Prof’s Card Deck May Bring a “Full House” to Economics Classes

For Immediate Release: 
Jul 05 2006

Prof’s Card Deck May Bring a “Full House” to Economics Classes

Athens, W.Va. - Who would ever imagine a classic deck of playing cards could teach you an entire course in economics? One professor at Concord University drew his inspiration for the idea from the “Iraqi Most-Wanted” card deck that made its debut in 2003. Dr. Johnnie Linn, assistant professor of economics, conceived of a deck of cards that would display graphs and figures from his teachings in micro- and macroeconomics.

Linn spent nearly two years drafting and finalizing 54 cards explaining themes such as largest national economies, problems in economies, laws of economics, flow charts, and the characteristics of supply and demand. The jokers even playfully “represent the trumping concepts of hyperinflation and Malthusian checks on population.”

After some revision to a sample deck, production of 80 tri-color prototype decks with the Concord logo on the back went under way at Concord’s Print Shop with the assistance of Michael Wimmer. Linn distributed the decks to his students. Students were then asked to complete a survey in regards to how useful the cards were in their studies.

In the fall of 2005, Kardwell International, Inc. of Mattituck, N.Y., printed 500 store-quality decks in time for the spring semester. All of Linn’s students received a deck at the beginning of the spring term this year, and experienced Linn’s innovative teaching methods with the aid of oversized replicas of the cards in lectures. Linn has been personally introducing his cards at conferences and meetings in the region, as well as to visiting job applicants at Concord. In addition, members of the Regional Education Service Agency I (RESA-I) committee have also been sent copies of the deck.

Students enrolled in Dr. Linn’s class for the upcoming fall semester will also acquire a set.

For the future, Linn hopes to see his cards used by other professionals teaching economics at other schools. He also aspires to have his cards included by publishers as a complement to their textbooks. Linn commented, “Another possibility for the cards is to design new games for them, or modify existing games so that the knowledge of economics is required for playing the game. For example, in Texas Hold’Em (which seems to be the most popular card game among college students), when the ‘flop’ is played, each player must point to a particular card of the flop or face a hole card and answer a question (provided by a judge) about the image on that particular card. If the player answers the question correctly, he or she stays in the hand.”

Linn’s inventive means of teaching is bringing a fresh approach to higher education. Maybe future teachers of economics will have a new problem to “deal” with, a “full house!”

For information on attending Concord call 1-888-384-5249 or 1-304-384-5248 or e-mail


PHOTO: Dr. Linn with his special deck of cards

Nicole Colton, a senior majoring in marketing wrote this news release. Her hometown is Bridgeport, W.Va.