Iconomix works on the principle of active problem-based learning, with two-thirds of the teaching units being activity-oriented. This process allows students to not only learn facts but also – and above all – the skills needed to apply them. Iconomix places particular emphasis on quality and innovation. Each unit is evaluated in the course of its design and ongoing development.
The fundamental didactic approach behind Iconomix is based on problem-based learning. All the problem-based units are structured in accordance with a three-phase model:
In the interest of providing a variety of learning experiences, the predominantly inductive concept of active learning is deliberately not applied across the board. Some of the units take a traditional deductive approach. This entails assimilating knowledge obtained from a specialist text, for example, and reflecting on this knowledge and putting it into practice through exercises and transfer tasks.
The Iconomix educational programme is continuously being updated and further developed. This process is an important part of quality control. It helps to include new findings from practical application as well as, for example, the latest developments in the economic school of thought.
Moreover, one or two new units are added every year. The new units are often related to the annual focus topic. In recent years, these topics included digitalisation, population ageing, urbanisation and climate change.
Now and again, some units are discontinued. This happens when a unit’s format or topic is no longer contemporary or relevant. The unit on the financial crisis of 2007 to 2009 is one such example.
How can you measure the impact of an educational programme such as Iconomix comprising everything from individual tasks to educational games and entire teaching units? It’s difficult to demonstrate its impact and effectiveness. For this reason, instead of performing a comprehensive evaluation of Iconomix as a whole, we concentrate on the quality of its individual teaching units. Each teaching unit is subject to evaluation, either as it is being drawn up or in the course of its ongoing development.
A whole series of tests and feedback loops are required before a new unit format reaches the necessary level of maturity. In the case of the video topic blocks, the ‘Video Board’ group played a particularly important role as a sounding board. It consisted of half a dozen teachers with a lot of experience in using videos in their own lessons. Click through the pictures from a workshop held in December 2019: