Welcome Email #3

I’m been reviewing the videos I made for our course and have found some things in them that aren’t correct for this offering during summer school.

  1. Because it’s summer, I’m not in my office regularly, though I do tend to show up about once a week. So I won’t have regular office hours, but if you want to talk to me email me and we can set up an appointment to talk by skype, google hangout or phone.
  2. Nearly everyone has posted their intro videos, and they are very good. You should watch them yourself to meet your classmates, which will come in handy when you need work with someone else in the class. (For example, see item5 below.) Two people have revealed themselves to be experts in online classes. These are Jessica and Heidi. While I haven’t asked them to volunteer, I bet they’ll be happy to help you with any technical problems you have in this class.
  3. To be successful in this class, you need to accumulate points. The way you get points is by doing well on the papers and exams (no surprise there!), but also by doing a variety of other activities that you choose under the category “Class contribution”   For example, every time you tweet using the #econ201 hashtag, you earn points. If you say the same thing in an email to me, you don’t earn the points. Let’s talk about the minute papers, which are another way to earn points. One way in which online classes are different from traditional face-to-face classes is that (usually) I can’t see your face! The only way I will know if you are learning the material or not, is if you tell me!  Enter the minute paper.  Once a week, I would like you to briefly tell me how things are going for you in the class. What aren’t you getting? What do you need more help with? What part of the book don’t you feel you feel you understand? This is an important assignment (for me) but it’s not supposed to take you long to do, and it shouldn’t be more than a few sentences. If you’re doing fine and have no problems, tell me that and you’ll get the points. Minute papers are due Sunday night.
  4. Next week, we will begin having regular meetings on Google Hangout every Tuesday night at 7pm. The purpose of the meetings will be to give us an opportunity to meet face-to-face, for me to talk about what we’re currently working on that either I think is challenging or you’ve identified as such in your minute papers. We will also discuss anything you want to. These meetings will last as long as we need, but never more than an hour. In order to participate, you’ll need to have an account on google. If you use Gmail, you already have an account.  Google Hangouts allow up to 10 people to share two way, real time video chat. If you are number 11, you can follow along but clicking on the url that I supply. You just won’t be able to be seen or to talk. One of the advantages of Google Hangouts is that they are automatically archived on YouTube so if you can’t make the hangout, you can always review it afterwards.
  5. It is time to start Topic 2, the theories of supply and demand. I will post the intro video, but only the first 1 minute 40 seconds is relevant, and note that the reading reference should be Principles of Macro, Chapter 3. This topic is both very important, as well as challenging to learn. The goal is for you to be able to analyze a situation to determine what will happen to the price and amount sold of some product. I’m going to give you some problems to work out in pairs. Each pair will then email me one set of answers. The reason why I’m asking you to work in pairs is that it’s more likely that two of you can figure out the answers than it is that one of you will. Also, by discussing it with each other, you’re more likely to learn. If there is somebody you want to work with, let me know by this Sunday. Otherwise, I will pick someone to work with you. Question for thought: If I give you the name of your partner, how will you connect up with them?

One final comment: My goal is to help you be successful in this class, it’s not to trick you, or trip you up, or do anything to inhibit your learning macroeconomics. Let me know how I can help you!

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