How are we to measure the effect of iconomix, when it consists of a multitude of elements ranging from individual tasks to educational games and entire teaching units?
It would be difficult to assess the overall impact of iconomix’s diverse offering on its entire, heterogeneous target group (upper secondary schools). Also, this kind of comprehensive assessment would stand in contradiction to the flexible way in which the tool is deployed in practice.
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 in the course of its elaboration or as it is developed further.
This allows us to limit the evaluation to two dimensions: first, in terms of the impact of individual teaching materials (the teaching units), and second, as regards a rather more homogeneous component of upper secondary school instruction, since the individual teaching units tend to be oriented to a particular type of school and subject.
We impose a third restriction as well. We refrain from undertaking a summative evaluation, for the following reason: iconomix provides instructors with well-founded, high-quality teaching and learning resources. The instructors themselves are, however, responsible for the actual instruction, for which they have been specially trained. While iconomix supports instruction with didactic notes, tutorials, peer-to-peer workshops, etc., what happens in the classroom is up to the teacher. A meticulous assessment of the effectiveness of an ideal teaching unit is therefore of only limited practical relevance.
This is why we focus not on the success of such a unit as measured by academic means, but rather use formative evaluation to gradually improve the professional quality of our educational resources in an iterative process with multiple loops. Every year, we invest almost 10 percent of our resources in this endeavour.
Research and development cycle as part of the design-based research (DBR) approach:
The scientific evaluation of iconomix involves the following four methods:
Kühner, P., and Euler, D. (2017): Ethisch-reflexive Kompetenz – Ein Ziel für den modernen Ökonomieunterricht. (Ethical and reflexive competencies – a goal for modern economics instruction). Only available in German.
Working paper. University of St Gallen, Switzerland: Institute of Business Education.
Euler, D., and Kühner, P. (2017): Problem-Based Assignments as a Trigger for Developing Ethical and Reflective Competencies.
Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 11(2).
Ein gutes Produkt entsteht über Iteration und Zeit (A good product requires iteration and time)
Article in the 2020 iconomix catalogue; only available in German.
Gedankensplitter – Die Rolle von Innovation bei iconomix (Aphorisms – the role of innovation at iconomix).
Article in the 2019 iconomix catalogue; only available in German.