For this Week & Next

We will not have a google hangout this week and next week’s hangout will take place at 5:00pm on Wednesday.

Get together with your study group to determine the correct answers to all the questions on Exam 2.  Send me a copy of what you come up with by Sunday, Nov 12..  Make sure you understand why each answer is correct.

Do another self-reflection like you did after the first exam and send it to me by Monday, Nov 13.

Next make an appointment to do test corrections from the second exam with me.  Your appointment must take place by Monday, Nov 20.

This week we are starting to look at serious macro models.  Assignment 7 asks you to use a macro model to analyze a situation.  Do this with your group and please submit one group paper by Tuesday, Nov 21.

Let me know if you have any questions.

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Second Exam!

If you missed last night’s hangout, we’ve pushed back the date of the second exam by two days, until Friday November 3, to give us next week’s hangout to review.

Let me know if you have any questions.

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Twitter Discussion

Over the next week, I thought we would try a discussion on twitter.  The topic for this week is the Role of Government in a Market Economy.  Think about that: A pure market economy is one with minimal government intervention.  Private individuals own all the means of production, all the resources in the economy.  Resources are allocated based on supply and demand.  What is the role for government then?

I will prompt us with a series of questions that explore this topic.  The questions don’t require a lot of writing but they may require a lot of thought.  Here is the opening question: In your own words, and in only one sentence, what is government?

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First Exam “Do Over”

I don’t grade the exams in this course on a curve.  You get what you get.

However, I do give you the option of earning some points back.   I would like you to review your exam and figure out why for each question you got wrong, why the right answer  is right.  Then I invite you to make an appointment to either come to my office or get together via Skype or Google Hangout to explain to me the right answers for the questions you got wrong .  If you do so, I will give you half a point back on your test score for every incorrect answer that you explain correctly.

The deadline for this is Friday, October 20.  That gives you nearly 3 weeks to see me.  Do not wait until the last minute.  I will not have enough office hours to see everyone on the last day, so if you are smart, you should do this this early!  Note also that the last week includes fall break and the week before I will be relatively inaccessible, so early is best!

Enough said.

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First Exam

The google hangout last night didn’t record for some reason, so I thought I’d give the highlights here.

The exam will be 30 multiple choice questions (plus one question extra credit).  You can find the exam on our Canvas site under the Quiz tab on the left hand side navigation bar. The exam will be available from midnight tonight (Thursday, September 28) until midnight tomorrow (Friday, September 29).  You will have 60 minutes to complete the exam, which should be plenty.  If you need other accommodations, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

The exam will cover the first 4 topics listed on the Course Outline.  That includes the first four Waymaker modules (on Canvas) and the first 3 sections of the module on Monetary Policy.  There are also two readings you should know that are found under the Readings tab on the header bar on the course website.  The questions are about 1/3 (or a little less) on the introductory material, 1/3 (or a little more) on supply & demand, and 1/3 (or a little less on money, credit and banking.

Let me know if you have any questions.  I will be available by email and phone today and tomorrow.  I also have my regular office hours tomorrow.

Good luck!

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Is Your Goal for this Class Just to Pass?

So you just want to pass the course?  Maybe you don’t have time for actual learning. In that case, just work through the modules without paying attention to what you’re learning. If you take the quizzes, you’ll probably learn enough to earn a passing grade.

Learning takes work. Work takes time. You need to plan on spending significant time on this course. It shouldn’t be the last thing on your schedule or you’ll never have enough time to get it done.

You (or your parents) are spending a great deal of money for college. The cost of four years at a public university is about $100,000. How may hours of work would that take you to earn? If you make $15 per hour, it takes more than three years of full time employment to pay for college, assuming you don’t spend money on anything else.

Maybe you work full time.  Maybe you have a relationship that needs attention, or a family to raise.  I get that.  Only you can decide your priorities.  But given the money you are putting in, shouldn’t you be aiming higher for this investment?

