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Teaching with Data: International Economic Data

Resources & Strategies for Faculty Teaching Undergraduates

International Economic Data

Faculty Author: Iva Bozovic

Course: IR 213 Global Economy

Department or School: Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences

Student Population: undergraduates, mostly juniors and seniors

Duration: 2.5 weeks


  • Group presentation given in class
  • Group presentation file uploaded to Blackboard
  • Peer and self evaluation form

Keywords: international economics, economy, data

Summary:  Each group of students prepares a class presentation on one of 10 assigned topics related to a current or contested issue in international economics, and strengthens arguments by searching, analyzing, and presenting data that best supports their topic.

Assignment Goals:  Learning how to succinctly deliver information on a topic and present a position is an important skill that the students should develop in preparation for their careers after they leave USC. Whether you are briefing a CA Senator (as was the case with a former IR 213 student) or telling your colleagues about which stance the firm should take on a controversial issue, you need to learn how to present information and your arguments in an accessible and convincing way. At the same time, you should be informed about the most current or contested issues in international economics. This assignment combines these two objectives and asks you to prepare a presentation on a relevant topic in international economics.
Recommended Tools:

  • Google Scholar
  • ProQuest via USC Libraries
  • Related international and inter-­‐governmental agencies like the World Bank, World Trade Organization, and OECD
  • Katharin Peter, USC Data Librarian

Faculty Author Advice:  Be very specific about the assignment and requirements. Send the assignment prompt to LD&T instructional designers first to check to see if it would be confusing to a student, how to change it before disseminating, and to double-­‐check that it is clear and specific to match what you expect from students. Be very specific about expectations for data collecting, pulling, choosing variables, defending why those were chosen, representing and reporting data. Tell students not to just cut and paste an existing representation of data.