St. Louis and Atlanta Feds Offer Expanded Online Learning Resources

The Atlanta Fed has teamed up with the St. Louis Fed, adding its six award-winning Fed Explained animated videos, along with another short video on the founding of the Fed, to the new Video Q & A feature on the St. Louis Fed's Econ Lowdown web pages. The new feature enables teachers to assign students a video on a particular economic or personal finance topic and track their understanding of the video online.

The Fed Explained videos cover the difference between inflation and cost-of-living changes, potential versus real gross domestic product, unemployment, central banking, and the Fed's regional structure. The most recent video in the series—"The Fed Explains Good Standards versus Bad Standards"—cleverly explores the importance of standardized units of measurement, especially as applied to establishing the value of our money and the Fed's role in keeping the U.S. dollar stable. At roughly four minutes each, these videos have been designed to engage students as they explore key economic concepts.

The other Atlanta Fed video, "Return to Jekyll Island," explores the significance of the 1910 clandestine meeting of bankers at the Jekyll Island Club that ultimately led to the creation of the Federal Reserve System. This video dispels the misunderstandings surrounding the nature of this meeting and clarifies its role in the evolution of U.S. central banking.

The Video Q&A tool also offers several videos created by the St. Louis Fed. The Economic Lowdown series addresses such topics as the circular flow of economic activity, supply, demand, market equilibrium, the labor market, and market externalities. With the No-Frills Money Skills series, students learn about such personal finance topics as compound versus simple interest, the fundamentals of stocks and bonds, and the importance of saving to achieve short- and long-term goals. All things monetary-policy-related are offered through St. Louis's four Feducation videos. And their "In Plain English" animated video provides an overview of the Federal Reserve System.

To use this resource, teachers must register their students through the instructor management panel on the St. Louis Fed's Econ Lowdown web page. Full instructions are available on

Once students are registered, they can view each assigned video and then take the associated quiz, which has five to 10 multiple-choice questions. They can watch the videos and take the quizzes any number of times. With every subsequent quiz attempt, the student sees the questions in a different order.

The teacher can access a record of each student's Video Q & A activity through the instructor management panel. The highest score a student achieves as well as the number of times the student has watched the video is listed. This model promotes content proficiency.

As teachers plan their units and select the videos to assign, they can also check out links to related resources and the National Voluntary Content Standards.

We also wish to remind you of the extensive online courses and the new professional development program included in the St. Louis Fed's Econ Lowdown online learning system. And remember to check back regularly as new offerings will be added throughout 2014.

Related resources
Econ Lowdown
The Fed Explained video series
macroblog post on the latest Fed Explained video
"Return to Jekyll Island"

By Amy Hennessy, director of economic education, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and editorial director of  Extra Credit

January 21, 2014