Darshak Patel is Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies of Economics at University of Kentucky. Darshak teaching and research interests focus on Economics of Education, Economics of Innovations and Innovative Teaching Methods. His research has been published in the Journal of Economic Education, Southern Economic Journal, and Research Policy. His goal as an educator is to increase this level of engagement by developing lectures and assignments that focus on generating a high level of energy, interest, and motivation in students towards the subject of economics. Darshak helps students fulfill their highest potential by making the classroom a sound-learning environment where students develop critical thinking skills by actively participating in discussions and projects that challenge them to engage critically with the subject matter. He promotes active learning through use of different software, popular media such as EPSN30for30 and Shark Tank, and connecting economics with students over social media. Darshak is a recipient of several teaching awards at various institutions.
- What interested you in Econ Beats as an assignment?- I have a passion for Economics. My teaching style reflects that and I like to share that energy with students. EconBeats provides students the platform to apply that Economics Energy (Econergy) through art. Music provides an outlet to express various emotions. By bringing Economics and Music together, a student is able to really apply themselves and learn a topic in a fun, creative manner. In addition, students learn a practical skill of producing a video.
- Could you describe how you incorporated the project into your class?- I didn’t incorporate it in my class but rather opened it up to the Economics Society with the hope of creating a more connected community within the college of business.
- Can you reflect on your students' experiences and what they learned?- Students in general had an exciting time. It was a nice way to destress, bond with each other both with common grounds of music and Economics.
- What advice would you like to share with other educators trying to incorporate Econ Beats into their classroom?- Some students will find it overwhelming. Support them and give them the confidence. Ask each student to focus on what they are good at and then integrate that with the IT department to come up with a fully developed product. Breaking down the process in to several little segments will tremendously help the quality of the product and student understanding of Economics. Providing clear laid out instructions will help immensely. Summarize the goal of the project, provide guidelines, deadlines, examples of other instructors or previous students, and a rubric.