Economics and Finance


A Multimedia Database Approach to Teaching Financial and Credit Management - A to Z

Emily Norman Zietz

This project will be designed to assist principles level finance students, both business majors and non-majors or minors, in understanding financial information and analyzing a decision or a portfolio. 


An Integrated Instructional Tool for Understanding the Time Value of Money

Emily Norman

Zietz will develop an instructional module that will contain links to various websites and spreadsheet files that illustrate useful applications of the time value of money. The module will include PowerPoint, WordPerfect and Excel component.

The objective of this project is to create a comprehensive and yet sufficiently basic instructional model to assist in teaching the time value of money. Since I teach this topic every semester to various finance and insurance classes that include both business majors as well as non-business majors, I have desired a teaching model that would carry the student from the basics of present value and future value through to more sophisticated everyday applications of the compounding and discounting processes. The focus of this model which is now in PowerPoint provides instruction in the following areas

  • Explanation of why money has a time value
  • Sample tables of present and future value factors help students understand the computations used to derive these factors
  • Examples of how to use a calculator (HP I 10B) to compute present and future values along with caveats and troubleshooting suggestions for problems often encountered
  • Basic loan calculations including amortization of mortgage


Flow of Funds Accounting in an Integrated Learning Environment

Joachim Zietz

Zietz will make a fundamental building block of macroeconomics, the flow of funds accounting, more accessible and, hence, more meaningful to students. This will help students to more easily absorb and retain the macroeconomic analysis that builds on these fundamental relationships. Zietz will prepare a web-based teaching/learning module that will be integrated with dynamic spreadsheet applications. All material will be built into an Adobe Acrobat 4.0 file for portability across different computers.

The objective of this project was to present the fundamentals of flow of funds accounting in a format that lends itself to uncomplicated presentation in the classroom or to self-paced learning by students.

The result of this project is an Adobe Acrobat file consisting of about 30 single-spaced pages and two ancillary Excel spreadsheet files. The material covers the following: the basic structure of the flow of funds accounts in equation and table format a generic flow of funds table in a spreadsheet environment

instructions on how to fill in a blank flow of funds table a spreadsheet flow of funds table with real world data that serves as a case study <p>- an explanation of some of the problems that arise in filling out the table for the case study an overview of two simple macroeconomic models that rely heavily on flow of funds concepts.

Throughout the Acrobat file, links are built in to move the reader quickly back to tables or equations provided other places in the document. Other links in the Acrobat file allow the reader (user) to launch Excel spreadsheets to examine and/or work with the flow of funds data described in the Acrobat file while always having the option to come back to the Acrobat file with just one click of the mouse. Finally, the Acrobat file contains numerous live links to web sites that illustrate flow of funds data for the U.S., describe the use of flow of funds data in country growth models of the World Bank, and other similar links that are appropriate for the topic and provide the student insight into the use of flow of funds concepts and data in macroeconomics.

The material will be made available to students of Econ 351, Econ 611, and Econ 711. The files will be added to the other downloadable course material that is available to students from the respective course web sites on FRANK.

What makes the Acrobat file format very useful in practice is its portability. As tested in various classrooms of the business building, it will work as described without complications as long as the internet connection is working, the program Excel is installed, and the Acrobat file along with the two ancillary spreadsheet files are in one and the same directory. This directory can be a diskette that the instructor brings to class, it can be the instructor's office computer (assuming file sharing is enabled on that computer), it can be the S-drive at the business lab, or any other directory anywhere that is accessible.


Teaching Technology Enhancements for Economics and Finance Courses

Al DePrince

DePrince developed a web site to identify all relevant sources of economic, financial, and regulatory information, both domestic and international for students in both undergraduate and graduate courses in economics and finance.

Dr. Albert Prince was awarded an Instructional Technologies Development Grant for the spring of 1998. This grant allowed him to create a teaching and service oriented web page for students and faculty.

This site provides: Extensive links to Financial Information, organized by subfields and subject matter. Professional Resources. Career Information, including professional associations.


Computer Enhanced Instruction of Insurance and Risk Management

Emily Norman

Through the development of PowerPoint multimedia presentations, Zietz focused on four important insurance topics that were only marginally covered in the insurance texts available for the class Insurance and Risk Management. The project entailed incorporating Internet links as well as graphical and spreadsheet access into lectures.

