Course Syllabus

Welcome to ECON102: Principles of Macroeconomics

Specific information about this course and its requirements can be found below. For more general information about taking Saylor Academy courses, including information about Community and Academic Codes of Conduct, please read the Saylor Student Handbook.

 

Course Description

This course is an exploration of the factors that impact the overall performance of economies. The course focuses on public policies helping and hindering the achievement of intended outcomes, such as reducing unemployment or increasing trade.

 

Course Introduction

Economics is traditionally divided into two parts: microeconomics and macroeconomics. The main purpose of this course is to introduce you to the principles of macroeconomics. Macroeconomics is the study of how a country's economy works while trying to discern among good, better, and best choices for improving and/or maintaining a nation's standard of living and level of economic and societal well-being. Historical and contemporary perspectives on the roles and policies of government are part of the mix of interpretations and alternatives that surround questions of who or what gains and loses the most or least within a relatively small set of key interdependent players. In the broadest view, that set consists of households, consumers, savers, firm owners, investors, agency and elected officials, and global trading partners in which some wear many hats and face price considerations at two levels.

Consider one distinction between macroeconomics and microeconomics through the way prices are taken into account in both divisions. On one hand, microeconomics focuses on how supply and demand within a given market determine prices. On the other hand, macroeconomics focuses on changes in the price level across all markets. Another distinction resides within goals. A study of microeconomics orients itself toward firm profit maximization and output optimization as well as consumer utility maximization and consumption optimization. In contrast, a study of macroeconomics situates itself around a number of goals including economic growth, price stability, and full employment.

Macroeconomic performance relies on measures of economic activity, focusing on variables and data at the national level within a specific period of time. Macroeconomics entails analyses of aggregate measures such as national income, national output, unemployment and inflation rates, and business cycle fluctuations. This course will prompt you to think critically about the national and global issues we currently face, to consider competing views that may agree or disagree with your own, and to draw challenging conclusions from a vast array of perspectives, tools, and alternatives.

This course is comprised of the following units:

  • Unit 1: Overview of Economics
  • Unit 2: Macroeconomics: Goals, Measures, and Challenges
  • Unit 3: Unemployment and Inflation
  • Unit 4: Aggregate Economic Activities and Fluctuations
  • Unit 5: Fiscal Policy
  • Unit 6: Monetary Policy and Various Complexities Behind Macroeconomic Policies
  • Unit 7: International Trade

 

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • discuss key macroeconomic concerns, including national income accounting, saving and investment, and market forces;
  • describe the determinants of total output and the ways to measure nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as real GDP;
  • describe and differentiate among full employment and unemployment, the three forms of unemployment, and the two forms of inflation;
  • explain different ways of computing the general movement in prices;
  • describe the relationship between inflation and unemployment;
  • explain the model of aggregate demand and aggregate supply;
  • analyze a government's roles in the economy;
  • evaluate how a government uses its fiscal policy and monetary policy to influence key variables in order to achieve economic growth, price stability, full employment, and other goals;
  • describe the mechanics of money supply in detail:
    • identify different types of money;
    • articulate the roles of individual banks and the entire banking system in creating money;
    • explain the money multiplier the process of interest rate determination;
    • discuss the role of the Federal Reserve System and its tools of monetary policy; and
  • evaluate the net gains arising from international trade.

Throughout this course, you'll also see related learning outcomes identified in each unit. You can use the learning outcomes to help organize your learning and gauge your progress.

 

Course Materials

The primary learning materials for this course are readings, lectures, video tutorials, and other resources.

All course materials are free to access, and can be found through the links provided in each unit and subunit of the course. Pay close attention to the notes that accompany these course materials, as they will instruct you as to what specifically to read or watch at a given point in the course, and help you to understand how these individual materials fit into the course as a whole. You can also access a list all of the materials used in this course by clicking on Resources in the course's "Activities" menu.

 

Evaluation and Minimum Passing Score

Only the final exam is considered when awarding you a grade for this course. In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first attempt, you may take it again as many times as needed, following a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you have successfully passed the final exam you will be awarded a free Saylor Certificate of Completion.

