Kay L. McLennan, Ph.D., Professor of Practice


Home Up

                      Introductory Economics for Non Majors

                                       CSEC-100-10 (Online), Fall 2008

                                                Syllabus

                                                             

                                        Note:  This syllabus is subject to change.

Instructor & Course Information

 

                  Instructor:  Kay L. McLennan, Ph.D.

                                     Professor of Practice, Business Studies

e-Mail & Voice Mail:  kmclenna@tulane.edu & 504.862.8000 x1360

             Office Hours:  Wednesdays, 9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. (by appointment at the Elmwood Campus)

                   Web Site:   http://www.tulane.edu/~kmclenna

 

                      Course:   The online version of the Introductory Economics for Non Majors course is a

                                      highly participative asynchronous Internet-based course.  The course site –

                                      with all of the course materials and discussion forums -- is located in the

                                      myTulane Blackboard platform (at http://mytulane.blackboard.com)

 

 

 

Textbooks & Other Required Reading

 

Please keep in mind that it is your responsibility to procure a copy of the assigned textbook prior to the

first day of classes.  More specifically, the required textbooks (and other required reading) includes:

 

1.      Mankiw, N. Gregory (2007).  Essentials of Economics (4th Edition).  Mason, Ohio: South-Western.  [ISBN 0324236964]  Note:  The Mankiw web site (with a link to companion web site with various

study resources is at: 

http://www.thomsonedu.com/thomsonedu/student.do?product_isbn=0324236964&disciplinenumber=413&tab=Basics

 

Note:  You can order an e-book copy (or a “hard” copy) of the above book at: http://www.ichapters.com for $70.99

 

2.      [A new edition with an unused access code.]  Mateer, G. Dirk (2006).  Economics in the Movies.  Mason, Ohio: South-Western.  [ISBN 0324302614]  Note:  The Mateer web site (that includes a demonstration clip) is at:  http://economicsinthemovies.swlearning.com/

 

3.      Course site lectures and articles (see “Assignments & Lectures” icon for reading assignments and

“In the News” to find the articles).

 

 

Prerequisites for Taking an Internet-Based Course

 

Each student enrolled in an Internet-based course will need:

 

         Computer access (students are welcome to use any of the open computer labs on the campus);

         Minimum computer capabilities (see section below entitled “Minimum Computer Requirements”);

         An interest in utilizing the Internet as a distance education mode;

         Self-motivation – with an on-line course students need to take the initiative to review the

on-line course materials, keep up with the reading and project assignments and participate in the

on-line discussions; and

         Adequate written communication skills to communicate effectively through the mediums of essay submissions, e-mail, and “chat” discussions.  (While the instructor for Internet-based

courses is available almost “on-demand” through e-correspondence and e-office hours, being comfortable with written communication is an imperative for distance education students.)

 

 

 

Course Topic Outline & Assignment Due Dates

 

Module One:  Introduction and How Markets Work (Supply & Demand)

 

August 27th – September 22nd

 

         Ten Principles of Economics

         Thinking Like an Economist

         Gains from Trade

         Market Forces of Supply & Demand

         Elasticity

         Government Policies

 

Textbook Reading Assignment:

 

Mankiw – Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6

 

Economics in the Movies Video Clips to Watch:

 

         Scene 15:  “Efficiency:  Along Came Polly

         Scene 1:  “Opportunity Cost:  The Family Man

         Scene 10:  “Comparative Advantage:  Babe

         Scene 20:  “Auctions:  The River

 

Work Due:

 

1)      Post problem solutions (with the problem questions located in the “Assignments & Lectures”

icon) on or before September 15th (on your group discussion board)

 

2)      Post discussion threads (on your group discussion board) due on three (3) different days

            between September 15th – 22nd

 

3)       Take the online module one test  by the end of the day or 11:59 p.m. on September 22nd

 

Other Important Dates:

 

         Last Day to Confirm:   August 29th

 

         Last Day to Add or Drop w/a 100% refund:  September 9th

 

 

Module Two:  More on Supply and Demand and the Economics of the Public Sector

 

September 23rd – October 20th

 

         Consumers, Producers, and Efficiency of Markets

         The Costs of Taxation (Application)

         International Trade (Application)

         Externalities

         Public Goods and Common Resources

 

Textbook Reading Assignment:

 

Mankiw – Chapters 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11

 

Economics in the Movies Video Clips to Watch:

 

         Scene 2:  “Gains from Exchange:  Out of Sight

         Scene 19:  “Environmental Economics:  Erin Brockovich

 

Work Due:

 

1)      Post problem solutions on or before October 13th (on your group discussion board)

 

2)      Post discussion threads (on your group discussion board) due on three (3) different days between October 13th – 20th

 

3)      Take the online module two test  by the end of the day or 11:59 p.m. on October 20th

 

 

         Yom Kippur Holiday:   October 9th

 

 

Module Three:  Firm Behavior, the Organization of Industry, and the Long Run Real Economy

 

October 21st – November 17th

 

         The Costs of Production

         Firms in Competitive Markets

         Monopoly

         Measuring National Income

         Measuring Cost of Living

         Production and Growth

         Unemployment

 