 

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Is Your Goal for this Class to Get an A?

So you want to get an A in this course.

Well, for about the same effort, you can learn the subject as well, so you should read “Is Your Goal for this Class to Learn the Most Economics You  Can?

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Is Your Goal for This Class to Learn the Most Economics You Can?

So you want to learn the most economics you can this course. Excellent! You have chosen the road less travelled. Many students won’t take this road.

The courses you take in college are not just random credits. You are building a coherent body of knowledge and skills (and habits of the mind). Every course you take relates to that overall project, and you should think about how each course does. There is no question that this is hard work, but you are capable of this otherwise you wouldn’t have been admitted to college here.

Perhaps you made this choice because you just find economics interesting. Perhaps it’s because you plan to major in economics. You know that ECON 201 & ECON 202 are the entry-level courses to the major. If you don’t learn the fundamentals, it’s going to be much harder when you get into the upper level courses.   It’s like trying to build a house without a foundation. Can you learn SPAN 102 without taking SPAN 101? You can, but it’s harder to do. So the work you put into this course is an investment in your future.

Perhaps you made this choice because the major you plan to pursue has ECON 201/ECON 202 as a prerequisite. What that means is that your major department (or College) believes that knowing economics will help you succeed in your major. It means that not learning economics well will make your major harder.   If you’re a gamer, what would happen if the first time you try a new game, you battle a level-25 monster? Right. You’ll get slaughtered because you don’t have the experience and knowledge necessary to beat a level-25 monster your first time out the box. So the work you put into this course is an investment in your major.

This course is based on mastery learning. Mastery learning involves exploring and interacting with content and then having frequent quizzes to assess how well you’re learning. The quizzes aren’t primarily about grades. In fact, the majority of quizzes in this course (called Self-Checks) aren’t even graded. Instead their purpose is formative; that is, to give you feedback about how you’re learning, to let you know if you’ve got it, or if you need to work some more.

None of us gets it all the first time. Learning requires work, and work sometimes fails. So pick yourself up and try again until you get it right.

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.
– Albert Einstein

Mastery learning also means that if you haven’t learned something at a pretty high level, it makes no sense to go on until you do learn it. The mastery level in this course is 80%. But if you fail to achieve the mastery level, you get a “do over.” You have the opportunity to re-study the content and retake the quiz so you can learn it. (In real life, if your boss gives you a task to do and you fail to do it to his or her satisfaction, you’re unlikely to get a grade (e.g. Okay, you earned a D. Let’s move on to the next task). Rather, you’ll be told to do it again right!)

Mastery learning involves metacognition. It’s not just going through the motions of reading a chapter. It’s about thinking about what you’re reading, or watching or playing (in the case of simulations), and assessing for yourself how well you’re learning it. The quizzes then provide an expert opinion that you can compare your assessment with. Mastery learning doesn’t stop with the Waymaker software. Anything you don’t understand and can’t figure out with the software’s help, you should write down and bring to the teacher. I respond to emails within 24 hours and usually less.

“Reading” a chapter in a textbook can be about the least effect way of learning material. Waymaker takes study a step further by regularly asking you quiz questions about what your reading. Even that won’t guarantee your learning if you don’t think about what you’re reading, watching, playing. As you read, you need to think about what you’re reading. Do you understand it? Can you explain it in your own words? Can you apply it to something in your own life? Can you think of examples? If the answer to any of these questions is no, you need to think more deeply. Shoot me an email and I can help within 24 hours and likely sooner. (But I’ll only answer those questions the week we are covering the material.

Mastery learning isn’t my idea. Rather, researchers have found that it’s a more effective way to learn than traditional learning practices. It isn’t easy, because it’s probably different from what you’re used to. But if you keep at it, you’ll find that it works. It will pay you back for years in the future.

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Week 2!

