Building an Economic Utopia: A Capstone Course Activity

Richard Schiming
    Departments with capstone courses seek activities in those courses that effectively review student learning in economics. In the capstone course that I teach, each student constructs his/her own economic utopia. This activity encourages students to (a) employ their knowledge of economic principles and institutions in a comprehensive fashion and (b) reflect in a meaningful manner on the nature of an ideal economic society. This activity also allows a department ot assess important aspects of student learning. This teaching note discusses the process of constructing a utopia, assesses student performance in this project, and lists some of the benefits, concerns, and other possible uses of the activity of utopia construction.