ECON 1201 Principles of Microeconomics
Winter Term 2018
Course and Instructor Information
Course Title: Principles of Microeconomics
Prerequisites: None. Not open for credit to students who have passed ECON 1200.
Instructor: Richard N. Langlois
Phone: (860) 486-3472
Office Hours: by appointment, in person in Storrs or by phone or Skype.
Students are required to subscribe to the MindTap online resources and homework system. This online system includes an e-text version of Principles of Microeconomics by N. Gregory Mankiw, Cengage Learning, 8th Edition, 2018.
You will access MindTap through HuskyCT. The first time you click on any MindTap content in the Learning Modules, you will be asked to register. Just follow the prompts.
After registering for your course, you will need to pay for access using one of the options below:
Online: You can pay online using a credit or debit card or PayPal.
Bookstore: You can purchase an access card from the UConn Bookstore. You can buy a card in person, in either Stamford or Storrs, or have the access card shipped to you. (For more information, see Textbooks and Materials on the Enrolled Students page.) You can also buy an access card bundled with a paperback version of the textbook if you want to have a physical book in addition to the e-text. (The e-text expires after the semester, but the paper book is forever.)
Free Trial: If you are unable to pay at the start of the semester you may choose to access MindTap for a free trial. After the free trial ends you will be required to pay for access. Please note: At the end of the free trial period, your course access will be suspended until your payment has been made. All your scores and course activity will be saved and will be available to you after you pay for access.
This is a one-semester course in microeconomics. It provides a basic introduction to how a multitude of individual decisions come together in a market to allocate resources. (This is as opposed to macroeconomics — ECON 1202 — which studies large-scale economy-wide phenomena like economic growth, recessions, and the money supply.) The central tool of microeconomics is supply-and-demand analysis, which we will investigate in detail and apply to a variety of social issues, including price controls, taxation, and environmental policy.
By the end of the course, students should be able to:
- Define basic economic terms.
- Solve graphical and numerical economic problems.
- Understand the economy as a “spontaneous order” – the unintended consequences of individual action within the constraints of social institutions.
- Understand the concepts of scarcity and opportunity cost.
- Master the apparatus of supply-and-demand analysis and apply it to a wide variety of topics, including taxes, monopolies, and environmental issues.
- Explain the basic theoretical underpinnings of supply and demand.
Course Structure and Grading
There are two important facts about this course: it is a compressed (three-week) intensive course and it is a self-paced course.
Compressed three-week intensive course.
Because this course takes place over only three weeks, you essentially need to devote three full work weeks — 30 to 40 hours a week — to the course. Let’s do the math. During a regular 15-week semester (counting the exam week), class meets three hours a week for a total of 45 hours. Professors believe that students should spend three hours outside of class — reading the book, doing homework, etc. — for every in-class hour. Let’s say you spend only half that time — 1.5 additional hours for every hour in class, or 67.5 hours total outside of class. That comes to 112.5 hours total devoted to one single course in the regular 15-week semester. We have to do everything in three weeks. So that’s 112.5 divided by 3 = 37.5 hours a week — roughly 9:00 to 5:00, five days a week. If you are willing to put in the time, this class is very doable. But if you are not prepared to see this course as your full-time job between December 26, 2017 and January 12, 2018, you will not do well. If you are planning to work or travel between December 26, 2017 and January 12, 2018, don’t take this class.
Of course, since this is an online class, you don’t literally have to work 9:00-5:00 (although that works for some people): you can work whenever you want and at (almost) whatever pace you want, so long as you finish all the material by the end of the semester. There will be two internal deadlines to ensure that you don’t leave everything to the last minute. But nothing will stop you from doing things early, and you can proceed through the course as fast as you want.
Even though this is an online course, I am there to help. I am happy to meet in Storrs or to talk via phone or Skype or Facetime. Just email me to set it up.
Workflow and Grading.
The course is organized into three sections called (appropriately enough) Weeks. Click on the “learning modules” link on the left menu of HuskyCT. You will have to finish the material in Week1 by the end of the day on Saturday, December 30; the material in Week2 by the end of the day on Saturday, January 6; and the material in Week3 by the end of the course on Friday, January 12. But all the material from all three weeks will be accessible from day one, and you can move faster than these deadlines if you want.
Within each Week will be several Modules corresponding to chapters in the textbook. Within each Module will be:
- access to the e-text chapter;
- video lectures;
- practice questions and an online homework/quiz using the MindTap platform; and
- some optional (fun) readings and videos.
Each Week will consist of five Modules. After you have completed the five modules for the Week, you must take the Week Exam. Here’s how that works. You get three tries at an exam of 50 multiple-choice questions. If you pass the exam — get a score of 82 or higher — on the first try, you get an A (a 95) for the exam. If you pass it — again, meaning a score of 82 per cent or higher — on the second try, you get a B (85) for the exam. If you pass it on the third try, you get a C (75) for the exam. If you don’t pass even after the third try, you get a D (65), and you have to move on to the next Week. HuskyCT will not let you move on to the next Week until you have either passed the Week Exam for the preceding Week or have tried three times.
