a step-by-step guide for replicating this innovation. The 10-step guide for building new partnerships is presented in the book.

Our vision is to build a network of academic-practitioner collaboratives throughout the country and, with the help of technology, throughout the world. To enact this vision is to scale up in a way that will include potentially many more partners in a single collaboration. I believe that the work of practitioners can be leveraged across several academic institutions and many students.

As I continue laboring toward scaling up this initiative, I realize that E.C. Harwood’s vision for promoting John Dewey’s learning-by-doing approach is permeating this project. Mr. Harwood would be proud of AIER for pioneering this work and disseminating our approach around the world through contributing to this book.


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Natalia Smirnova, PhD

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