Introduction to Economics (online)

Florida State University-Valencia Study Center

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Introduction to Economics (online)

  • Host University

    Florida State University-Valencia Study Center

  • Location

    Valencia, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Economics, International Economics

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    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 and small groups of individuals involved in the market system make choices and how society's economic activities are organized. We will also investigate how government policy impacts market outcomes. Finally, we will increase our understanding in matters of personal finance by examining the steps necessary to create and increase wealth into the future. Specifically, the objectives of this course are:

    - Develop a basic understanding of the economic way of thinking.
    - Understand human behavior using the tools of an economist.
    - Understand and appreciate how truly amazing the market process really is!
    - Understand the importance of trade and private property rights as a source of economic progress and gain insight into why some countries are richer than others.
    - Understand how the government interacts with the economy and apply this basic economic way of thinking to current public issues.
    - Develop the key ingredients of sound personal finance decision making so that you can amass large amounts of wealth should you choose to do so.
    - Detect and correct fallacious economic reasoning and expose common economic myths. Note: This involves being exposed to information that may conflict with your previously held beliefs and opinions. I understand that this can be challenging, but please try to keep an open mind.
    - A final objective of this course is to provide you with a new way of looking at your world!

    1. Main textbook: James D. Gwartney, Richard L. Stroup, Dwight R. Lee, Tawni H. Ferrarini. Common Sense Economics: What Everyone Should Know about Wealth and Prosperity ? Revised and Updated edition. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2010.
    Additional readings will also be posted on Blackboard. You may also want to refer to the following website for readings and helpful study materials:

    Each section will be based on several learning modules that corresponds to sections of the Common Sense Economics textbook. Each learning module will have an assigned textbook reading, PowerPoint slides, additional readings, and video clips which will increase your economic knowledge and prepare you to tackle the graded requirements for each module. These requirements include discussion board posts, quizzes, and, depending on the module, an online assignment and/or exam. The class is divided into 4 sections to correspond with the 4 sections of the textbook: The breakdown of points for each module is listed below:

    Modules Discussion Board Assignments Quizzes Exams Total
    Section I Modules 1-4, 20, 20, 40, 80, 160
    Section II Modules 5-7, 15, 20, 45, 100, 180
    Section III Modules 8-11, 40, 30, 80, 120, 270
    Section IV Modules 12-15, 40, 70, 80, 200, 390
    Total 115, 140, 245, 500, 1000

    I understand that some of you are new to taking a course in an online setting and may be nervous about your first adventure into the world of online learning. In order to help break students in gently, the weight of the discussion board posts, quiz questions, and exam questions are progressively tiered as you move through the course. For example, discussion board posts are worth 5 points for sections 1 and 2 and 10 points for sections 3 and 4. Similarly, quiz questions are worth 1 point each in section 1, 1.5 points each in section 2, and 2 points each in sections 3 and 4. This puts less weight on your earlier class obligations when you are adapting to the new experience of online learning and then increases the weight as you become more and more comfortable with how this course works. I will try to post daily scores and points from assignments, discussion boards, quizzes, and exams on Blackboard as quickly as possible after the module concludes. You will have two weeks from the posting date to appeal or correct that information. After that, no adjustments will be allowed for any reason. The only exception is that all grades will be considered final after the final exam has been completed, so please make sure you address any perceived discrepancies before attempting the final exam. It is your
    responsibility to monitor your grades on a regular basis.

    Your final grade will depend on how many points you earn throughout the semester according to the following scale:

    Grade Points
    Please understand that the grade you receive will be based on this final scale. Please do not ask for your grade to be changed or "bumped up" at the end of the semester, as the only way to truly be fair is to keep the same unbending scale for all students.

    A 920 - 1000
    A- 895 - 919
    B+ 870 - 894
    B 820 - 869
    B- 795 - 819
    C+ 770 - 794
    C 720 - 769
    C- 695 - 719
    D+ 670 - 694
    D 620 - 669
    D- 595 - 619
    F ? 594

    This section will describe the learning tasks that you need to complete to earn points throughout the semester. Please make sure you read these descriptions carefully so you understand your responsibilities as a student.

    The first thing you will do is read and answer the questions on the discussion board by replying to the posted discussion thread (please do not start a new thread) with your pre-thoughts before going over the material. Your response will not be graded for accuracy but rather that you completely and thoughtfully answered each question. You are to then complete the textbook reading and any additional readings, go through the posted PowerPoint slides, watch all of the video clips for that module, and complete any listed assignments before offering your post- thoughts to the questions by replying to your pre-thoughts post (again, please do not start a new thread). Your post thoughts will be graded on how well you attempted to include the information you learned throughout the module in adapting your response to the listed questions.

    When completing your discussion board posts, please remember to number your answers so it is clear which question you are answering. Also, please be professional and courteous at all times. This means writing in complete sentences and spelling out all words (no text messaging or instant messaging format) as well as refraining from the use of profanity and disrespectful language towards the other students.