The MindTap Aplia homeworks are good practice for the Week Exam. In addition, each Week will have a practice Week Exam that you can take as many times as you want before you take the Week Exam for a grade.
The three Week Exams will each count 30 percent of your grade. The remaining ten per cent of your grade will be your score on all the MindTap Aplia homeworks in the Modules. For extra credit, you can participate in the Discussion Board: for each substantial post you get an additional half of one per cent added to your final grade, up to a maximum of 3 points. The topic of the Board is: economic concepts or homework exam problems I found hard and that I could use some help with. You can either post with a concept or problem with which you want help or you can post with help for another student — an explanation of the concept or a way to think about the problem that you found helpful. The posts must be thoughtful and substantial to count. (You’re free to shoot the breeze, but that won’t count.) I will participate in this discussion, but I would rather that the “help” came from fellow students not from me. There is also a separate discussion board called Ask the Professor, where you can ask questions not about the material but about the mechanics of the course.
Course Grading Summary:
Week 1 Exam
Week 2 Exam
Week 3 Exam
Up to 3 points extra credit
LockDown Browser for Tests in HuskyCT
When you take the week exams, including the practice week exams, you will need to use LockDown Browser. This is a stable platform designed specifically for taking tests.
You will need to install the LockDown Browser software on the computer that you will be using the take the tests. Please read the following carefully.
- Go to the “Student Help” tab in HuskyCT to
- watch a video about using LockDown Browser;
- access the PDF help file that is available;
- download the software you need to install.
Here is the quick-start guide.
- To take a test, start LockDown Browser on your computer, log into HuskyCT, and navigate to the exam. The test title will indicate that it requires LockDown Browser. Please note: any test requiring LockDown Browser cannot be taken using a regular browser. You will be directed to close your current browser and open LockDown Browser.
- When taking an online exam, follow these guidelines:
- Turn off all mobile devices, phones, etc.
- Clear your desk of all external materials — books, papers, other computers, or devices.
- Remain at your desk or workstation for the duration of the test.
LockDown Browser will prevent you from accessing other websites or applications; you will be unable to exit the test until all questions are completed and submitted.
- For assistance, contact UITS — HuskyTech (860-486-4357 (HELP), HelpCenter@uconn.edu.
General Course Outline and Due Dates
See Learning Modules links in the left menu for complete assignments and course materials.
Week 1: Chapters 1-5 December 26, 2017 December 30, 2017, 11:00 pm Week 2: Chapters 7, 8, 6, 10, and 11 December 26, 2017 January 6, 2018, 11:00 pm Week 3: Chapters 13, 14, 15, 18, and 20 December 26, 2017 January 12, 2018, 11:00 pm
Student Responsibilities and Resources
As a member of the University of Connecticut student community, you are held to certain standards and academic policies. In addition, there are numerous resources available to help you succeed in your academic work. Review these important standards, policies and resources, which include:
- The Student Code
- Academic Integrity
- Resources on Avoiding Cheating and Plagiarism
- Copyrighted Materials
- Netiquette and Communication
- Adding or Dropping a Course
- Academic Calendar
- Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment and Inappropriate Romantic Relationships
- Sexual Assault Reporting Policy
Students with Disabilities
Students needing special accommodations should work with the University’s Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD). You may contact CSD by calling (860) 486-2020 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If your request for accommodation is approved, CSD will send an accommodation letter directly to your instructor(s) so that special arrangements can be made. (Note: Student requests for accommodation must be filed each semester.)
Blackboard measures and evaluates accessibility using two sets of standards: the WCAG 2.0 standards issued by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act issued in the United States federal government.” (Retrieved March 24, 2013 from Blackboard’s website)
Software Requirements and Technical Help
The technical requirements for this course include:
- Lockdown Browser (see above).
- Word processing software
- Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Internet access
Technical and Academic Help provides a guide to technical and academic assistance.
This course is completely facilitated online using the learning management platform, HuskyCT. If you have difficulty accessing HuskyCT, you have access to the in person/live person support options available during regular business hours through the Help Center. You also have 24×7 Course Support including access to live chat, phone, and support documents.
Accessing Your Course From a Foreign Country
Some foreign countries may limit or prohibit access to certain US web-sites, including YouTube, HuskyCT and other sites required for completing your online course. It is your responsibility to review the course syllabus ahead of time and to understand any limitations there may be in accessing required content. Although using UConn’s VPN might or might not allow you to gain access to take the course, it is your responsibility to be aware of and abide by any laws and regulations where you are located.
Minimum Technical Skills
To be successful in this course, you will need the following technical skills:
- Use electronic mail with attachments.
- Save files in commonly used word processing program formats.
- Copy and paste text, graphics or hyperlinks.
- Work within two or more browser windows simultaneously.
- Open and access PDF files.
University students are expected to demonstrate competency in Computer Technology. Explore the Computer Technology Competencies page for more information.
Evaluation of the Course
Students will be provided an opportunity to evaluate instruction in this course using the University’s standard procedures, which are administered by the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness.