Firms, market place composition, value differentiation… in the palms of Mr David Chong and Ms Zeng Wenjie, these kinds of matters are hardly ever dry or tedious. They could even be turned into game titles, escape rooms and comics. The two teachers are recipients of the 2022 Fantastic Economics Trainer Award (OETA). Let’s hear how they make students glimpse forward to their lessons. 

“Mad professor! Operate! Escape!”

It seems like chaos has broken out and anyone requires to search in on Mr David Chong and his classroom at Hwa Chong Establishment.

But it is not what you assume. The Economics lecturer simply arrived up with an escape-home game to make issue-solving enjoyment.

More than at Ms Zeng Wenjie’s classroom at Temasek Junior College or university, there is higher strength much too: Her learners are punching absent at their gadgets to Reply, Like and Comment on responses to the quiz questions that Ms Zeng is posing on-line.

When college students are enthusiastic, they learn better, states the senior teacher, who likes to gamify some of her lessons to make them a lot more interactive. And the students are responding well to these initiatives by her group of Economics educators, going by how TJC receives requests from college students to take Economics at a better amount of H3 as enrichment to H2, exactly where it does not depend in direction of their last quality. These elective modules, which include topics this sort of as ‘Behavioral Economics’ and ‘Firms and Strategies’ provide learners the selection of delving further into their subjects of desire without the whole pounds of the H3 curriculum.

Although optional, these modules are a strike between pupils – sign-ups are typically loaded inside a several times.

Mr Chong and Ms Zeng are recipients of 2022’s Excellent Economics Teacher Award. They share their major a few approaches of increasing pupil interest in Economics and pleasure in the classroom.



#1: Ready, set… Video game On

Influenced by how his college students enthusiastically share appealing activity enjoy from various escape rooms, Mr Chong viewed as that a similar video game with an Economics-themed storyline might interest them.

So he designed his very own virtual Escape Space sport finish with suspenseful new music, wherever college students had to escape the clutches of a mad professor who experienced locked them up. This recreation format, which constitutes a storyline, demands players to uncover the clues to ‘escape’ inside of a specified time.

“The style of the video game took about a 7 days,” he clarifies. “The most tough part was fitting the economics principles into the recreation, and locating and enhancing succinct newspaper article content that would feed into the activity. For case in point, immediately after college students solved a chart corresponding to an economics principle, the quantities on the chart would go into the password for the PDF lock.”

From the shouts of significant anticipation, and loud cheering when they solved a puzzle, Mr Chong understood the video game factor was doing work.

Mr Chong also made a board match to simplify hard subject areas this sort of as industry construction. To steer them absent from memory get the job done towards real-world software, the recreation spots students in the roles of various economic agents, these types of as firms, buyers and producers. In hoping to win in their role, they had been compelled to realize how marketplaces get the job done, “as well as fork out focus to business overall performance (price, profits, gain, performance and so on), for this reason encouraging them greater grasp current market structure concepts”, says Mr Chong.

Did the match generate the sought after results? “Some pupils later approached me to debate about the ‘fairness’ of the match. A hard motion could have yielded them less factors, in comparison to a reasonably less complicated final decision. For instance, they argued that cost discrimination is simpler to introduce and need to be awarded much less credit history if it succeeds as compared to products differentiation,” Mr Chong muses. Value discrimination refers to a strategy where by the same product or service is bought at distinct rates to various potential buyers to improve gross sales and gains. Product or service differentiation, on the other hand, seeks to distinguish a item from a competing product to make it more appealing to a particular goal industry. 

“Their arguments confirmed that they ended up genuinely invested in the recreation.”

#2: Reading comics as research

To intrigue their pupils, Mr Chong and Ms Zeng often integrate atypical factors like cartoons into their lecture notes. For instance, Mr Chong mapped a summary of the ‘A’ Amount syllabus not in diagrams but in comic kind.

He hopes that the storytelling-style form of teaching would be a “refreshing departure from just notes and videos”. 


An illustration by Mr Chong to visually characterize and boost sure crucial Economics principles the college students had acquired.


In an additional instance, Mr Chong likened the crafting of an Economics essay to courtship, substantially to squeals of amusement from his college students. In the pursuit of a marriage, he claims, a single has to get started with a powerful introduction prior to acquiring to know the other party in paces. In essay writing, this is translated into a apparent and concise introduction, adopted by the progress of an argument 1 solitary position at a time.


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Snippets from Mr Chong’s comedian “Can crafting an economics essay be like courtship?” Some comics consider him up to a 7 days to system and execute.


He is grateful that his pupils discover these drawings useful.  “Sometimes, they hold out for me outdoors course and talk to if I’m operating on the following cartoon or comedian. They share that learning becomes extra relatable, and it will help them see the coherence in between principles,” he claims.

Considerably like Mr Chong, Ms Zeng also caters to diverse understanding designs by incorporating fill-in-the-blanks physical exercises to crack down principles. As Economics is often perceived as a difficult and summary topic, she hopes that this may ease students into more tough information.

Ms Zeng points out, “The work out helps students have an understanding of crucial result in-impact relationships. Although this may feel incredibly simple at the JC amount, learners have expressed that it assists to simplify the written content and will help them understand the critical relationships improved.”

She is heartened that her attempts have not been in vain. “One pupil shared that it served to construct her self-confidence in the matter. This pupil experienced been having difficulties to increase in the matter and was also emotion demoralised when she was not looking at final results. Gradually, she realised that she could deal with the material, little bit by little bit, stage by action, even if it might appear tough at initially.”


#3: Like, share and remark

Both of those instructors are also no strangers to
the use of engineering.

Ms Zeng consistently uses digital discovering resources these types of as Padlet to gather responses. It lets her to look at her students’ responses at a glance, and she can give brief and well timed feedback too. 


Nearpod (1)

Making use of digital applications such a Nearpod, college students can sketch their diagrams promptly and quickly on their cell machine, in reaction to Ms Zeng’s question.


Far more pertinently, this type of accumulating responses has encouraged larger participation as her college students have been ordinarily shy in advance of. “They fear on the lookout foolish in entrance of their peers, and wait to share their responses with me when I connect with on them in course.”

On Padlet, learners are not ready to view their classmates’ responses unless of course the teacher shares it publicly. This provides a harmless area for them to key in their solutions. “A tranquil pupil who normally averts eye make contact with and responds with ‘I really don’t know’ she was questioned queries in course is occasionally the initially to answer through Padlet!” she quips. “Students want to take part simply because they can do so without the need of staying judged by their classmates, and they are equipped to obtain feedback from me on their responses.”



An example of the teacher’s interface on Nearpod. Ms Zeng can quickly check out on students’ being familiar with, and shares that it is more economical than if she were being to invite a handful of learners to attract on the whiteboard.


Mr Chong agrees, and shares that the elegance of electronic applications like Google Docs is that pupils can also interact in collaborative function effortlessly. In truth, when students get the job done in teams, he encourages them to look at what other teams are executing.

He muses, “Sometimes it is humorous that they copy from other groups pondering it is proper, but end up copying a error. All these deliver wonderful options for me to tackle conceptual glitches in course.”

Know an inspiring Economics instructor, or just one who adopts resourceful techniques to make Economics fun and engaging? Examine with your college to nominate him or her for the Exceptional Economics Trainer Award.

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