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EC 300 Intermediate Microeconomics
Sloboda, Brian


Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.

Course

EC 300 Intermediate Microeconomics

Semester

F2T 2008 DL

Faculty

Sloboda, Brian W.

Title

Adjunct Faculty Member

Degrees/Certificates

Ph.D., Economics, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
M.S., Economics, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
B.A., Economics (minor in mathematics), Rowan University

Office Location

Virtual

Office Hours

Virtual

Daytime Phone

202.268.7826

Other Phone

301.495.4102

E-Mail

brian.sloboda@park.edu

gr8694@starpower.net

brian.w.sloboda@usps.gov

Semester Dates

10/20/2008 to 12/14/2008

Class Days

Monday to Sunday

Class Time

TBA

Prerequisites

EC 142, Principles of Microeconomics

Credit Hours

3


Textbook:

Browning and Zupan, Microeconomic Theory and Applications, 9th ed. Wiley, 2006. ISBN 10-0-471-67943-7

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.
Advising - Park University would like to assist you in achieving your educational goals. Please contact your Campus Center for advising or enrollment adjustment information.
Online Classroom Technical Support - For technical assistance with the Online classroom, email helpdesk@parkonline.org or call the helpdesk at 866-301-PARK (7275). To see the technical requirements for Online courses, please visit the http://parkonline.org website, and click on the "Technical Requirements" link, and click on "BROWSER Test" to see if your system is ready.
FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.


Course Description:
EC300: Intermediate Economics: An analysis of the considerations underlying economic value. Emphasis is on the pricing process under different market conditions and the evaluation of the functioning of the enterprise system. Prerequisite: EC142. 3:0:3.

Educational Philosophy:
Teaching economics seems like an easy task for those with a terminal degree in the discipline, but when students often hear they need to take an economics course(s), often a chill goes down their spine and fear sets in.  All of us experience economics everyday whether we realize it or not.  An appealing way to attract students to economics is to incorporate current events and popular news articles. Headlines which mention the unemployment rate, the release of the GDP growth rates, the increase in poverty rates in 2003, the size of trade deficit has reached its highest level, and other headlines.   These current events provide great classroom discussion to enhance the abstract concepts presented in the textbooks and lectures.  Once the discussion of these current events commences, the students realize that the economic principles and theories makes more sense than it does from reading the required readings.   Despite the incorporation of current events into the course discussion, the students still need to master the underlying economic theory and principles.  The presentation of these concepts requires the presentation to be as simple as possible.  That is, the principle of KISS (Keep it Simple, Silly) should be applied in the lectures.  The focus is not to water-down the material but to improve the level of comprehension of the students with the material.  The goal of the KISS principle is to allow all students in the course to learn the material, not just teach the superior students.  If a student is enrolled in a course, it is the job of the professor to teach all students enrolled in the course. Of course, it is too much to expect that all or even a majority of students will absorb the most material adequately through reading and a single lecture alone.  Consequently, the professor needs to provide avenues for students to receive clarification of the course material via office hours and responding to emails.  Also it should be strongly encouraged that students use office hours as a means to receive additional clarification of the course material.  Also the instructor should accommodate students who cannot come to formal office hours by making an appointment.  By providing such accommodation gives the student a feeling that the instructor is there and has concern for the academic well-being of the student.  Additionally, it also gives the student more self-confidence and greater motivation to put the required effort into the course. In a classroom, the learning process should be collaborative between the students and the professor.  However, this collaborative relationship can only occur if the professor treats the students as equals.  In order to promote an active dialogue in a classroom, the students need to be able to speak and not fear repercussions for misspeaking on a point.  Instead the professor should point out positive points from their response and guide the student to the correct answer.  Following this approach should avoid any embarrassment of the student or making them feel dumb.  If this should occur, I would shift that burden to me and make myself look embarrassed.  Then, I just move on.  Enjoy the course!!

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Discuss the characteristics of the four industry types (perfect competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly, and monopoly). The discussion should include the number of firms, nature of the product, pricing, and barriers to entry.
  2. Discuss the slope of the demand curve for the four industry types (perfect competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly, and monopoly).
  3. Analyze profit maximization and the presence of economic profits in the long run for the four industry types (perfect competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly, and monopoly).
  4. Compare monopolistic competition, oligopoly, and monopoly to the perfectly competitive situation in which economic efficiency is attained; apply this comparison to a real-world example.
  5. Using general equilibrium analysis, discuss how competitive equilibrium results in efficiency in production, and how producer or consumer market power affects such a result.


