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Getting Started


Welcome to ECO 240. This page is your guide to how you get started. I also need to collect some information from you, which I will do throughout this message (see Tasks 1 - 4).

You have started your tour of the course Web site already by visiting the Main and Information pages. Next, carefully read the course Syllabus. (Note that Mallard Quiz 0 is about the Syllabus!) This is a contract between me and you. Before you agree to stay in this course you should know exactly what is required.

The third link in the Navigation row is the course Schedule. Look over all four "pages" of the schedule, and immediately jot down all the due dates listed in the schedule so you won't miss the weekly assignments.

The Tutorials are one of the three most often used links in the site (the other two are Workbooks and Quizzes). Think of the Tutorials as what I would say to you if we were meeting in a classroom.

Most of your work time for this class will be spent using Excel Workbooks to solve problems designed to clarify your understanding of key economic models and concepts in each Tutorial. The Excel workbooks are assigned to help you develop a clear understanding of how to manipulate key economic models as you learn key concepts. This will give you a proper foundation for successfully passing the online quizzes and completing the out-of-class projects on your own.

The sixth link, Quizzes, is a very important link. Mallard is a Web-based system for asynchronous, interactive learning developed at the University of Illinois. I have programmed Mallard to create a Homework Quiz system. Mallard randomly generates and selects questions for a homework quiz from a designated pool of questions for each concept we cover in the course. You will take your Mallard homework quiz on-line and it will be graded on-line. The Mallard system will then record your grade in the on-line grade book module. You must earn a minimum grade of 60% on a homework quiz before Mallard will record your grade in the grade book. Within the time period allotted for a homework 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 homework quiz. Homework quizzes taken after the allotted time period will be assessed a 10 point 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 Mallard's grade book. Your semester homework quiz average is calculated after dropping your lowest homework quiz grade.


Task 1: Change your Mallard Quizzes password

Mallard is password protected. Your ID is your last name (first letter capitalized, hyphenated names have the hyphen replaced by a space). Your password, for now, is Mallard (with a capital M). So, here is task number one. I suggest that you change your password the first time you use Mallard. Click on the link to Change Mallard Password and follow the instructions. Note that your Mallard password will not automatically change when you change your ULID password...

To access a Mallard quiz, click on the Quizzes Page link. You will note that I have already posted the quizzes. Please record the due dates on your personal calendar. Top of page.


Task 2: Log on to WebBoard

Next, click on the Webboard link in the navigation row. This link takes you to the Web-based messaging software that we will use as the primary means of communicating with each other out of class. If you have never used a WebBoard before, WebBoard will ask you to establish an account the first time you open this link. Use your ULID as your logon name and your regular password. Note that your WebBoard password will not automatically change when you change your ULID password...

So, here is task number three. Please log-on to WebBoard ASAP. After you succeed in entering WebBoard, you will note that I have divided the course into five sections: Markets and Prices, Consumers, Producers, Product Markets, and Input Markets. Each section of the course has its own Webboard Conference.

WebBoard is where we will conduct the everyday business of the course. We will use the Chat feature for informal course-related chat and for virtual office hours. You will note that WebBoard allows you to view a threaded discussion of topics for the course. You will be asked to post messages concerning the various assignments here. Top of page.


The One-Minute Paper link (in row two) is for the classroom section of the course. You will complete this online survey at the end of each class period.


Task 3: Select PIN for Grades

The second link in the second row, Grades to date, brings up the complete course grade book. After each assignment is graded, I will post those grades by a 4-digit personal identification number (PIN). Use it to keep track of how you are doing in the course. So, here is task number three. Please send me an e-mail message with a 4-digit PIN ASAP. If I do not hear from you, I will use the last four digits in your social security number as your PIN. Top of page.


Task 4: Identify preferred E-mail Address

I know that some of you prefer not to use your Illinois State University e-mail address. So, here is task number four. Send me a message ASAP with the e-mail address you want me to use.