Principles of Microeconomics

Goals:
What will you get out ofthis class?

You will develop (or strengthen) community awareness and involvement (FGCU’s learning outcome # 9):

        1.1. Participate collaboratively in community service projects.

2) You will develop (or strengthen your) problem-solving abilities (FGCU’s learning outcome # 7):

2.1.You will apply critical, analytical and creative thinking in order to recognize and solve problems;

2.2. You will work individually and collaboratively to recognize and solve problems.


These goals will be accomplished by meetingthe following objectives:
By the end of the semester you will have:

1) Completed, documented and reflected on at least 10 hours of economic-related service learning activities;

2) As a team and individually, you will employcritical thinking skills to solve group assignments, class experiments and examquestions dealing with the following issues (Source: National Council ofEconomic Education):

  • Productive resources are limited. Rational Economic Agents decide how to use these resources by comparing the marginal costs of alternatives with the marginal benefits.
  • People respond to positive and negative incentives.
  • Voluntary exchange occurs only when all participating parties expect to gain. This is true for trade among individuals or organizations within a nation, and usually among individuals or organizations in different nations.When individuals, regions, and nations specialize in what they can produce at the lowest cost and then trade with others, both production and consumption tend to increase.
  • Markets exist when buyers and sellers interact. This interaction determines market prices and thereby allocates scarce goods and services. Prices send signals and provide incentives to buyers and sellers. When supply or demand changes, market prices adjust, affecting incentives.
  • In a perfectly competitive market, competition among sellers is likely to lower costs and prices, and is likely to encourage producers to produce more of what consumers are willing and able to buy.
  • Income for most people is determined by the market value of the productive resources they sell. What workers earn depends, primarily, on the market value of what they produce and how productive they are.
  • Entrepreneurs are people who take the risks of organizing productive resources to make goods and services. Profit is one of the incentives that leads entrepreneurs to accept the risks of business failure.
  • There is an economic role for government in a market economy whenever the benefits of a government policy outweigh its costs. Costs of government policies sometimes exceed benefits. This may occur because of incentives facing voters, government officials, and government employees, because of actions by special interest groups that can impose costs on the general public, or because social goals other than economic efficiency are being pursued.

How will these goals be evaluated?

Grading Policy

Your final grade will be based on the following criteria:


1) Exams, 65% of your grade:

There will be 3 exams. All exams will be comprehensive. This is intended as a tool to reinforce your knowledge and effective use of the economic concepts and ideas you will learn this semester.

1.1. Definite Exam Schedule and TentativeExam Material*

Exam 1 September 27, 2001 Click here for tentative schedule of topics.  All exams are comprehensive
Exam 2 November 6, 2001 Click here for tentative schedule of topics.  All exams are comprehensive
Exam 3 Finals Week Click here for tentative schedule of topics.  All exams are comprehensive
  • The exam format will be multiple choice, short answer, true/false, word problems and essay.
  • I do not “curve” exams. I believe that such procedures eliminate all the inherent incentives you have to do your best. Exam questions that seem “unfair” and/or extremely difficult for all students will be re-considered as I grade the exams.
  • I know that the unexpected happens.Honest and open communication (that can be supported with evidence and/ora doctor s note) is encouraged. Please notice: Taking your daughter to the doctor is, according toJ. Stanziola, an emergency; taking your cat (i.e., pet, etc) to the vet is a decisionyou make.  You getting hit by a car is an emergency; getting married theday of the final exam is a decision you make.
    If you experience an emergency and can document it, you will be allowed to takea make-up exam.  All make-up exams will be oral examinationsand must be made up within one week of the formal exam. If you make a decision that prevents you from being in class, you should be willing to bear the full opportunity cost of your actions.


2) In-class Group Assignments, 15% of your grade

  • You can expect AT LEAST one in-class group assignment every class. These assignments will ask you to apply and retain concepts discussed in THINKWELL’s Economics.
  • As you are watching these chapters, you are to take notes, and write down any questions you may have on the subject. Solve the guided quizzes Thinkwell has on line.
  • Live the moment!  You should have an active conversation with the guy on the video.
  • Your active commitment to this class is imperative.  You are to watch the videos assigned before coming to class.    
  • I DO NOT LECTURE IN CLASS.  I see myself as a facilitator, referee that can help you in the process of retaining and applying the ideas you have acquired watching the THINKWELL videos.
  • These assignments will follow a cooperative learning approach.
  • I know that the unexpected happens.Honest and open communication (that can be supported with evidence and/ora doctor s note) is encouraged.  You can miss up to ONE group assignment. To make up group assignments, you need to provide written evidence of youremergency.