Core Assessment:

DESCRIPTION OF CORE ASSESSMENT for EC 300:

All Park University courses must include a core assessment that measures the course’s Core Learning Outcomes.  The purpose of this assessment is to determine if expectations have been met concerning mastery of learning outcomes across all instructional modalities.  For this course, the core assessment is a research paper worth 20 percent of the student’s final grade.  This paper will assess students’ mastery of four Core Learning Outcomes (Outcomes 1, 2, 3, and 4 listed on this syllabus).

Each student will be randomly assigned one of the general topics outlined below.  The student must then choose an original, unique specific topic by finding a real-world example of the general topic.  For instance, a student could choose Microsoft as an example of an unregulated monopoly.  Students may not use specific topics mentioned in the textbook, and no two students may have the same specific topic.

NOTE:  Instructors may add requirements to those listed below and for grading purposes may add criteria not listed in the Core Assessment Rubric.



General Topics


MONOPOLY (UNREGULATED):  Analyze the structure of a private, unregulated firm that is a monopoly or has been a monopoly in the recent past.  Show graphically and explain how the firm fulfills the characteristics of monopoly.  Identify the causes of monopolization and discuss the firm’s pricing and profits.  Discuss the impacts of the firm’s pricing on consumer choice. 


MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION:  Analyze the structure of a monopolistically competitive industry.  Show graphically and explain how the industry fulfills the characteristics of monopolistic competition.  Discuss the industry’s pricing, profitability, and future trends in industry structure. 


OLIGOPOLY:  Analyze the structure of an oligopolistic industry.  (Be sure to discuss the entire industry, not a single firm.)  Identify why it is oligopolistic and discuss pricing strategies, profitability, and the relationship between firms within the industry.  Show graphically and explain briefly the kinked demand curve model and discuss whether the industry’s pricing fits the model.


REGULATION OF NATURAL MONOPOLIES:  Analyze the structure of a regulated natural monopoly (e.g., a public utility).  Identify why it is a natural monopoly and show this graphically.  Discuss its profitability and how the regulatory agency controls the firm’s pricing. 



Paper Format


  • 1,500 –1,700 words, not including the reference (Works Cited) page.  Verify this with word-count in Microsoft Word and include the actual word count typed at the bottom of the last page of text, before the reference page. 
  • The paper should be typed, double-spaced, on white paper, with page numbers centered at the bottom of the page.
  • The title page should contain the following in this order: general topic: specific topic, student’s name, course name, date.
  • Paper and all supporting materials should be delivered to the instructor in a 10 x 13 inch brown envelope (inter-campus envelopes are NOT acceptable).  The student’s name should be written on the outside of the envelope in the upper right-hand corner, holding the envelope as if it were a notebook page.  A “soft” copy of the paper also should be e-mailed to the instructor. 
  • Papers will not be returned to the student, so the student should retain a back-up copy.

Research Sources

Students should use at least four different acceptable research sources excluding the course textbook.  The quality and quantity of these references will determine the amount of points earned for research.

 

Acceptable Sources: In general, citations from Internet websites will NOT count as an acceptable source unless the citation is from a U.S. government website.  The Internet can be used to find on-line versions of publications, but such citations should be made only for articles that are published in paper form (i.e., can be found in a library).  For instance, you could use a New York Times article that is downloaded from the Internet. Encyclopedias and abstracts are not valid sources.  Cutting and pasting information from the Internet is plagiarism.

 

Recommended Sources:

  • The Wall Street Journal
  • New York Times online (e-mail notices of this are available for free)
  • CNN Financial News online
  • The Economist (magazine)
  • The National Review
  • any academic journal
  • nonacademic journals
  • library books
  • government publications (e.g., those of the Commerce Department or U.S. Census) 

Format for Citations: 


  • Chicago Manual of Style
  • OR MLA Handbook
  • OR APA style (e.g., Diana Hacker’s reference book) 
Supporting Materials

Cited research sources must be Xeroxed and included in the brown envelope with the student’s research paper.  If a book or an article with more than 15 pages is cited, Xerox copies of the title page (not the book’s cover) should be included with copies of specific pages cited.

Topic Paper Grading Criteria

The purpose of the topic paper and presentation is to gain a deeper understanding of a theoretical economic concept through its application to real-world situations.  Papers will be assessed according to the appropriate application of economic theory to the specific topic chosen by the student.

Application of Economic Theory:


·        Are concepts based in economic theory and supported by the real-world data?

·        Are economic terms defined?

·        Are economic concepts explained accurately?

·        Are facts presented and cited accurately?

·        Is a thorough understanding of concepts demonstrated?