Textbook Reading Assignment:

 

Mankiw – Chapters 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 20

 

Economics in the Movies Video Clips to Watch:

 

         Scene 13:  “Monopoly:  Being John Malkovich

         Scene 9:  “Measuring Economic Performance:  Traffic

         Scene 6:  “Unemployment:  Reality Bites

 

Work Due:

 

1)      Post problem solutions on or before November 10th  (on your group discussion board)

 

2)      Post discussion threads (on your group discussion board) due on three (3) different days

            between November 10th – November 17th

 

3)      Take the online module three test  by the end of the day or 11:59 p.m. on November 17th

 

Other Important Dates:

 

         Last Day to Drop:   October 24th

 

Module Four:  Money and Prices in the Long-Run

 

November 18th – December 5th

 

         Savings, Investment, and the Financial System

         The Monetary System

         Monetary Growth and Inflation

         Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply

 

         Thanksgiving Holiday:  November 26th – 30th 

 

Textbook Reading Assignment:

 

Mankiw – Chapters18, 21, 22, and 23

 

Economics in the Movies Video Clips to Watch:

 

         Scene 5:  “Money as a Medium of Exchange:  Waterworld

         Scene 8:  “Banking System:  It’s a Wonderful    Life

         Scene 7:  “Inflation:  The Major and the Minor

         Scene 11:  “Intertemporal Time Management:  About a Boy

         Scene 3:  “The Great Depression:  Seabiscuit

 

Work Due:

 

1)      Post problem solutions on or before November 28th (on your group discussion board)

 

2)      Post discussion threads (on your group discussion board) due on three (3) different days

            between November 28th – December 5th

 

3)      Take the online module four test  by the end of the day or 11:59 p.m. on December 5th

 

4)      Take online Final by end of day or 11:59 p.m. on December 8th

 

 

Learning Outcomes & Cognitive Development Objectives

 After completing the requirements of this course, students should be able to:

         Understand what the study of economics entails and the relationship between scarcity and choice.

         Explain the concept of opportunity cost and measure this cost in terms of explicit and implicit costs.

         Use a demand schedule and a demand curve to demonstrate the law of demand.

         Use a supply schedule and a supply curve to demonstrate the law of supply.

         Understand the notion of equilibrium and how equilibrium price and quantity are determined in a competitive market.

         Calculate various types of elasticities and interpret the results.

         Understand the concepts of marginal product, diminishing returns, and the different types of costs (implicit versus implicit and fixed versus variable costs).

         Use the concept of opportunity cost to explain the behavior of firms.

         Define economic efficiency in terms of Pareto improvements.

         Discuss the four phases of the business cycle.

         Explain why macroeconomists use aggregation.

         Explain the difference between the expenditure, value-added, and factor payment approaches to GDP, and describe how GDP is calculated using each approach.

         Discuss how the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is compiled and how it is used.

         Define Say’s law, and explain why it is crucial to the classical view of the economy.

         Explain why economic growth is an important determinant of a nation’s standard of living.

         Explain the difference between expansions and recessions

         Understand the application of all the theory to real world problems like domestic security and the role of the stock market in the macro economy.

In terms of the cognitive learning objectives to be attained for each topic area studied (see “Course Topic Outline” below), students will:

         Gather knowledge (or facts or theories) about each topic area from the readings, instructor lecture

         notes, and e-discussions with classmates and the instructor; and

         Demonstrate comprehension (or seeing relationships, concepts, principles, and abstractions beyond simply remembering material, typically involving translating, interpreting and estimating future trends) through essay answers, e-discussions with classmates, and the final project; and

         Understand the application (or the ability to use learned material in new and concrete situations, including the application of rules, methods, concepts, principles, laws and theories) to specific issues and challenges in marketing.   

 

 

Required Student Participation

 

Learning is best accomplished when students are provided with experiential opportunities.  Accordingly, class members are expected to log into the class site at least three times a week (please note that the Blackboard software keeps track of when you enter the class site) as well as post assigned essays, contribute substantive comments during the four module discussion periods, take the module tests, and take the final exam within the specified time frames.  As a general rule of thumb, students are expected to respond to the comments on their work and at least 60 percent of the essay postings of the other students in their group.  In addition, during each discussion period, students must contribute comments on three different days.

 

 

Grading

 

The final grade in the course will be made up of grades on problem set/exercise submissions, group discussions, tests covering the material in each module, and a final exam.  The calculation of your final grade has the following components: problem set/exercise submissions = a little less than 1/3rd of the final grade; group discussion participation = a little less than 1/3rd of the final grade; and module tests = a little less than1/3rd of the final grade.  Finally, a 100 point final exam will be given with the aim of bringing all the course material together.

With a potential of earning a total of 1,000 points in the course, the following point ranges (and accompanying grades) will be used.

Point Range

Grade

934-1,000

A

900-933

A-

866-899

B+

832-865

B

800-831

B-

766-799

C+

732-765

C

700-731

C-

666-699

D+

632-665

D

600-631

D-

599 & below

F

Further, the following grading component criteria will be used.

