Principles of Macroeconomics (Online)
Florida State University-Valencia Study Center
Area of Study
Economics, International Economics
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits0
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units0
Hours & Credits
COURSE DESCRIPTION & LEARNING GOALS
Economics is the study of how people make choices due to scarcity of resources. This class will focus on the market system of economic choice. We will analyze how individuals, large groups of individuals, and countries involved in the market system make choices and how society's economic activities are organized. We will also investigate how government policy impacts the overall economy.
John M. Keynes, a distinguished economist, wrote "Economics does not furnish a body of settled conclusions immediately applicable to policy. It is a method rather than a doctrine, an apparatus of the mind, a technique of thinking which helps its possessor to draw correct conclusions." As such, the general objective of the course is to provide you with analytical tools to apply to macroeconomic problems that you will encounter every day.
Specifically, this course is designed to help the student master an understanding of:
1. How economic thinking can lead to better decision making
2. How choices are influenced by changes in incentives
3. How a market economy can produce desirable outcomes
4. How a market economy can produce undesirable outcomes
5. How Gross Domestic Product is measured
6. How fiscal policy influences the performance of an economy
7. How monetary policy influences the performance of an economy
8. What policy makers can do to promote economic stability and income growth
9. The importance of trade as a source of economic progress
10. How international trade influences employment, output, and living standards
PREVIEW OF THE SEMESTER SCHEDULE
The course is divided into four modules with the following fourteen chapters:
Module 1 Chapters 1, 2, 3
Module 2 Chapters 7, 8, 9, 10
Module 3 Chapters 11, 12, 13, 14
Module 4 Chapters 16, 17, 18
1. Main textbook: Macroeconomics, Private and Public Choice, 13th edition by Gwartney, Stroup, Sobel, and Macpherson. The 12th edition is NOT acceptable. Several copies should be available in the FSU Study Center library.
2. The Economics of Macro Issues, 3rd or 4th edition, by Miller and Benjamin. Several copies should be available in the FSU Study Center library.
HOW TO EARN THE MOST POINTS
Here is the plan for not only maximizing the points you earn but also learning the most about economics.
First, skim through the chapter reading assignment and write down the definitions to the key terms on the chapter study guide. This will give you an idea about the definitions and major concepts that will be discussed in the chapter. Second, read the chapter carefully. Third, read the chapter PowerPoint file on Blackboard found in the "Module Files" section. The slides are duplicates of what I use in a face-to-face class. The slides will indicate which sections and concepts are emphasized. Watch the videos and read the articles identified on the slides. Answer any questions on the slides. They are meant to help you evaluate your understanding of the material before you take a quiz. Fourth, complete the entire chapter study guide. I believe you will learn more by reading and working in many relatively short study sessions as opposed to a few long ones. Fifth, answer the chapter study guide questions. These are meant to be about the same difficulty level as the chapter quizzes but a little easier than exam questions. Most importantly, create and maintain a consistent effort toward class. It is easy to ignore an online class for extended periods. Spending small amounts of time on a consistent basis will be a much better alternative than cramming the night before an exam.
GRADING TOOLS AND SCALE
Grading Tool Potential Points Grade Minimum Amount
Papers (8) 80
Chapter Quizzes (11 of 14) 110
Discussion Board Postings (12) 36
Module Exams (3 of 4) 225
Final Exam 300
Please note, I do not use percentages to assign final grades nor do I round points. If you earn 695 then your grade will be an A-. Please do not beg for points at the end of the semester.
The papers are generally based on content from class and the main text but specifically come from The Economics of Macro Issues, 3rd or 4th edition, by Miller and Benjamin. Except for Chapter 1, you will choose any chapter that is most appealing to you and answer the questions at the end of the chapter. Your paper should be typed with single spacing, 12-point font, and one-inch margins.
Clearly number the questions before each of your responses and double-space after each question response. You do not need to restate the questions from the book. Make sure your name, class, paper number, chapter number, and book edition are clearly identified on the first page.
Two papers must be submitted before each module exam, therefore a total of eight papers are required.
You will submit your papers to SafeAssign via the link on Blackboard. I will not accept any email attachments.
Each paper will be worth 10 points and graded as follows:
10 = acceptable, which means your submission had economically plausible answers and exhibited an adequate amount of effort.
8 = below but close to acceptable, which means at least one of your answers was not economically plausible or had some obvious flaw and/or exhibited less-than-adequate effort.
6 = barely acceptable, which means your answers were way too short or lacked any insight or depth and/or exhibited minimal effort.
