Economics 505

ECON 505: Methodology of Economics

Credit Hours: (3)

An introduction to the study of economics as a social science and business philosophy, which exposes students to concepts of supply and demand, product and resource markets, producer and consumer decision-making, industrial organization, and general equilibrium theory. Principles of national economic performance, monetary and fiscal policy, and international economics will be presented. This course may not be taken for an elective in the MBA program.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Econ 505 is a three (3) credit hour internet-based course designed to remedy undergraduate deficiencies in economics, for those admitted to a graduate program. This course will introduce students to the principles of resource allocation from the standpoint of individual markets as well as national economic systems. Basic theoretical foundations of micro and macroeconomics will be covered to prepare students for graduate level business and economics courses.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

  • Orientation sessions will be arranged to familiarize students with course organization and administration as well as the basics of WebCT. Students who register for this Internet course will receive a letter from the instructor disclosing the time and location of the orientation. Students who cannot attend the orientation will be asked to see the instructor by appointment.
  • Students will be given the course syllabus during orientation, which outlines course requirements and policies, and prescribes a timeline for studying lecture notes, reading textbook chapters, completing assignments and taking exams.
  • The course will be structured so that students learn microeconomic principles first, followed by macroeconomic principles. Topics will be presented in sequence, as disclosed above, and covered in an interrelated fashion.
  • The WebCT platform will be used to deliver Microsoft Powerpoint TM presentations of lecture materials designed by the instructor (text, animations and audio content). Furthermore, features are available within WebCT to facilitate student engagement activities, including chat rooms, interactive tutorials, simulations, and visual demonstrations created by either the instructor or textbook publishers. Streaming audio footage will be used appropriately to explain technical and difficult concepts, such as supply and demand curves, production and cost functions, profit maximization, market structure, national income and product accounting, aggregate supply and aggregate demand, Keynesian model, etc. A compact disk version of the lecture series can be made available to students who use slower internet connections.
  • Within the WebCT environment, students can access separate links to course syllabi, homework assignments, lecture notes created in Microsoft Powerpoint, TM and detailed study guides (designed by the instructor). Except for lecture notes, all course materials designed by the instructor will be distributed in portable document format (pdf files) or Microsoft Word format. Study guides and lecture notes will serve as complements or supplements to the adopted textbook.
  • The instructor will schedule an adequate number of electronic office hours each week, in conjunction with regularly scheduled office hours for traditional classroom students. Electronic office hours will be typically scheduled for evenings. America Online Instant Messenger (AIM) and Yahoo Messenger are the most popular services used for instant messaging. Students can use either e-mail messaging or chat rooms to communicate with the instructor.
  • Course content and delivery will likely be altered to accommodate different learning styles among students and additional needs of MBA students. Consequently, student feedback from course evaluations will provide valuable information to the instructor so that necessary refinements and improvements can be made to the course each semester.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

  • To use microeconomic and macroeconomic principles to identify and develop solutions to economic problems.
  • To utilize the theories of consumer choice and production to predict and explain market phenomena.
  • To understand the principles of profit maximization and cost minimization in both the short run and long run.
  • To understand the organization of industries in the context of highly competitive firms, less competitive firms and non-competitive firms.
  • To predict and explain the economic performance of a nation based on the volatility of national income or domestic output, unemployment rates and price levels.
  • To identify the sources of economic growth and development for the domestic economy.
  • To identify the sources of high unemployment and inflation levels, and develop policy prescriptions designed to alleviate these economic concerns.
  • To understand the role of government and the Federal Reserve System in promoting a stable and growing economy, and an equitable distribution of income.


Assessment Measures

  • Students will be given assignments throughout the semester, consisting of essays and short answer questions, analysis and synthesis of economic problems, and numerical exercises. Working copies of each assignment will be hyperlinked and made available for download in portable document format.
  • Students will complete midterm exams and a final examination.


Other Course Information

A text book may be required for this class.


Review and Approval

VPAA - 1/27/05