Hi guys. I am student that is now studying economics at UCL, but in my spare time I have decided to write economics essays (for A-Levels) and answer people's economics-related questions. The essays will all be available on dropbox, and I hope to do this for all of the exam boards, but my main focus will be on OCR, Edexcel and AQA (WJEC and IB will still have some content, however). Many essays, however,are relevant to all of the exam boards, and so the dropbox folders for each of the exam boards will have some essays that are specific to the exam board, but also essays from other ones when there is overlap.
I will be producing essays on a weekly or fortnightly basis simply of my own accord. If any of you, however, do have a particular essay you want written, just post it in the thread (or message me) and I will consider writing it (or asking someone else to), assuming that it sounds like a worthwhile essay request. The link below contains a link to all of the free resources so far.
DISCLAIMER (To Students and Moderators) - This is NOT any sort of essay writing service for university students (to cheat on assignments), but rather just a large stockpile / archive of A-level economics essays that can serve as useful references when trying to write model answer essays for economics.
Free Resources / Essays:
Below, I will also post a link to a website of other economics resources (some of mine are linked there as well) that is being run by another university undergraduate.
StudyWise (Economics Page):
Lastly, I will simply be answering questions from anyone who posts in this thread, and I plan to go through all unanswered questions at least once a week, but do bear in mind that I may not have time to get back to all of you as I am still in university. That about wraps things up. I hope that I can be of help to all of you and make your economics revision faster, and a bit less painless hahaLast edited by TeeEff; 01-02-2017 at 20:20.
Can you please do brief overview notes for macro and micro
plus any exam tips for A2 students on how to remember AS context ????
Cheating is nothing new, of course. And this is not about railing against one particular startup whose product is, wittingly or not, being misused. It is about asking whether and how the nature of Silicon Valley market innovations may be at odds with the goals or values of education. While teachers and school districts struggle to find cost-effective technologies that can reliably improve the quality of learning, the sharing economy is insinuating itself into the classroom with little accountability for the outcome.
Uber set an example that many are lining up to follow. Eager startups, often moved by waves of venture capital and a mandate to unleash new, technologically lubricated market models, are disrupting everything from haircuts to personal security to legal advice. Online and on-demand platforms have already transformed education: Khan Academy, Teachers Pay Teachers, and various versions of the Uber-for-tutors notion. Some argue private companies should open and run innovative schools of their own. With so much disruption — the jury is out on what the net impact of it all will be on learning.
Education Meets Silicon Values
“We believe in foregoing the legacy methods of tutoring. If a question is the barrier to learning, why not simply address that specific question directly?” —Studypool’s blog
Founded in 2014, Studypool’s story is a familiar one: A string of fevered dorm-room hackathons forges a clever idea into a viable software product. In a few short months, the slick networked platform draws thousands of users, attracted to its undeniable convenience and the opportunity t0 turn spare time and other “dormant assets”—a car, spare bedroom, or, in this case, academic skill — into cash. The barely 20-year-old founders take their company to the Bay Area in pursuit of hockey sticks, angels, and unicorns.
Last year, Studypool was nurtured and funded through venture accelerator 500 Startups. Richard Werbe, co-founder and CEO of Studypool, became the youngest entrepreneur in the firm’s history to fund a nascent company past $1 million, a good sign of investor faith. Though not operating at quite the stratospheric scale of other familiar on-demand platforms—Airbnb, for example, hosts more than 60 million users — Studypool is reaching and serving a sizeable market. According to TechCrunch, as of March 2015 Studypool was used by some 40,000 students and had hosted about 150,000 questions. Just under a year later, Studypool claims well over a million questions answered.
Like any properly disruptive enterprise, Studypool’s idea is compelling: Build a frictionless platform for the exchange of knowledge, allowing market forces to drive information where it’s needed faster and more reliably. People have answers, other people have questions — provide a place for them to link up. Werbe points out that the company’s ambition extends beyond providing answers to high school and college students. That’s just where the product first gained traction.
“We’re really trying to build out and prove the hypothesis that marketplaces make things more efficient, and that should apply to information as well,” Werbe tells me over the phone. “If I’m looking for help, it’s going to help if I’m willing to add a monetary incentive, which is one of the greatest incentives in the world.”
It’s pretty obvious why this model would be appealing to students who cheat. Stuck with assignments you can’t or don’t want to do, just drop a couple bucks and, in minutes, get what you need from someone willing and able to complete it for you, on your terms and on your timeline.
It also makes a lot of sense for anybody with smarts and time to spare. If they work fast, tutors have good financial incentive to make themselves available for coaching — or just providing answers — on a per-question basis.
“It’s not cheap to get private help, so for a student who needs that extra help and is struggling with homework and can afford it, getting your homework done online seems like a great idea,” Nicole says. “If I were just to do that student’s assignment for him, it would’ve taken way less time than writing out notes for how to do the problem. I could’ve done his homework in under 15 minutes. And $5 for 15 minutes? That’s not bad, $20 an hour.”
In theory, everyone wins. Competition to answer a question rewards timeliness, and wait times have been driven down to under three minutes.
