Students were asked to fill out questionnaires both before and after the GeoDa unit. Results from the final student assessment were positive.
After participating in the module, students indicated that analyzing data by geographic region is important to break down information into smaller pieces and for comparative purposes. The module helped students to see the data, visualize relationships, and understand data more clearly, particularly details about why, how, where and what the data represents.
Students must complete a final project in Econ 202 using a statistical software program, SAS to examine the ISGMNY survey. Topics included characteristics of divorced parents, differences in socioeconomic status by racial or ethnic group, the relationship between education and earnings, and many others.
This term topics also included a geographic component, where several students included county, or borough of birth, in their analysis. One student analyzed differences between the Bronx and the other four boroughs of New York and another student analyzed differences in socioeconomic status by borough. Students were more creative working with the data and more students chose questions that contained a spatial component than previous students.
Workshop materials were created for a week-long unit to help students incorporate spatial data into statistical learning in economics. This workshop consists of a short lecture and two labs to use in class and can easily be adapted for other courses. Professor Ramey will be trying out the unit in her Econ 202 classes this spring.