There are also 7 unit assessments and other types of quizzes in this course. These are intended to help you to gauge how well you are learning and do not factor into your final course grade. You may retake all of these as many times as needed to feel that you have an understanding of the concepts and material covered. You can locate a full list of these sorts of assessments by clicking on Quizzes in the course's "Activities" menu.

 

Earning College Credit

This course is eligible for college credit via Saylor Academy's Direct Credit Program. If you are seeking to earn college credit, you must opt to take and pass the Saylor Direct Credit final exam. That exam will be password protected and require the presence of a proctor. Upon passing that final exam you will receive a Proctor Verified Course Certificate, and will be eligible to earn an Official Transcript. For more information about applying for college credit review the Guide to College Credit Opportunities. Be sure to check the section on proctoring for details (fees, technical requirements, etc.)

Note: There is a 14-day waiting period between attempts of the Direct Credit final exam. There is no imposed wait period between attempting the non-credit certificate-bearing exam and the credit exam. Some credit exams have a maximum number of attempts allowed, which will be detailed on the exam's instructions page.

 

Excelsior College Macroeconomics Exam

This course is designed to align with Excelsior College's Macroeconomics examination. Visit the Excelsior website, to download the content guide for the ECOX-262 exam. For more information about this partnership, and earning credit through Excelsior College, go here.


Tips for Success

ECON102: Principles of Macroeconomics is a self-paced course in which you the learner determines when you will start and when you will complete the course. There is no instructor or predetermined schedule to follow. While learning styles can vary considerably and any particular student will take more or less time to learn or read, we estimate that the "average" student will take 134 hours to complete this course. We recommend that you work through the course at a pace that is comfortable for you and allows you to make regular (daily, or at least weekly) progress. It's a good idea to also schedule your study time in advance and try as best as you can to stick to that schedule.

Learning new material can be challenging, so below we've compiled a few suggested study strategies to help you succeed:

  • Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories as you read. This can help you differentiate and contextualize concepts and later provide you with a refresher as you study.
  • As you progress through the materials, take time to test yourself on what you have retained and how well you understand the concepts. The process of reflection is important for creating a memory of the materials you learn; it will increase the probability that you ultimately retain the information.
  • Although you may work through this course completely independently, you may find it helpful to connect with other Saylor Academy students through the discussion forums. You may access the discussion forums at https://discourse.saylor.org.

 

Technical Requirements

This course is delivered fully online. You will be required to have access to a computer or web-capable mobile device and have consistent access to the internet to either view or download the necessary course resources and to attempt any auto-graded course assessments and the final exam.

  • To access the full course including assessments and the final exam, you will need to be logged into your Saylor Academy account and enrolled in the course. If you do not already have an account, you may create one, free of charge, here. Although you can access some course resources without being logged into your account, it's advised that you log in to maximize your course experience. For example, some of the accessibility and progress tracking features are only available when you are logged in.
  • For the Wolfram Demonstrations Project simulations throughout the course, you will need to download and install the free version of from the Wolfram Demonstrations Project. Although this software is free, it is a sizable download. The Wolfram simulations are therefore optional.
  • In order to complete several of the quizzes in this course you will be asked to enter and interpret data from interactive worksheets presented in Microsoft Excel. If you do not have the Microsoft program, you may choose to download Apache OpenOffice for free.
  • If you plan to attempt the optional credit recommended final exam that accompanies this course, then you will also need access to a webcam enabled computer. A webcam is needed so that our remote proctoring service can verify your identity, which will allow Saylor Academy to issue an official transcript to schools on your behalf.

For additional technical guidance check out Saylor Academy's tech-FAQ and the Moodle LMS tutorial.

 

Fees

There is no cost to access and enroll in this course. All required course resources linked throughout the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, activities, etc are accessible for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.

This course does contain an optional final exam that will provide students an opportunity to earn college credit. Access to the exam itself is free, though it does require the use of a proctoring service for identity verification purposes. The cost for proctoring is $25 per session.



Last modified: Thursday, August 9, 2018, 3:06 PM