This course is a general introduction to Macro and Microeconomics. The study of Microeconomics concerns the fundamental decisions of individuals--both consumers and producers--within the larger economic system. Micro emphasizes the study of opportunity cost and scarcity; including concepts such as the nature of product and factor markets, price determination, and marginal cost analysis. Macroeconomics uses the basic principles of economics to explain the economic system as a whole. Macro focuses on comparative economic systems, national income accounting, economic growth, and international trade; stressing the need for accurate measures of economic performance, and the role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy
ECONOMICS: TODAY AND TOMORROW, Roger Miller, 2005.
-You will be graded on the basis of in-class quizzes, multiple choice tests, discussion boards, economic simulations, and trimester examinations.
I. BLACKBOARD DISCUSSION BOARD ASSIGNMENTS
As part of the AP Micro class, you will be watching films in class as well as being assigned to review shows on television such as The Apprentice or the NPR Nightly Business Report. After reading the commentary on the show by the instructor as well as supplemental readings posted online, you will be required to post relevant responses in your own words to questions posed on a blackboard discussion board within the established deadline (usually one week). These discussion boards are designed to provoke educational and informative discussion and debate for quiz points while utilizing the blackboard system.
It is NOT necessary to actually see any film before posting on the discussion board, read the summary and assigned supplemental readings--as well as other students thoughts--in order to post a relevant response.
Each week's posting counts as one half of a quiz grade--a relevant post receives 5 points, no post or an offensive or off-topic posting gets a zero. There is absolutely no excuse not to post on blackboard by the assigned deadline; these assignments are posted and open for over a week before the deadline closes the board.
Approximately once a week the class will be given a quiz concerning points brought up in lectures, reading assignments, or current events. EVERY video shown will be the subject of a quiz covering the basic themes and topics of the film--particularly those episodes of Economics U$A shown and discussed in class. Quizzes will be anywhere from 6 to 12 possible points and will be in multiple choice or fill in the blank format.
There are NO makeup quizzes; a missed quiz is NOT counted for the purposes of the trimester average.
The total quiz average for the trimester will count as ONE test.
There will be one test per unit as listed in the schedule. These tests will be given approximately every three weeks. Each Unit Test will be 33 multiple choice questions, and will take one class period to complete. The class will go over every multiple choice test the following day. If you are absent (excused) on a scheduled Unit Test day you will be expected to make up that test BEFORE the next Unit Test is given. If you are unexcused absent the day of the test or do not make up the test by the deadline, the missed test will count as a zero.
Multiple choice tests will be counted out of 33 possible points.
There will be approximately THREE Unit Tests per Trimester.
IV. ECONOMIC SIMULATIONS
There will be two economic computer simulations and competitions every trimester. You will be graded on participation, effort, and success in each of these activities.
The first trimester you will be participating in the National Council for Economic Educations Model Stock Market Game. Students participating in the SMG will be divided into groups of two, and each team will invest a fictional $100,000 on the NASDAQ, American, and New York Stock Exchanges. These teams will be responsible for researching companies, analyzing market trends, and evaluating and trading securities in order to build a profitable portfolio. Student transactions will be reported to the University of Arizona, where the NCEE will rank their investment acumen--based on profitability, naturally--against other teams in the United States, Florida, and Broward county. Student teams will be required to hand in a detailed portfolio at the end of the simulation.
During the first trimester, you will also be competing in Gazillionaire - a computer exercise which allows student "companies" to compete against each other as they buy and trade goods in a simulated intergalactic business environment. Competition will motivate you to think about fundamentals such as overhead costs, profit margins, capitalization, compound interest, and other economic concepts by translating these abstract principles into concrete examples. Your company will be "graded" by the computer based on profitability, market share, and efficiency.
The second trimester you will be participating in the Internal Revenue Service's Game of Life. You will be playing the actual game of Life--but with tax consequences for every decision. You will be required to keep financial records of all transactions, income, and expenditures in order to complete the proper income tax forms based on the information gathered over the 'life' of the game. Using this simulation, you will be able to understand the basics of government revenue and the social and economic consequences of taxation policy on individuals and the economy as a whole. You will be expected to turn in a 1040 form at the end of this exercise.
You will also continue the Gazillionaire experience in a much more complicated environment in Profitania.
During the third trimester, you will continue the Gazillionaire exercise in the most complex economic environment of all: Zapitalism, and will also take on problems of national and international importance in the National Budget Simulation. The NBS is an online simulation in which you will take on the role of one of the President's Council of Economic Advisors: the Secretary of the Treasury, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, or the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. You will work in policy teams to determine tax rates, levels of government spending, and interest rates. The computer will grade your team based on how well your fiscal and monetary policies contributed to economic prosperity, growth, price stability, and full employment.
Every member of any simulation team MUST be prepared to make and justify decisions for the entire group.
Each simulation will be counted out of 20 possible points.
V. FINAL EXAM
Yes. Unless otherwise instructed by the administration or your teacher, there WILL be a final examination in this course.
The final examination will be 50 multiple choice questions taken in 70 minutes and will counted out of 50 possible points.
VI. OPTIONAL POINTS
Optional points may be given for attendance at both Political and Business Forums put on by the Institute for Civic Involvement. Thoughtful reflections on your part will be handed in to the sponsor at the end of every forum and will then be given to me. In order to receive any credit for attendance, your form MUST be filled out, handed in, and sent to me.
Forum attendance will receive 1 out of 1 possible points to a maximum total of 10 points.
THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO EXTRA CREDIT IN THIS COURSE!
YOUR FINAL GRADE WILL BE DETERMINED BY A PERCENTAGE: THE POINTS YOU HAVE EARNED DIVIDED BY YOUR TOTAL POSSIBLE POINTS.
YOU WILL BE EXPECTED TO KEEP TRACK OF YOUR OWN GRADES.