Course Syllabus (cont.)
Evaluation of Graded Work
Course grades will be earned by successful
completion of the following types of assignments.
Good Faith Effort (GFE) Assignments
(Tasks 1 and 2)
You are expected to actively participate in this course.
One way to gauge your preparation for class is to read the
Tutorials and answer, in writing, a few short questions
concerning the lesson(s). The questions are designed to
lead you through your first exposure to the new material,
engage you in the assignment, and help you gain an understanding
of the reading.
For each good faith effort assignment you will receive
a grade of "credit" or "no credit."
In order to receive a "credit" grade, your written
response to the question(s) must be:
- submitted by you personally (not by some other student)
by the start of class on the day it is due.
- clearly show that you made a "good faith effort"
to understand the lesson well enough to answer the question(s)
- you will be called on in class to demonstrate your effort.
The percentage of completed GFE assignments for which you
received a grade of "credit" will count as part
of your final grade.
Online Mallard Quizzes (Tasks 1 and 2)
To help you monitor your understanding of
each Tutorial's key concepts and graphs, you will take an
online quiz almost once a week (see Course Schedule
for dates). The online quizzes use Mallard, a Web-based
system for asynchronous, interactive learning developed
at the University of Illinois. I have programmed Mallard
to randomly generate and select five questions for a quiz
from a designated pool of questions for each concept we
cover in the course. You will take your Mallard quiz online
and it will be graded online. The Mallard system will then
record your grade in its online grade book.
You must earn a minimum grade of 60% on a
quiz before Mallard will record your grade in the grade
book. Within the time period allotted for a quiz, you may
repeat a quiz up to five times to earn the grade you desire.
However, for the questions you answer incorrectly,
you will be quizzed using a different set of questions over
the same concepts each time that you repeat a Mallard quiz.
Quizzes taken after the allotted time period will be assessed
a 10% late penalty for each day that your quiz is late up
to a maximum of 4 days. After 4 late days, you may continue
to take the quiz, but no new grade will be recorded in the
grade book. Your semester quiz average is calculated after
dropping your lowest quiz grade.
You will complete eleven (11) online
quizzes; only the top ten (10) scores will be counted.
Each quiz is worth 10 points for a total of 100 points.
1 and 2)
Your written projects must have a professional
appearance. Toward that end, you must make use of word processing,
drawing, or spreadsheet software (where applicable) when
completing your work. Projects are due by the start of class
on the assigned date. Assignments turned in late will receive
a score of zero unless arrangements are made in
advance for an extension.
News Analysis Folder
To get you involved in, and to help you develop
your understanding of, current economic issues, I would
like each student to maintain a folder of news clippings
relevant to microeconomics with your annotations.1
The news stories should be chosen from well written sources
in either the financial or popular press. You will annotate
each news clipping in a one- to two-page paper by
- summarizing the content of the news story,
- commenting on the economics news
or opinions it contains,
- drawing the relevant microeconomic model(s)
that illustrates the arguments made.
See the News Analysis Folder instructions
for more information and the Course
Schedule for due dates.
Your News Analysis Folder will be reviewed two (2)
times during the semester. Each review will be worth 25
points, for a total of 50 points.
One of the most important tasks completed
by business economists and their staff is estimation of
demand for the firm's product. In this assignment you will
use Excel to estimate the demand for chicken (using semi-real
data) under two assumptions about what influences the quantity
of chicken demanded. Read the instructions
before beginning the Regression Analysis. See the Course
Schedule for the due date.
You will complete one (1) regression
analysis of the demand for chicken, worth 50 points.
In a market economy, everything is connected
to everything else. Changes to any of the variables influencing
product demand, for instance, affect the competitive market
price. Changes in a product's price affects the demand for
labor used to make that product. Changes in the demand for
labor affect a firm's marginal costs. This in turn affects
the competitive market supply of goods, further altering
market price. This again alters the demand for labor, and
on it goes...
Before the advent of the computer, this interrelatedness
was difficult to simulate, especially using graphical models.
For the last project in the course, you will use an Excel
workbook that simulates a "general equilibrium model"
of the perfectly competitive markets for a product and the
labor used to make that product. Your task will be to trace
out the effects of changes to the demand for or supply of
the product on a representative firm in its role as a competitive
producer of a good and buyer of labor and to follow those
changes back to the market. Read the Instructions
before beginning the General Equilibrium Analysis. See the
Course Schedule for the due
You will complete one (1) "general
equilibrium" project, worth 50 points.
During the midterm and final exam periods for the course,
you will take a "literacy test" to see how well you have
retained the core microeconomic concepts and models you
have learned up to that point in the course. It will be
made up of questions chosen and modified from the
Good Faith Effort questions and the Excel workbook questions.
You will have 75 minutes to answer the questions on the
You will complete two (2) literacy
tests worth 50 points each, for a total of 100 points.
Good Faith Efforts
General Eq analysis