Course Syllabus (cont.)
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
"[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
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
"One must learn by doing the thing;
though you think you know it, you have no certainty until
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.
The grading scheme is not a curve.
No make-up quizzes or projects will be given for any
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.
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.