We’re now into Week 2 of the course. The introductory assignments should be behind you and you should have started working with the Waymaker modules in Canvas. If you haven’t dug into Waymaker yet, don’t worry. You can catch up. The first few modules are introductory, but as we get into Supply & Demand this week, the modules become more challenging, so you’ll need to put some work in.

Today, I am watching your intro videos and posting them on the course website. That will set us up for Assignment 3. Stay tuned for the announcement (on Twitter) that the assignment is live.

We’ll be having our weekly hangout on Wednesday at 7pm, so bring any questions you might have about the course or the content. If you can’t make the hangout, you can email me your questions in advance and I’ll address them in the hangout.

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How to start this class

It is time to get started in our course.  This is going to be a busy week because we will have to do double duty:  First, we need to become acclimated to the course.  Second, we need to dive into the content.

To begin, watch Video 1 below.

Video 1: Welcome to ECON 201!

(By contrast, here’s what you *won’t* get in this course.)

Next read “How this Course Will Work,” which you can find on the header bar, above.

Then read “Course Texts,” which you can find further down the right sidebar.

I will be posting the first two assignments over next few days.  I’ll announce them first via twitter, then as announcements on the course website.  Stay tuned!

 

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Second Welcome Email!

Welcome again to ECON 201, the online version.  School starts tomorrow!  Hopefully by now, you have your twitter account set up, and you have sent me a follow request.  If not, you need to do that asap!  As I said, twitter is the main way we are going to communicate on a day-to-day basis in this class.  Each time you tweet to the class, you should include the hashtag “#econ201online” (everything inside the quotes) in your message.  That way, your tweet will appear in the box on the right sidebar of the course website.

I invite you to check out the course website at http://econ201online.umwblogs.org/.This email and the previous one are posted on the course homepage, as all important class announcements will be, so you should plan on checking regularly, if not daily. Be on the lookout for the opening announcement (“How to start this course”), which will be posted around 9am tomorrow morning!

Start by looking at the opening announcement (“How to start this course” and especially the videos mentioned there.  If you want to see the topics we will explore, check out the ‘visual syllabus’ on the header of the course website.  (Click on the virtual syllabus to see a larger version.)

The course follows a weekly pace.  You can see this by clicking on the course outline link, which is also on the header of the website.  We will cover about one and one half topics a week though a few topics will take longer.  Each topic has a page on the course website, which you can find by scrolling down on the right sidebar.

In the previous email, I said:

It’s hard to overestimate how different it is from a face-to-face course.  Think about this:  There are no regular class sessions like all your other classes have.  How are you going to learn the course material when there are no lectures?  How are you going to ask questions about things you don’t understand, be they content or questions about when things are due, etc.? Many many things that are done in class in a face-to-face course have to be done differently in an online course.

Because this is an online class, you have more responsibility for being proactive in seeking assistance when you need it.  The only way I will know if you are learning the material or not, is if you tell me!

This course *is* difficult, but if you put in the effort you will be successful.  You should plan on spending at least 9 hours per week reading, studying, and working on assignments for this class.

Studies have proven repeatedly that those who are highly self-motivated, responsible, and self-disciplined can do well in an online class. If these characteristics don’t describe you, you may wish to take another section of ECON 201.

If you have any questions about the course, feel free to email me.

I look forward to working with you this semester!

–          SG

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Welcome Email

Welcome to ECON 201, the online section!  School starts next Monday.  Hopefully, it is not a surprise that you have registered for an online course.  The purpose of this email is to get you started thinking about the course, so that we can hit the ground running when the semester starts.

If you’ve never taken an online course before, it’s hard to overestimate how different it is from a face-to-face course.  Think about this:  There are no regular class sessions like all your other classes have.  How are you going to learn the course material when there are no lectures?  How are you going to ask questions about things you don’t understand, be they content or questions about when things are due, etc.?

Many many things that are done in class in a face-to-face course have to be done differently in an online course.  Just basic communication takes longer.  We will need to do some orientation to the course, things that typically happen pretty seamlessly.