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

DESCRIPTION OF CORE ASSESSMENT for EC 300:

All Park University courses must include a core assessment that measures the course’s Core Learning Outcomes. The purpose of this assessment is to determine if expectations have been met concerning mastery of learning outcomes across all instructional modalities. For this course, the core assessment is a research paper worth 20 percent of the student’s final grade. This paper will assess students’ mastery of four Core Learning Outcomes (Outcomes 1, 2, 3, and 4 listed on this syllabus).

Each student will be randomly assigned one of the general topics outlined below. The student must then choose an original, unique specific topic by finding a real-world example of the general topic. For instance, a student could choose Microsoft as an example of an unregulated monopoly. Students may not use specific topics mentioned in the textbook, and no two students may have the same specific topic.

 

Grading:

Grading:

Discussion questions (15 points per week x 6)            90 points  (9%)
Homework ( 20 points per week x 6)                        120 points (12%)
Quizzes (30 points per week x 6)                               180 points (18%)
Open Book Mid-Term                                              110 points  (11%)
Term Paper (Core Learning Assessment)                   200 points  (20%)
Proctored Final Exam                                                300 points  (30%)


Course Participation includes participation in the Discussion Area threaded discussions for each week.

Grading Scale:  A = 90 - 100; B = 80 - 89; C = 70 - 79; D = 60 - 69; F = 0 - 59.  

Final examination - A comprehensive examination will be taken in person during the 8th week of instruction. If you are within an hour's drive of a Park University Campus, a proctor from that campus will be provided for you. If you are not within an hour's drive of a Park Campus, the Proctored Final must be taken at an alternative location that is approved by the University. In this case, the student must arrange for a proctor who is accepted and approved by the instructor.  Guidelines for selecting an acceptable proctor can be found at the Park University website.  The final Exam will be closed book and closed notes.

Homework will be assigned during the course in the thread for each week.  Homework will be due on the following Monday.  Homework is intended to prepare the student for the final exam and forms of assessment.  

All final exams will be comprehensive and will be closed book and closed notes.  If calculators are allowed, they will not be multifunctional electronic devices that include features such as: phones, cameras, instant messaging, pagers, and so forth.  Electronic Computers will not be allowed on final exams unless an exception is made by the Associate Dean.

The course grade for students will be based on the overall average of homework and tests taken during the course in accordance with the weighting of the various requirements as stated in the syllabus.

All final exams in all School of Business and Management courses will be comprehensive and will be closed book and closed notes. They will constitute 30% of the total course grade and will not be a take-home exam. They will be completed during the test week in the period designated by the registrar or by the Proctor in the case online courses. If calculators are allowed, they will not be multifunctional electronic devices that include features such as: phones, cameras, instant messaging, pagers, and so forth. Electronic Computers will not be allowed on final exams unless an exception is made by the Dean of the School of Business and Management.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Each week's work must be completed by the end of that week. Comprehensive solutions will be distributed after the deadline. After a solution is distributed to any student in the class, the maximum grade will be 50% for that assignment. However, late or not, it is important that you complete all assignments because they will be a major help in preparing you for the midterm and final examinations. There is a huge difference in what you will learn by working the assignments and what you will learn by reading the solution to them.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday. The first week begins the first day of the semester and ends midnight the following Sunday. Assignments scheduled for completion during a class week should be completed and successfully submitted by e-mail or fax, so that they are in my hands on the due date.

You will be able to submit most homework in by an e-mail attachment but some handwritten formulas and diagrams will have to be faxed. On e-mail always, use the following subject line: Online EC300, First name, Last name, short subject. To avoid e-mail viruses I do not open e-mail from unknown sources.  Also my e-mail account automatically sorts my incoming mail into directories according to the first words on the subject line.  Also, use this format for the file name of any e-mail attachments. Additionally put this information on EVERY PAGE OF EVERY ATTACHMENT. If you send a message by fax or any other means, be sure to include this information on every page.

Other Rules for Online Participation 

  • Students should use E-Mail for private messages to the instructor and other students. The Class Conference is for public messages. You must identify yourself by name and class in all e-mail sent to any member of our class, including myself. I will respond to course-related questions within 48 hours (unless I notify you previously that I will be unavailable.)
  • Students are expected to interact with the Instructor and or other students in the course at least twice every week. Such interaction would include sending an E-mail message to the instructor or posting a question, answer, or comment to one of the course threads. I submit the weekly-absence report before noon on Mondays. If I haven’t seen a posting from you in the course threads or received an e-mail prior to midnight on Sunday or received a fax by 10 pm on Sunday; you will be counted absent for that week.
  • All students will participate in conference discussions. Conventions of "on-line etiquette," which include courtesy to all users, will be observed.

