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Publications in VIVO

Gebhardt, Karen

Senior Instructor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • Dr. Karen Gebhardt is the Director for Undergraduate Online Learning with the Office of Academic and Learning Innovation and Director of the Online Economics Program with the Department of Economics and Division of Continuing Education at the University of Colorado Boulder. Karen is deeply committed to undergraduate student success through supporting excellence in online learning to improve student learning outcomes and enhance retention and graduation. She serves many audiences, from undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, the University, the System, to the national and international stakeholders. She has presented scholarship internally at the Department, University, and System levels and externally in national and international forums to promote excellence in distance education, integration of technology in teaching, and the importance of community and belonging in online spaces. As an award-winning teacher, Karen has instructed courses in all modalities including introductory courses in micro- and macroeconomics, upper division courses in microeconomics, public economics, and managerial economics, and graduate courses in environmental economics and public finance and has taught internationally in Europe and Asia. Her current research focuses on using data to improve student learning outcomes with an emphasis on improving grades and completion rates, developing community, and using innovative courseware in online courses. Karen is the coauthor of The Micro Economy Today, The Macro Economy Today, and Essentials of Economics, popular principles-level texts.


selected publications


courses taught

  • ECON 1010 - Economics in Action
    Primary Instructor - Summer 2022 / Summer 2023
    Applies foundational concepts from microeconomics and microeconomics to current events to exemplify economic decision-making. Topics vary each term, and may include trade, environment, discrimination, government policy, technology, money, education, entrepreneurship, health, employment, immigration, inequality, or development. Credit given in this course is not included in the calculation of an economics major GPA.
  • ECON 1078 - Mathematical Tools for Economists 1
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2023 / Fall 2023 / Spring 2024
    Teaches mathematical skills and logical thinking for use in economics. Topics include algebra, graphs, functions, and probability. Includes many "Real world" examples and some illustrative computer assignments.
  • ECON 1088 - Mathematical Tools for Economists 2
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2023 / Fall 2023 / Spring 2024
    Continuation of ECON 1078. Teaches mathematical skills for use in economics. Topics include derivatives, optimization and integration. These skills are used on "real world" problems and illustrated with computer assignments. For more information about the math placement referred to in the "Enrollment Requirements", contact your academic advisor. Degree credit not granted for this course and APPM 1345 or APPM 1350 or MATH 1081 or MATH 1300 or MATH 1310 or MATH 1330.
  • ECON 2020 - Principles of Macroeconomics
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Spring 2019 / Fall 2019 / Spring 2020
    Provides an overview of the economy, examining the flows of resources and outputs and the factors determining the levels of income and prices. Explores policy problems of inflation, unemployment and economic growth.
  • ECON 3070 - Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019 / Spring 2020 / Fall 2020 / Fall 2021 / Fall 2022
    Explores theory and application of models of consumer choice, firm and market organization, and general equilibrium. Extensions include intertemporal decisions, decisions under uncertainty, externalities, and strategic interaction.
  • ECON 4111 - Money and Banking Systems
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Spring 2019
    Discusses money, financial institutions and the monetary-financial system in a modern economy.
  • ECON 4211 - Public Economics: the Economics of the Government Sector
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2021 / Spring 2022
    Focuses on taxation and public expenditures. Topics include economic rationale for government action, economic theory of government behavior, and effects of government policies on allocation of resources and distribution of income.
  • ECON 4705 - Managerial Economics
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2021 / Spring 2022
    Application of microeconomic principles and tools to business problems faced by decision makers. Examines decisions related to pricing, products and production, location of firms, vertical and horizontal integration, marketing, uncertainty, market structure, and government regulations and introduces key business communication, accounting and finance principles.
  • ECON 4929 - Special Topics In Economics
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2020 / Spring 2021
    This course number is assigned to upper-level Economics electives that become available on an incidental basis. Refer to the Economics Department for a detailed description of current content. May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours. Formerly ECON 4999.
  • ENVM 5004 - Public Finance and the Environment
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2019 / Fall 2020 / Spring 2021 / Spring 2022 / Spring 2023
    Explores the impact of a variety of factors that may result in market failures, including public goods, externalities, information asymmetries and uncertainty, with a special focus on the environment and natural resources. Government polices as a mitigating policy tool for market failures impacting the environment are assessed
  • ENVM 6100 - Special Topics for Master of the Environment Program
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Spring 2019
    A variety of topics not currently offered in curriculum; offered depending on instructor availability and student demand.
  • ENVM 6101 - Special Topics for Master of the Environment Program
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020 / Spring 2021 / Fall 2022
    A variety of topics not currently offered in curriculum; offered depending on instructor availability and student demand.


International Activities