3)  Service Learning Activities, 20% of your grade:

  • Service learning experiences support the FGCU undergraduate learning goals and outcomes, foster civic responsibility, and develop informed citizens who participate in their communities after graduation in personally and professionally relevant ways.
  • Service learning facilitates an appreciation for the interconnectedness of individuals, the communities in which they live, and the resources required to sustain both.
  • A KEY ingredient of Service Learning is the chance to apply what you are learning in the classroom to real life situations.

For this class, you will have to complete at least 10 hours of service learning hours related to one or a number of the choices listed below:

Service Learning Options

 

  • To receive a grade for your service learning activity, you are to carefully document your time, fill out a service agreement and verification form, and write a reflection paper.  
    • Your reflection paper should discuss the following questions: Based on your experiences related to your service learning activity, 1) Do you believe social capital fosters, facilitates, and/or sustains business practices and/or entrepreneurship? Why? How? 2) Is social trust needed to foster, facilitate, and/or sustain business practices and/or entrepreneurship? Why?  3) Do entrepreneurs and business managers have a “social responsibility”?  Why?  Please refer to Friedman’s views on this subject.  
  • HALF OF YOUR GRADE will be based on the completion and documentation of 10 service learning hours.  You can work in groups of 1-2.  For “VISA”, you would be working as a group of five.  For “Entrepreneurship Assistance”, you would be working as a group of “30”. 
  • HALF OF YOUR GRADE will be based on your reflection paper.  EACH of you has to write an individual reflection paper (except the 15 students working on the database of economic indicators and Entrepreneurship Assistance.)

    IMPORTANT DEADLINES

    1. September 4, 2001: Select service learning options.  Remember, space is limited.

    2. I will place a sign-up sheet for each of these projects outside my door.  If you select to engage in an economic-related service learning activity that is not listed here (LISTED AS OTHERS ABOVE), you need to get my approval by September 4, 2001. 

    3. SERVICE LEARNING DAYS:  To allow you to work on your service learning projects, we will not meet on October 11, October 30 and November 29.  Please use this time wisely.

    4. Reflection Paper and Agreement and Verification forms are due DECEMBER 4, 2001 at the beginning of class.

    I know that the unexpected happens.Honest and open communication (that can be supported with evidence and/ora doctor s note) is encouraged. Please notice: Taking your daughter to the doctor is, according toJ. D.Stanziola, an emergency; taking your cat (i.e., pet, etc) to the vet is a decisionyou make.  You getting hit by a car is an emergency; getting married theday of the final exam is a decision you make.  YOUR NOT PLANNING ON ADVANCE TO COMPLETE YOUR SERVICE LEARNING REQUIREMENT is not an emergency.



General Comments:

  • I encourage an environment of constant questioning, debate, challenge in the classroom.  You are encouraged to disagree with every word I say. Now, that does not mean that you are to be disrespectful of me or your peers.
  • I expect nothing but your optimal performance.  This class requires you to be mindful (open to meaningful options) and intelligent (able to achieve desired outcomes).  Short Essay questions are examples of mindfulness.  There are no “right” or “wrong” answers for these short essay questions.  But you are to justify your claims using concepts/models/ideas learned in this class.  Multiple Choice questions are, on the other hand, intelligent questions.  They require that you acquire, remember, and retain concepts and ideas.
  • Business students need a C to pass this class.  I follow a +/- system.  A C- is not a passing grade for Business students.
  • Common Misconceptions about College, according to J.D. Stanziola:
    • One of the jobs of the professor is  to “give” grades.  That’s not the way I see it.  I assess and evaluate your performance in the class.  You EARN your grade.
    • A grade reflects how smart you are.   That’s not the way I see it.  A grade reflects the choices you made during a semester.
    • Incompletes (I) are given to those students that wanted to drop the class but missed the deadline.  That’s not the way I see it.  An “I” will be given only to those students that are facing/faced an emergency or personal loss and have completed at least 70% of the class work.  It is up to the professor to assign an Incomplete.

Grades will be distributed as follows:

A = 94 -100 B+ = 87 -89 C+ = 77 -79 D+ = 67 -69
A- = 93 -90 B = 86 -84 C = 76 -74 D = 66 -64
  B- = 83 -80 C- = 73 -70 D- = 63 -60
Below 59 = F

School: Florida Gulf Coast University
Professor: Javier Stanziola, Ph.D.
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