Students may get assistance with computer-related problems through the instructor or from each other

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Readings - Weeks 1-7
Lectures - Weeks 1-7
PowerPoint Presentations - Weeks 1-7
Discussions - Week 1-3 and 5-7
Homework - Weeks 1-3 and 5-7
Open-book Midterm Exam - Week 4
Term Paper (Core Learning Assessment) - Week 7
Proctored Final Exam - Week 8

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87
Academic honesty is highly valued at Park University. A student must always submit work that represents his or her original words or ideas. If any words or ideas are used that do not represent the student's original words or ideas, the student must cite all relevant sources. The student should also make clear the extent to which such sources were used. Words or ideas that require citations include, but are not limited to, all hardcopy or electronic publications, whether copyrighted or not, and all verbal or visual communication when the content of such communication clearly originates from an identifiable source. At Park University, all submissions to any public meeting or private mailbox fall within the scope of words and ideas that require citations if used by someone other than the original author.
Academic dishonesty in an online learning environment could involve:
• Having a tutor or friend complete a portion of your assignments
• Having a reviewer make extensive revisions to an assignment
• Copying work submitted by another student to a public class meeting
• Using information from online information services without proper citation

Plagiarism:
Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.
ONLINE NOTE: An attendance report of "P" (present) will be recorded for students who have logged in to the Online classroom at least once during each week of the term. Recording of attendance is not equivalent to participation. Participation grades will be assigned by each instructor according to the criteria in the Grading Policy section of the syllabus.

Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .



Rubric

CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
Evaluation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Outcomes
1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
The student perfectly discusses the industry type and the specific topic for all of the following characteristics: number of firms, nature of the product, pricing, and barriers to entry. The student adequately discusses the industry type and the specific topic for two to three of the following characteristics: number of firms, nature of the product, pricing, and barriers to entry. The student discusses the industry type and the specific topic for one of the following characteristics: number of firms, nature of the product, pricing, and barriers to entry. The student discusses the industry type and the specific topic for none of the following characteristics: number of firms, nature of the product, pricing, and barriers to entry. 
Synthesis                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Outcomes
2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
The industry demand curve is identified graphically; its slope is perfectly explained for the industry and is applied correctly to the specific topic. The industry demand curve is identified graphically; its slope is adequately explained for the industry only. The industry demand curve is identified graphically; its slope is inadequately explained. The industry demand curve is not identified graphically nor is it explained. 
Analysis                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Outcomes
3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
Profit maximization is perfectly defined in the context of the industry type; the presence of economic profits in the long run is identified in the context of the industry type; the theory of profit maximization is perfectly applied to the specific topic. Profit maximization is defined and the presence of economic profits in the long run is identified in the context of the industry type; the theory of profit maximization is adequately applied to the specific topic. Only one of the following has been presented: profit maximization is defined and the presence of economic profits in the long run is identified in the context of the industry type; the theory of profit maximization is adequately applied to the specific topic. The theory of profit maximization is not discussed. 
Application                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Outcomes
4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
An industry type (monopolistic competition, oligopoly, or monopoly) is perfectly compared to the perfectly competitive situation; economic efficiency is defined; the specific topic is used to illustrate this comparison. An industry type (monopolistic competition, oligopoly, or monopoly) is compared to the perfectly competitive situation and economic efficiency is defined. An industry type (monopolistic competition, oligopoly, or monopoly) is compared to the perfectly competitive situation. No comparison between perfect competition and an industry type is made. 
Content of Communication                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Outcomes
4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
Reference (Works Cited) page is properly formatted and complete. Reference page has one to two errors but is complete. Reference page has three or more errors or is incomplete. Reference page is not present. 
Technical Skill in Communicating                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Outcomes
1,2,3,4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
More than four acceptable research sources are cited within the text. Four to two acceptable research sources are cited within the text. One acceptable research source is cited within the text. No research has been conducted. 
First Disciplinary Competency                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Outcomes
3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
Profit maximization is perfectly defined and applied to the specific topic with no mistakes. Profit maximization is perfectly defined and applied to the specific topic with one to two mistakes. Profit maximization is perfectly defined and applied to the specific topic with more than two mistakes. Profit maximization is not     discussed. 
Second Disciplinary Competency                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Outcomes
1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
The student perfectly discusses the industry type and the specific topic for all of the following characteristics: number of firms, nature of the product, pricing, and barriers to entry. The student discusses the industry type and the specific topic for three to two of the following characteristics: number of firms, nature of the product, pricing, and barriers to entry. The student discusses the industry type and the specific topic for one of the following characteristics: number of firms, nature of the product, pricing, and barriers to entry. The student discusses the industry type and the specific topic for none of the following characteristics: number of firms, nature of the product, pricing, and barriers to entry. 

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Last Updated:10/16/2008 2:27:52 PM