Studypool gets a 20 percent cut of each transaction. And nobody benefitting from the service — customer or consumer — has much reason to complain about its possible ill effects.
Rarely is the sharing model of enterprise, epitomized by the likes of Uber and Airbnb, sensitive to the costs incurred by its host system — those two companies are hardly compelled to preserve the integrity of the “legacy” cab companies and hoteliers they are undercutting. Likewise, success for this platform isn’t determined by whether it actually helps people learn. After all, optimizing and reducing the latency in busing information from one place to another makes sense — a lot of sense — for servers and data, but where brains and ideas are concerned, learning isn’t always efficient. And any approach that offers a backdoor — knowingly or not—where intellectual honesty is concerned is bound to reap the patronage of the many people willing to buy an answer or grade rather than earn it.
Sharing Economy, Shirking Responsibility
The list of variations for on-demand tutelage is long and diverse: Tutor.com, WyzAnt, StudyRoom, TutorPanda, Tutorpace. Tutree arranges in-person meetings between tutors and students. Chegg Tutors offers live help via video chat. Attempts at hot-wiring a new market by connecting students to tutors run the gamut, from absolute free-marketeering on one end to models that more or less mimic the one-on-one dynamic of private tutors or school district–endorsed efforts on the other.
Something all of these tutoring-related startups seem to share is their assertion of an honor code, acknowledgement that their tool might be put to, but is certainly not meant for, academic misuse. But something else they share is a disconnect from the structures of accountability that we usually expect will keep students academically honest.
Cheating on a chemistry test could get you reprimanded or expelled from high school or college, but that’s basically up to the particular school or district. If you’re caught taking someone else’s SATs, you might face charges. But unlike the friend who sat next to you in the administrator’s office to explain why you colluded on an exam, no online tutor or startup CEO will likely take any heat for helping you cheat.
In the case of Studypool, accountability is limited also by the encryption of students’ and tutors’ identities and interactions. (Its user privacy page states, “Private questions cannot be found by Search engines… or by applications/software looking for duplicate content and plagiarism.”)
Studypool did not provide any numbers related to cases of academic dishonesty on their platform. It’s something the company apparently isn’t too worried about. “Right now, we don’t really see it as a very common problem,” Werbe tells me.
The true extent of its misuse is beside the point anyway. The question is what responsibility a company has to ensure its product or platform does not become a go-to for academic dishonesty. Many students certainly benefit from using Studypool as a legitimate learning aid. Academic dishonesty is probably not what this or any other educational startup sets out to build a business on, but neither do they seem able to prevent it from happening.
Werbe says Studypool has worked with (unnamed) schools in crafting its honor code. But that honor code doesn’t seem to have any teeth beyond the risk of a user’s account being suspended. Judging from how many accounts have yet to be closed for cheating, this is not the solution. Students will face real consequences only if a teacher or administrator catches them taking advantage of an easy leg up. Same as always.
In any event, should a platform be held responsible for users’ miscreant behavior?
“Very relevant to a school setting, people in the past have just copied and pasted information from Wikipedia,” says Werbe. “Ultimately, Wikipedia can’t really stop that. But they can take steps; the schools can take steps. There have been tools created to monitor if students are doing that, but at the end of the day, I think accountability lies with the students and the school itself. It’s not something we support, if they do use [Studypool] for mal intent, and we will take it down if it’s reported.”
A Welcome Disruption
The notion of powerful online sharing platforms becoming a tool for undermining academic integrity is naturally worrisome. It would be nice to be able to point to some solution — to a mechanism or agency that can step in to prevent an on-demand model from enabling academic dishonesty. In truth, however, cheating has been around for a long time and is unlikely to go away, regardless of technology. Self-reported cheating rates in the United States have been alarmingly high for decades, upwards of 75 percent among high school students in recent years.
Technology has long played a dual role in both enabling and preventing academic malfeasance. As Werbe noted, Wikipedia is potent as a learning resource and a temptation for stressed-out students. Turnitin.com, a system feared by plagiarizers for its ability to catch lifted content, constantly updates its algorithms to keep up with students who find ways to trick it.
One professor I spoke to noted a colleague who forgoes tests altogether because of rampant plagiarism from online sources, instead having conversations with each student at the end of a section to assess their comprehension.
“When you look at the means of cheating, I think the arms race is an apt analogy — it describes the fact that there is always going to be a back and forth,” says Jim Lang, professor of English at Assumption College and author of Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty. “The story most people hear — that cheating is getting worse because of technology — we just don’t have any data to back that up.”
Ultimately, it seems that what drives people to an on-demand platform, as user and service provider, is the same thing that drives a student to cheat: cost-benefit analysis. Lang points to grade-oriented educational environments themselves, where cheating is rooted in the fact that moving on, rather than moving on with new knowledge, is what’s at stake for students. “Anytime you have people competing against each other for external rewards, and it’s high stakes, you’re going to have cheating,” Lang says. “I think it’s a good idea for faculty to establish classrooms as communities of learners, rather than as just sort of information-transfer spaces.”