First, you will need a computing device (PC or Mac, Tablet or even a smart phone) with dependable (ideally high speed) internet access.  A student tried to take this course last year without internet access at home.  It’s an online course.  What was she thinking?  Don’t do this!  You will need daily access to the course website!  Also, your computing device should have word processing software

For day-to-day communications this semester, we’ll be using twitter.  If you’ve never used twitter, but have heard of it, the way we will use it is probably not what you think.  If you’ve never heard of twitter, that’s fine.  It has a very easy learning curve.  The most important thing is that twitter allows you to send short (no more than 140 character) messages to people you specify, for example, others in the class.  We will discuss how we’ll be using twitter at a later date.  For now, please sign up for an account on twitter (www.twitter.com ).  From your twitter homepage, search for “sgreenla” (without the quotes).  When you find me, click on the name and it will take you to my homepage.  On the right hand side, click the button with the blue twitter bird that says “follow”.  When I get your request, I will do the same to you.  Then everything you tweet I will see, and everything I tweet you will see.   It’s that easy.

Ta ta for now.  If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

I look forward to working with you this summer!

–          SG

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Extra Credit End-of-Course Survey

The Waymaker modules that we have used this semester as a text are part of an experiment to improve content resources to enhance student learning.  In order to see what works, we need to know how you used the Waymaker software.  To that end, I would really appreciate your completing the following survey.  If you do, I will give you extra credit towards your final grade.

I won’t get access to the survey results until after grades go in so nothing you say will affect your grade in this course.  I want to know what you genuinely think and how you actually used Waymaker.  I will not look at how any one person responds to any of the questions.  Your candid responses will help future students in ECON 201 not just at UMW but around the country.  Thanks very much!

The end-of-course survey is here.

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Next Group Homework Assignment

The next group assignment can be found on the right sidebar under the link “Assignment 5”.  Note that I have consolidated some of the groups.  The assignment is due next Wednesday.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

 

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Study Groups

For the rest of the semester, you will complete a number of group assignments with the study groups shown below.  The first challenge is to connect up with your group.  How will you do that?  The first group assignment is due this Saturday.

Study Groups

  1. Abbie Brock, Charlotte Burch, Alexis Hall

2. Megan Champion, Kendall Parker, Morgan Wellman

3. Kayte Croy, Kelsey Dickerson, Maggie Hyde

4. Krystal Heflin, Joshua Whiting

5. Samantha Kasner, Chris Robinson, Michael Crisp

6. Nicole Lamb, Haley Harkins, Jackie Hernandez

7. Rachel Lynch, Ellison Maston,

8. Riley West, Stephen Johnston, Amber Pierce

9. Maddy Wroe, Mikie Williams, Amanda Thacker

10. Addie Brooks, Joseph Sebesky, John Parker

11. Jacob McDonald,  William Senicola,  Jessica Sandifer

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Introducing Paige

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Protected: Introducing Chris!

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Introducing Megan

 

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Introducing Diego

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Introducing Jasmine

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Introducing Kaylee

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Introducing Garrett

Garrett

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Introducing Carson

Paul

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Introducing Kate

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Introducing Bradley

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Introducing Lucy

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Introducing Matthew!

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Introducing Rachel!

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Introducing Shelby!

https://youtu.be/GCU3yEGvo2uU

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Introducing Lindsay!

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Introducing Kali!

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Introducing Willie!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLoRZdyFgx8&feature=youtu.be

 

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Introducing Gabby!

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Introducing Elspeth!

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Introducing Ian!

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Introducing Brian!

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Introducing MacKenzie!

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Introducing Sierra!

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Introducing Lexi!

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Introducing Lauren!

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Introducing Robert!

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Introducing Kayla

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Introducing Leslie!

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Introducing Patrick!

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Introducing Ashlee!

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Introducing Sebrine!

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Introducing Danny!

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Introducing Kevin

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Introducing Cassi!

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Introducing Jenna!

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