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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


Some Useful Advice

Keep up with your reading assignments. Do the Excel workbook and Good Faith Effort questions every day. Put effort into your Good Faith Effort assignments. Start work on your Projects early. Use your team as a study group to work on assignments. Post questions to the class on Webboard and read and reply to the messages posted by others. In other words, stay active.

A major finding of the Harvard Assessment Seminars concerns the value of small groups to enhance students' learning.

"[I]n every comparison of how much students learn when they work in small groups with how much they learn in large groups or when they work alone, small groups show the best outcomes. Students who study in small groups do better than students studying alone. The payoff comes is a modest way for student achievement, as measured by test scores. It comes in a far bigger way on measures of students' involvement in courses, their enthusiasm, and their pursuit of topics to a more advanced level. And students overwhelmingly report one additional benefit of small group work. They point out that the process of working in a group, in a supervised setting, teaches them crucial skills. The skills they learn include how to move a group forward, how to disagree without being destructive or stifling new ideas, and how to include all members in a discussion. Students should think twice if they find themselves spending all their time working alone."

Students often skim over the Tutorials and Excel workbook questions without reading carefully. Some will complete the Good Faith Effort assignments at the last minute. They then become frustrated when they don't do as well as expected on their Good Faith Effort questions, or written answers to Excel workbook problems, or their online Quizzes (not to mention the Literacy Tests!).

The problem lies in believing that a cursory reading is all that is necessary to understand economic theory at a level required for a junior or senior. Remember Publilius,

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

The best way to prepare to answer questions is to read the Tutorial carefully then try to answer the Good Faith Effort questions immediately. Then start solving the Excel workbook questions as soon after you've read as possible -- don't wait. If the answer does not come easily then work with it a while. Another way to test your understanding, is to see if you can successfully convey your answer to other members of your study team (or me) and to answer their questions clearly and completely.

Additional Notes

  • The grading scheme is not a curve.

  • No make-up quizzes or projects will be given for any reason.

  • Cheating and/or plagiarism will result in immediate failure of this course. In addition, students caught engaging in these practices can anticipate my wholehearted pursuit of the harshest available course of administrative action, including dismissal from ISU.

  • This course contract is considered final. The work necessary to obtain the grade you desire has been outlined here. No additional work will be accepted to increase your grade. Do not come to me at semester's end asking if there is some additional work you can do to increase your grade. At semester's end, there is none.

If You Need Help

Please feel free to send me an e-mail with your question(s). Post questions on Webboard and read and reply to the questions of other students in the class. My job is to help you "learn by doing the thing". If you want help get it early, don't wait until the last minute -- demand increases as due dates approach; the resulting shortage of my time results in rationing by waiting.

Drop Policy

A grade of WX will automatically be assigned by the Registrar's office if you drop before the end of the eighth week [Fri. 11 October]. No one may drop the course after 11 October.