Course Requirements and Grading


Workload:  This is a four credit course and the work load is substantial.  The course is designed with the expectation that  the average student should spend two to three hours per credit hour, that is eight to twelve hours per week  on homework,  reading,  and class preparation.   Class attendance is also important, and attendance in section meetings is essential to passing the course.  

Lectures:   During most lectures, we use  remote control "clickers"  to ask simple multiple-choice questions based either on the assigned reading or on the lecture.  You are asked to  respond to these questions by pressing a button on your clicker.   Answers will be  registered and recorded.  Even if you don't get the answer right, you will receive some credit for responding.  If my records show that you attended fewer than half of the class meetings,  this will cost you one letter grade.  Those who attend regularly and score well on the clicker questions will receive extra credit of up to  10 per cent of  course grade.

Sections:  The experiments take place in your section meetings. (Sections will meet during the first week of classes.)  To get credit for participating, you must go to the section for which you are registered. Since everybody participates in the classroom experiments, it is important that you show up on time.  If you arrive in section after the experiment materials are handed out,  you will not be allowed to participate.  When we record the results of classroom experiments, we will also record  attendance and participation.   This   affects your overall score for the class.

Laboratory Reports and Homework

Each week you are required to  hand in homework based on the results of in-class experiments and your lab notes.  You can tear out the homework pages from your textbook and hand them in at the next week's section meeting.  You may also copy those pages and hand in the copies.   Homework must be turned in on time in order for you to receive credit.  The data that you need for your lab notes will be collected from the experiment conducted in your section and will be made available to you on the web within three days of the time of the experiment. 


There will be two  scheduled, in-class quizzes.  Quiz dates are found in the Schedule of Lectures and Quizzes.  Each quiz is  based on the readings, the  lab reports and homework on the corresponding experiment.  The way to ensure that you do well on the quizzes is to do and understand the homework and the readings.

Instructional Gear


You need to purchase a  "clicker", officially known as an  InterWrite Personal Response System, RF. These are available  at the cashier island on the main floor of the University Bookstore.  Tell them you want the clicker for Econ 1. This is the only kind of clicker that works for our class.  The Turning Point clickers used in biology will not work.  

Low-Tech Stuff

For doing your homework and your lab reports, you will need some colored pens.  You will need black, blue, green, and red.

You will need to purchase 3 No. F1712 scantrons (This is the reddish kind where you fill in bubbles for your name and id number, not the puny little bluish kind where you just write your name.) and bring them with you to scheduled quizzes and exams.  You should also bring a #2 soft lead pencil to mark your scantron. The scanner does not read black pen marks at all and is not entirely reliable with blue pen marks. Also, you need to fill in your perm number on your scantron when you take quizzes and exams.  When you get your scantron, you should fill that number in the bubbles for id number.

Computer Spreadsheet

You can save yourself quite a bit of time in doing your homework by using a computer spreadsheet like  Microsoft Excel, which is installed on all of the university's public-access computers and is widely available on home computers. If you  have never used a spreadsheet before, this is a good time to learn a skill that you are likely to find useful for many years.

Basis for Course Grades

Performance in Markets 15%

We will record the payoffs that you received in market experiments over the course of the quarter. Your profits for any day are scaled according to the average earnings of persons in the class with the same buyer values or seller costs as yours. These scaled profits are called winnings, and they will vary between 3 and 10. If your profit is in the top 20% of participants of your same type, your winnings will be 10. If your profit is in the bottom 10% of participants of your type, your winnings will be 3.  If your profits are above the bottom 10% and below the top 20%, your winnings will be linearly related to your profit. In particular, your winnings will be 3 +7* (your profit - profit of participant in 10th percentile)/(profit of person in 80th percentile - profit of person in 10th percentile). If you don't attend an experiment, your winnings will be zero for that experiment. In calculating your grade, we will drop your lowest score. The total of your remaing scores over the term will count for 15% of your course grade. There is a certain amount of luck involved in day-to-day outcomes, but if you participate in all or nearly all of the market experiments and pay attention to what you are doing, you are almost certain to do well.

Homework 10%

In order to receive credit for homework, you must turn it in on time (that is, at the section meeting following the experiment). Each homework will be scored from zero to 5. Homeworks turned in late or not turned in at all will receive a zero. In summing your homework scores, we will drop the lowest score, which could be a zero if you failed to turn in a homework on time.

Scheduled Quizzes 30%

There will be two in-class quizzes.  The dates of these quizzes are found on the class schedule.  There will be no make-up quizzes.  If you miss one quiz, we will make your final examination score count for an additional 15 per cent of your grade.  If your schedule does not allow you to take at least one of the quizzes at the scheduled time,  you should not take Econ 1 this term.

Final Examination 45%

The final exam will cover material from the entire course and will be offered only at the regularly scheduled time.

Classroom Participation 

During most class lectures, I will ask one or more  in-class "clicker questions"  based on assigned reading or the current lecture.  Some questions asked will be purely informational and you will get credit for attending class, no matter what your answer.    To answer these questions, you will need to purchase a radio-frequency clicker at the bookstore.   If you do not attend at least half of the lectures, this will cost you one letter grade.  Students who get high clicker scores over the course of the term will earn extra credit.  In calculating your total clicker score, I will drop  your two  lowest daily scores. 

Grade Distribution

Grading in economics is stricter than in most subjects.  This class will be graded partly according to a curve and partly by absolute standards.  Last term in Econ 1, about  12% of the class got an A or A-, about 25% got  a grade in the B range,  and about 40 % got a grade  in the C range.  

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