Something New for the Spring Semester

There’s so much I’ve wanted to write about in recent weeks, but alas. Here is one little thing I’ve been working on: a syllabus for a course I’m teaching on cryptocurrency. Would love for people who think about this to have a look. While I’m unlikely to add much to this iteration, it would be cool to hear from other’s about what they’ve done in this space.

Authors we’ll be reading include Robert Skidelsky, Mike Beggs, Victoria Chick, Charles Kindleberger and Robert Aliber, and others, as well as Matt Levine, Elizabeth Kolbert, David Yaffe-Bellany, Taylor Nicole Rogers, Ephrat Livni, and myriad other reporters on crypto. My goal is for students to get a blend of more academic treatment of topics like money, asset bubbles, regulation, and so on, as well as more contextual treatment of the nuts and bolts of cryptocurrencies, who gets swept up in the manias, who profits, and who gets hurt when things don’t work.

Something new I’m doing: writing prompts for learning. I’ve been inspired by John Warner to do what I can to resist the five paragraph essay, especially given the rise of, well, you know. To that end, I’m asking students to respond to prompts about thorny questions no one necessarily wants to answer in real time, like ‘when did you learn about crypto? what do you think regulation of crypto would look like? is there anything you have changed your mind about re: crypto?’ Then, hopefully, we’ll talk about them in class!

Research project! More with the grounding assignments in stuff students may find interesting, and rejecting that five-paragraph essay model. I’m having students write pamphlets explaining something they think a particular audience of their choosing should know about cryptocurrency. It’s deliberately open-ended. I may regret that. Ah well! At worst, we’ll have a bunch of educational materials that I may ask my students for permission to use if they let me teach this course again.

If you have a look, do let me know what you think.

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