         Each module problem set/exercise/essay assignment will be worth 75 points (taken together, the problem set/exercise/essay assignments in the course total 300 points).  The specific grading subcomponents for each essay include: 1) demonstrating a mastery of the subject material; 2) crafting a well-written, grammatically correct compositions that adheres to any length guidelines provided; and

3) posting all work on time.  Note: Business/other commitments (including travel) will not excuse late work.  If you have a demanding job or travel commitments, it will be your responsibility to work ahead in the course so that you will be able to meet the deadlines specified.

         Participation in group discussions (in your individual groups) will account for 300 points of the 1,000 points in the course.  More specifically, you will be able to earn 75 points during each of the four modules based on the following subcomponents:

1.      Providing substantive comments that include personal or real world examples and backing up claims and assertions with relevant sources;

2.      Responding to the required 60 percent of the essay postings of your group members; and

3.      Responding to group members’ comments on your essays.

4.      Providing timely responses.  In terms of timely group discussions, you should aim to respond

to group members’ comments on your essays within a 2 day time frame.  Further, given the requirement that you are to log into the course site a minimum of three times a week, for each week long discussion period, you will need three different—spaced out—days of comments. 

If you are going to be off line for a few days (for example, on an out-of-town business trip), please let your group members know.  If you wait until the final few days of a module to comment on your group members’ work or your group members’ comments on your essays,

the benefits of having meaningful discussions on the course material will be lost.  Also,

untimely comments will compromise the educational experience for others in the class and

will be penalized.  Note: Again, business/other commitments (including travel) will not excuse late work.  If you have a demanding job or travel commitments, it will be your responsibility to work ahead in the course so that you will be able to meet the deadlines specified.

         Completing the online exam for each module will account for 300 points of the 1,000 points in the course [or 75 points per module, including twenty-five (worth 3 points each) multiple choice/short answer questions per test].

         Final exam (worth 100 points).  The final exam will test all the material studied in the course.

 

 

 

Make-Up Work Policies

 

Given the asynchronous nature of this course, the expectation is that students will be able to meet all deadlines for completing reading assignments, posting problem solutions and discussing group members’ submissions.  Tardy postings will compromise the quality of group discussions and accordingly are unacceptable.  In turn, only extraordinary or emergency circumstances will merit consideration for a deadline extension and will have to be evaluated by the instructor on a case-by-case basis.  Also, please

e-mail the instructor as soon as possible to explain any anticipated or missed deadlines.

 

 

Honor Code

 

All academic assignments in this course are conducted under the provisions of the Tulane University

Honor Code.  In particular, while students will collaborate during group discussions of the material and their work, when it comes to assembling their initial problem set/exercise responses and taking module exams, students are expected to work independently.  The complete Honor Code is available

online at:  http://college.tulane.edu/code.htm

Also, all Honor Code Board meetings will take place in New Orleans.  In turn, if a student wishes to appear before the Honor Board (to counter an allegation of a violation of the Honor Code), the student must keep in mind that they will need to do so in New Orleans.  Further, if a student waives the right to appear in person before the Honor Board (in New Orleans), written statements will be accepted.

 

 

Student Disability Accommodations

 

Any student with a disability in need of course or examination accommodations should request accommodations through the University’s Office of Disability Services located in the Mechanical Engineering Building.  Please do this as soon as possible.  In turn, please let me know you are eligible

for accommodation (through an e-mail correspondence) and provide a copy of your approved accommodation form from ODS to me (as well as to each professor in whose course you wish to receive accommodations).  I am committed to working with the Office of Disability Services to ensure that all approved accommodations are provided.  However, if you do not deliver the approved accommodation form, I will not know you have been approved to receive accommodations and will have no basis for providing those accommodations.

 

 

Minimum Computer Requirements

 

This on-line course utilizes Tulane University's myTulane Blackboard course software. In turn, the minimum computer system recommendations for using Blackboard software include the following. [Note: The Blackboard software platform may work on a computer that does not meet these minimum recommendations but using a lesser system could result in slow or problematic student access.]

         Platform: Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, ME or XP; MacOS 9 or MacOSX

         Hardware: 64 MB or RAM and 1 G of free disk space

         Browser: Internet Explorer 5.5 or Netscape 4.78 (JavaScript and Cookies must be enabled)

         Modem: 56 K (but a DSL connection is recommended for viewing video clips)

         Tulane University e-mail and Blackboard account (along with the knowledge of how to send and receive e-mail)  [Note: All newly admitted students will be automatically assigned a Tulane

         University e-mail account (your user name will be sent to you by mail and your password will be

         your social security number, without the dashes).  If you are a currently admitted student that lacks a Tulane University e-mail account and/or Blackboard account, please contact the Computer Help

         Desk, at (504) 862-8888, to set up the account(s).]

         Basic computer knowledge (including knowledge of word processing, printing files, downloading files, uploading files, etc.

 

 

Syllabus Changes

       

Again, the instructor retains the right to make changes to this syllabus.

 

 

Home Course Syllabi Before Registering Computer Needed Getting Started Using Blackboard Video Lectures Student Advice About the Instructor

Last modified: May 26, 2008