The Summer 1998 grant project for which I received funding, was a project which I had wanted to do for some time. Through the use of Powerpoint multimedia presentations, the project will be most useful in teaching insurance topics: LTC Insurance, Banks and Insurance, Auto and Tort Reform, and Health Care Issues, which are topics that are not covered sufficiently in our Insurance and Risk Management text.

The PowerPoint lectures and links will be put into Adobe acrobat and set up at the end of this semester for use in the Spring semester.

The project was very rewarding for me and turned out to be more ambitious and time-consuming than I had anticipated. Thanks to support received from the Information Technology Development Committee, I was able to devote time on the research that would have not otherwise been available.


The Basics of Money and Growth in an Integrated Instruction Environment

Joachim Zietz

Zietz will be using Adobe Acrobat 3.0 to make course material on Money and Growth more accessible to students through the development of two separate Web-based teaching modules. The modules will be usable in the classroom and as self-guided annotated lecture notes outside of class for self-study by students.

The purpose of the proposed project was to develop a teaching module each for two key parts of macroeconomic theory, money and growth. <p>Two separate modules have been developed in Adobe Acrobat. Each one consists of descriptive material that is supplemented and annotated (i) with hand-drawn figures that are scanned in, (ii) with hot-links to spreadsheet example calculations, (iii) with data links to selected internet sites, and (iv) with articles and other up-to-date information on the internet that enhance the students' feeling of learning something that is relevant and current.

The module on money goes beyond what was suggested in the grant proposal. The module does not stop with interest rate effects but also looks at the impact on exchange rates and the real economy. Although the money module is more complete than anticipated, this has not taken time away from treating the growth module with equal care. There are some differences between the two modules: the money module has more written material, more links to figures and spreadsheets but fewer Web links than the growth module.

In contrast to the grant proposal, no effort has been made so far to make the material available on my Web site. At the moment, the material is strictly limited to the class-room lecture environment. The problem posed by making it available on the Web is that many links depend on the particular file structure of the computer on which they were developed. There has not been enough time to think about how one can move to more "universally valid" links. This problem is made worse because none of the computers in the lecture halls has a full version of Adobe Acrobat. They only have the Acrobat Reader. All editing has to be done guessing at the f~le structure on the machines on which the files are ultimately used.

As far as effectiveness, there is little that one can say without having tested the material in a classroom. This will happen in the Fall semester, in at least two different classes, an intermediate macroeconomics class, and a beginning graduate class. From my own use of the material, 1 find it very helpful to have Web links, spreadsheets, and other relevant material only a click away. This certainly makes it much more likely that one uses more than one program during the lecture. 


Internet Data Sourcing Created Web sites for Fin 321 Money and Banking and Fin 436 Management of Financial Institutions.

William F. Ford

The sites contain course syllabi, readings, data sources, and references. In-class presentation materials were revised to take advantage of the Internet connection in the new Business/Aerospace building. WEB Page: We have completed about two-thirds of the work on the Weatherford Chair of Finance web page and plan to have it on line this summer. Internet Data Sourcing: It turns out that my colleague, Duane Graddy, has already created a rich assortment of data links, on his web page, which cover essentially all the sources I want to make available to my students. Therefore, I plan to link our web page into his to give both of our students access to the data. However, after investigating the idea of bringing internet data down directly into the classroom, on an on-line basis, I have learned that this is not practical at the present time due to delays in getting through to most of the data sources. Therefore, I am just going to use overheads containing updated information from the internet when we get into our new building.


Intercultural Communication and Understanding for the 21st Century

Management and Marketing
Jacqueline A. Gilbert

Gilbert developed presentations for International Human Resource Management using Multimedia Toolbook. Presentations such as these are ideally suited for Master Classroom use.

During the Fall 1997 Semester, I worked on developing a multimedia toolbook application, and I successfully uploaded my first web page. The web page, combined with listserve, has helped me to more efficiently reach students and organize my courses. The toolbook application will be loaded onto my webpage this semester; it will contain audio in several languages, intercultural quizzes, and digitized video.