Course Syllabus

Welcome to ECON101: Principles of Microeconomics

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

Introductory course that provides a basic understanding of microeconomic principles. Analyzes the economic factors influencing decisions made at the individual level, after evaluating resources, costs, and tradeoffs.


Course Introduction

The purpose of this course is to provide you with a basic understanding of the principles of microeconomics. At its core, the study of economics deals with the choices and decisions that have to be made in order to manage scarce resources available to us. Microeconomics is the branch of economics that pertains to decisions made at the individual level, i.e., by individual consumers or individual firms after evaluating resources, costs, and tradeoffs. When we talk about the economy, we are referring to the marketplace or system in which these choices interact with one another. In this course, you will learn how and why these decisions are made and how they affect one another in the economy. Each of the following units has been designed as a building block, where the concepts you learn in one unit will enable you to understand the material you discover in the next unit. By the end of this course, you will have a strong grasp on the major issues that face microeconomists, including consumer and producer behavior, the nature of supply and demand, the different kinds of markets and how they function, and the welfare outcomes of consumers and producers. You will also be able to apply the formal principles you learn to real world issues. The scope and emphasis of this course goes beyond a general understanding of microeconomics to incorporate the core concepts of the overall field of economics.


This course is comprised of the following units:

  • Unit 1: Introduction to Economics: What Is It?
  • Unit 2: Supply and Demand
  • Unit 3: Markets and Individual Maximizing Behavior
  • Unit 4: The Consumer
  • Unit 5: The Producer
  • Unit 6: Market Structure: Competitive and Non-competitive Markets
  • Unit 7: Resource Markets


Course Learning Outcomes

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

  • identify how individual economic agents make rational choices given scarce resources, and explain how to optimize the use of resources at hand;
  • apply basic microeconomic models related to production, trade, and the circular flow of resources;
  • analyze and apply the mechanics of demand and supply for individuals, firms, and the market;
  • apply the concept of marginal analysis in order to make optimal choices, and identify whether the choices are efficient or equitable;
  • apply the concept of elasticity as a measure of responsiveness to various variables;
  • identify the characteristics of various market structures, namely, perfectly competitive markets, non-competitive markets, and imperfectly competitive markets, and compare and contrast their operations;
  • analyze how the demand and supply technique works for the resource markets; and
  • analyze the role of market failure in government decisions.

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 courseIn 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 15 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’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: 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.


Tips for Success

ECON101: Principles of Microeconomics 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 83 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:

  • Pay special attention to Unit 1, as it will lay the groundwork for understanding the more advanced, explanatory material presented in the latter units.
  • 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 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.
  • Occasionally, Flash may be required to run certain multimedia and/or interactive applications in the course. Should you be prompted to enable Flash, click the option to allow or follow these instructions for enabling Flash on your computer or laptop.
  • 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’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 courses 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: Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 1:12 PM