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Course Syllabus (cont.)

"One must learn by doing the thing; though you think you know it,
you have no certainty until you try." Publilius Syrus, Moral Sayings


Evaluation of Graded Work Top

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:

  1. submitted by you personally (not by some other student) by the start of class on the day it is due.
  2. 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) Top

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.


Projects (Tasks 1 and 2) Top

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 Top

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

  1. summarizing the content of the news story,
  2. commenting on the economics news or opinions it contains,
  3. 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.


Regression Analysis

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.


General Equilibrium Analysis Top

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 date.

You will complete one (1) "general equilibrium" project, worth 50 points.


Literacy Tests Top

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 test.

You will complete two (2) literacy tests worth 50 points each, for a total of 100 points.


Grading Scale Top



Good Faith Efforts


Mallard Quizzes


News Analyses


Regression Analysis


General Eq analysis


Literacy Tests






Graded Assignments










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