At a glance

Are you looking for topical content and teaching formats for economics and the humanities? Iconomix, the Swiss National Bank’s educational programme, provides supplementary material for upper secondary schools and vocational colleges, with a particular focus on topicality. Choose from more than 100 free teaching units and enjoy the many practical functions available to teaching professionals registered on the platform.

More than 1,400 upper secondary school
teachers actively use Iconomix resources
to teach economics and humanities.

Your benefits with Iconomix

Practical

Iconomix develops didactically enhanced teaching units tailored to the Swiss education system.

Topical

Iconomix topics and educational examples are true to life and continuously adapted to current developments.

Engaging

Iconomix enables activity-oriented teaching that harnesses the potential of playful, multimedial learning.

Adaptable

Teachers can adapt Iconomix teaching units flexibly to their own individual planning.

Digital

Iconomix contributes to the digitalisation of schools at the level of both preparing and teaching.

Results-oriented

Iconomix offers specifically designed materials, tasks and learning goals to promote sustained, successful learning.

Verified

All Iconomix teaching units are based on sound economic and educational principles, and have been tested in the classroom as well as reviewed by external experts.

Leading

Iconomix is the most frequently used supplementary programme for teaching economics at Swiss upper secondary schools and vocational colleges.

Iconomix – the core values

The teaching units provided by Iconomix systematically promote economic literacy and equality of opportunity in Switzerland. To meet this overarching mission the programme is guided by clear values:

We are politically neutral, and act independently and consistently in the interests of teachers and students.

We develop the content of our educational programme on the basis of current facts validated by research.

We use methods and didactics designed to ensure successful, sustained and efficient learning.

We are open to dialogue and respect the diversity of people and opinions in Switzerland.

We work for innovative education that proactively harnesses the potential of digitalisation.

Reach and use

The relevant metric for measuring the reach of Iconomix is the number of active users. For this we count the number of teachers at upper secondary level who are registered at iconomix.ch and log onto the platform at least once in a calendar year.

In 2020, 1,630 teachers of economics and the humanities at Swiss upper secondary schools made active use of the Iconomix web platform. In relation to the target group of over 4,200 teachers, this translates into a reach of around 39%. 

Some 15% of the teachers of economics and the humanities at Swiss upper secondary schools logged onto Iconomix.ch five times or more in 2020. We regard them as power users, nearly two-fifths of the teachers at upper secondary level who actively used Iconomix come under this category. The power user figure serves as an indicator of the intensity with which iconomix.ch is used.
 

User map

The interactive user map shows schools and the number of users there who logged on at least once in 2020.

Markers with the iconomix logo stand for individual schools; blue markers conflate several schools in close vicinity to one another (click to zoom in).

12

events were held in Covid year 2020, five of them virtually. Around 320 teachers used these as an opportunity to get to know us, deepen their own knowledge and give us feedback.

833

class sets with newspapers and game boxes were sent out.

100

teaching units were available at the end of 2020, divided into four languages: German, French, Italian and English.

1750

links to resources from third-party providers were available via the Iconomix web platform at the end of 2020, 20% of them videos.

800

registration applications were submitted in 2020 and reviewed by Iconomix; 520  of these were approved.

126 500

unique visits to the website were recorded in 2020, with 119,000 downloads generated.

«This type of sustained learning, with games and simulations, delivers lasting results.»

Responsibility

A central bank’s decisions have far-reaching consequences for the population. As many people as possible should therefore be able to comprehend the considerations involved. In Switzerland, where citizens regularly vote on economic issues, a good understanding of how the economy works is especially important. This prompted the SNB to set up the Iconomix educational programme in 2007.

Financing

Iconomix is 100% financed and supported by the SNB. The unit’s basic funding was limited in 2011 by the bank’s management to CHF 0.7 million per year (approximately EUR 0.65 million) and staff numbers are limited to 3.3 full-time equivalents (0.5 of which are managerial) plus an average of 2.0 interns. This allocation of financial and human resources has proven to be sustainable over the years.

The largest cost item (services provided by third parties not on the payroll) is the operation and maintenance of the web platform and digital learning tools: it accounts for nearly 50% of expenditure. A further 15% is spent on content creation and update, 15% on communication and outreach, 15% on management support and 8% on product evaluation. These cost ratios have remained largely stable over the years.

Iconomix seeks to maintain high standards of accountability, effectiveness and efficiency vis-à-vis its sponsor, the SNB. Some of its key figures are published regularly , both in the SNB’s annual sustainability report and on the Iconomix web platform.

2005 to today and beyond: The Iconomix story

2005

2005

In November, the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank gives the go-ahead to set up an economic and financial literacy programme for upper secondary schools, thus following the example of other central banks. The launch of the programme is scheduled to coincide with the SNB’s centenary in 2007.

2007

2007

The SNB unveils its new educational programme, Iconomix, on 31 October 2007. The initial teaching units include the word game Barter or Buy, the classroom experiment Pitgame, the learning game Fishpond, the browser simulation Mopos and the two real-time multi-player games Score More and Railgame.

2009

2009

The first edition of the newsletter is published in early 2009. The first symposium, devoted to the financial crisis, takes place in September 2009 in German-speaking Switzerland (Berne). The first symposium in French-speaking Switzerland is held a year later in Lausanne.

2009 and 2010

2009 and 2010

The Iconomix Award is presented at the Westside in Berne. Upper secondary students are invited to submit their economics-related high school graduation, specialisation or project work. Each of the two award ceremonies is attended by more than 100 young people with their work. The award is discontinued in 2011.

2010

2010

Iconomix begins to enhance units with topic-related links. A printed catalogue is published for the first time, initially in German and then a year later in French. A translation into Italian follows. 2010 also sees the launch of the first Iconomix newspaper, devoted to the topic of pay differences.

2012

2012

The Iconomix educational programme celebrates its first five years with a new-look website for its users. All teaching units are grouped in a single teaching materials section and can be filtered according to criteria.

2014

2014

A new section is added to the web platform: the Hub. This gives teachers access to specially selected resources created outside the Iconomix team, including apps, videos and games on the subject of business and economics.

2015

2015

A new category is introduced featuring content published with external support. This features third-party material that is consistent with Iconomix in terms of content and programming. The first partners include textbook author Peter Eisenhut.

2017

2017

Iconomix celebrates its 10th birthday. To mark the occasion, the website is relaunched. The focus of the relaunch is on personalisation and mobile-friendliness. The first steps are also taken to gradually replace the static PDFs.

2019

2019

In summer a strategic partnership with nanoo.tv is announced. Autumn sees the launch of the first fruit of this collaboration: the Videos section, a collection of didactically enhanced video topic blocks. The first unit produced originally in Italian is released: Contabilità nazionale.

Today and tomorrow

Today and tomorrow

Iconomix paves the way for a completely overhauled website, stepping up communications in parallel. The programme is extended with the addition of modern units such as the Ciao CASH card game and is optimised through targeted evaluation.

Further ahead

Further ahead

“In the course of the digital transformation, the demand for new didactic approaches and teaching ideas is increasing. Since there is no silver bullet, a lot of trial and error is called for. As a provider of supplementary teaching material, Iconomix will assume its responsibility and make its contribution. That is our commitment.”

Partners

Education always involves teamwork. Accordingly, Iconomix would like to thank the partners who help us create a modern teaching programme for economics and the humanities at upper secondary level.