    Please avoid using all CAPS unless you are trying to draw positive attention to something you want to point out. Finally, this is a discussion board, so in addition to the posts replying to the questions, please feel free to reply to other students posts so long as you do so in a respectful and courteous manner. These additional replies will not be graded but could start an interesting dialogue that results in enhanced learning and better performance on the quizzes and exams.

    Some of the learning modules contain assignments that correspond with the material presented within that module. The majority of assignments will be completed through blackboard and each assignment is worth between 5 and 20 points depending on the length and complexity of the assignment. It is highly recommended that you complete all of the readings and watch all of the videos before attempting to complete the assignment.

    At the end of each module is a quiz consisting of 10 questions that test you about what you learned within that module. The number of points each question is worth increases as you move through the course (please see the section entitled "Learning Modules"). Please make sure you have gone through and studied all of the materials, including the textbook reading, the PowerPoint slides, any additional readings, and any video clips before attempting to take the quiz. You have 3 chances to take each quiz and your highest score of the three attempts is the one that counts. You will have 30 minutes to complete and submit each attempt once you open it Please note that you must complete and submit the quiz for each module in order. That is, you cannot finish module 2 then go back and finish module 1.

    Please note that there are exams at the end of modules 4, 7, 11, and 15. All of the exams are cumulative in that each will cover all of the information from the beginning of the course up until that exam. You will only have one attempt for each exam and you have 120 minutes (two hours) to complete and submit the attempt.
    The exams break down as follows:

    Exam Material Covered Points
    Exam 1 Modules 1-4 80 (40 questions worth 2 points each)
    Exam 2 Modules 1-7 100 (40 questions worth 2.5 points each)
    Exam 3 Modules 1-11 120 (40 questions worth 3 points each)
    Final Exam Modules 1-15 200 (50 questions worth 4 points each)

    Please mark your calendars with the following exam dates.
    Tuesday, January 24: Section 1 Exam
    Tuesday, February 14: Section 2 Exam
    Tuesday, March 13: Section 3 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.

    Each section will consist of several learning modules that will contain a textbook reading along with the corresponding PowerPoint slides, additional readings, and video clips that make up the content of the course. Additionally, each module contains discussion board question for which you are required to offer your pre and post thoughts and a final quiz that covers the information contained within the module.

    Some modules may consist of an assignment and/or an exam as well. The best way to do well in this class is to find a quiet place where you can focus for 1-2 hours at a time and follow these steps:

    1. Every module will start with a series of discussion board questions that will require your pre and post thoughts. The first thing you should always do is check the discussion board and reply to the listed thread for that module with your pre-thoughts (please do not start your own thread). Just answer these questions to the best of your ability (using complete, grammatically-correct sentences) given your current knowledge. As long as you answer each question thoughtfully and respectfully, your answers will not be counted against you.

    2. After completing your pre-thoughts, glance over the key words and complete the short textbook reading for the module. Also, go through the PowerPoint slides either while reading from the textbook or directly after and make sure you understand the key concepts of the module. If it helps you to print off the slides and make notes from your textbook as you go through the PowerPoint presentation then please feel free to do so.

    3. Complete the additional readings within the module. Many of the readings are also available on audio so that you can download them to your MP3 player and listen to them if you prefer.

    4. Watch the short and often entertaining video clips which highlight some of the important economic concepts from this module. You may want to incorporate the lessons from these clips into your notes.

    5. Once you have gone through this material you are ready to complete any assignments that are required for this module. Please understand that not all modules have required assignments.

    6. Return to the discussion board to offer your post thoughts to the listed questions for that module by replying to your own pre-thought discussion board post (again, please do not start a new thread). Please make sure you incorporate what you learned from the readings and video clips into your post thought analysis by citing specific examples where possible. You may also want to take the time to read (and in some cases respectfully respond to) posts by other students in the class so that you can also learn from one another.

    7. Review the material for that module and make sure that you are comfortable with the information taught in the readings and videos. Once you feel ready, please take the short 10 question multiple choice quiz which tests what you learned from the specific module. Each quiz must be completed in order.

    8. Modules 4, 7, 11, 15 contain a cumulative exam that covers the material from all of the modules up to that point. Please make sure you review all of the material from the course to that point. An online class is different than a traditional face-to-face class in that you will work at your own pace and be free from the structure of a traditional class that always meets at certain times. This means that you can complete all of this work in a single sitting or spread it out according to your schedule and preferences. However, this means that you are also more responsible for making time to complete the required work and motivating yourself to do so every week. That being said, please understand that just because this class is online, you are not alone in learning these economic concepts. As the instructor, it is my job to help you get the most you can out of this class so if you ever feel lost or frustrated, then please feel free to email me. Additionally, hopefully you and your fellow students can become partners in learning and help each other understand these lessons through the use of the interactive discussion board. I believe that if you follow the steps above then you will find success in this course and find the warm
    embrace of economic understanding!

    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.

    Module Exams: Notify me and the FSU Study Center director if you miss an exam. 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.

    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.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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