2 = pitiful, which means I can't assign a zero because you turned something in but your effort isn't even close to acceptable. Also could mean you answered questions from the Gwartney main textbook instead of the Miller and Benjamin book. Any paper without your name, class, paper number, chapter number, and book edition clearly identified on the top of the first page will also result in this score.
Most of the questions are opinion-oriented. Generally speaking, one or two sentence answers are not adequate. While I don't want you to ramble just to create a long answer, your responses should be thorough enough to clearly express your thought and include some economic-based reasoning. I have provided an example paper based upon Chapter 1.
SafeAssign will produce an "originality report" which is one measure to detect plagiarism. The report shows me the percentage of the paper that matches another submission. Papers will potentially receive a zero and you will be subject to honor code violations for matches exceeding 50%.
A 10-question quiz will be available for each chapter. You are encouraged to use all the resources posted on Blackboard (that is, open-book, open-notes). You may take each quiz one time. Fourteen quizzes will be offered, but only your eleven highest scores count toward your grade. The remaining low scores will be dropped. All quizzes for the module chapters are due before the module exam date. You may take each quiz at your convenience, wherever you have a reliable internet connection.
Failure to properly submit your answers will result in a paper and pencil icon appearing in your gradebook. Common reasons for an icon are having multiple browser windows open for the same quiz, not clicking submit at the end of the quiz, clicking on the back arrow in your browser after you click submit (which causes Blackboard to think you're starting over), or starting a quiz but closing your browser window without clicking submit. An icon will not be replaced or corrected and will essentially be treated as a zero in your grade calculation.
DISCUSSION BOARD POSTINGS
I will post three questions for each module on a Blackboard discussion board. Before the module exam, I will expect at least one response from you for each question. About one paragraph should be long enough to answer each question.
Each response from you will be worth 3 points and will be graded on the following scale:
3 = acceptable, which means your submission had economically plausible answers and exhibited an adequate amount of effort.
2 = below but close to acceptable, which means at least one of your answers was not economically plausible or had some obvious flaw and/or exhibited less-than-adequate effort.
1 = barely acceptable, which means your answers were way too short or lacked any insight or depth and/or exhibited minimal effort.
Each online module exam will cover only those chapters in the module and consist of 25 multiple choice questions valued at 3 points each. You will have 45 minutes to complete the exam. Only your top 3 exam scores will count toward your grade. The lowest score will be discarded.
Please mark your calendars with the following exam dates.
Tuesday, January 24: Module 1 Exam
Tuesday, February 14: Module 2 Exam
Tuesday, March 13: Module 3 Exam
Tuesday, April 10: Module 4 Exam
The final exam will consist of 75 multiple choice questions valued at 4 points each. The Final Exam is cumulative. You will have two hours to complete the exam.
Monday, April 16: Final Exam
The following exam procedures will be in place for each of the module exams plus the final exam. On the scheduled exam day, please go to the FSU Study Center library or computer lab. You may choose any time during the day that is convenient for you, but make sure to allow yourself time to finish the exam before the library or computer lab closes. Log in to the course Blackboard site and go to the exam link. When the password page appears, ask the Study Center staff to enter the password for you. You may then begin the exam.
IF YOU HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS...
Or accommodations because of a disability (i.e. physical, mental, psychological, learning), please notify me as soon as possible.
This syllabus and other class materials are available in alternative format upon request.
In addition, I recognize that this class is not the only event taking place in your life right now. Other personal or professional matters may arise during the semester. If another life event inhibits your ability to perform in this class, please notify me as soon as you can. Telling me about a situation after the semester is over leaves me very little flexibility to help you.
MAKE UP POLICIES
Module Exams: If you miss one module exam, no action is required. Your lowest module exam score will be automatically dropped. Notify me and the FSU Study Center director if you miss a second midterm. We will create a makeup on a case-by-case basis.
Final Exam: According to FSU policy, the following are the only valid reasons for requesting a makeup:
(1) Four or more final exams within a 24-hour period around our exam; (2) Another exam scheduled at the same time as our exam; (3) A documented medical emergency; (4) Some other documented extraordinary event. If one of these apply to you, you must notify me as soon as possible to schedule another time to take the exam
PROPER USE OF BLACKBOARD AND EMAIL
The class Blackboard site is restricted for use of class-related material. Please do not use the site for personal reasons such as selling property, advertising, or soliciting. Mass emails are especially suspect because FSU administrators and faculty may be listed as users of the site and receive those messages.
Any files, including videos, are intended for educational use for this class only. The material is subject to copyright laws and should not be downloaded and distributed.
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