Course Exam—ECON 248

ECON 248 (Macroeconomics) is a three-credit course that provides a basic introduction to the entire discipline of economics.  The study of macroeconomics, microeconomics, or both can help students understand our society better.  While microeconomics deals with individual decision makers in households, firms, and governments, macroeconomics deals with aggregates.  ECON 248 looks at economy-wide variables, such as inflation, unemployment, balance of international payments, and how government policies affect these variables.  This course goes in conjunction with ECON 247 (Microeconomics).  There are no prerequisites and there is a Challenge for Credit option if students are interested.

Students should be diligent in studying Unit 1 of ECON 248. It not only provides students with a brief overview of microeconomics but is essential to understand of what follows.

Macroeconomics is made up of six units, six quizzes worth five percent each for a total of thirty percent, two assignments weighing ten percent each, and a final exam weighing fifty percent.  The six units within this course cover topics such as monitoring macroeconomic trends and fluctuations, the real economy, the money economy, investments, unemployment, and more.  To receive credit for ECON 248, students must receive a grade of fifty percent or higher on the final examination and achieve an overall grade of at least a “D” (50 percent) for the entire course.  Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook and the examination for this course will be written in the traditional pen and paper format.

Shannon Steinke just finished her first year of the four-year Bachelor of Management program at Athabasca University.  She briefly introduces herself, stating “I am currently a military member.  The military is funding my schooling so I’m not technically working right now.  I’m moving to North Bay from Barrie, Ontario next week.  In my spare time I like to golf, curl, read, and play music.”

When asked what she likes and dislikes about the Bachelor of Management program, she states “I wish the program had more Human Resources focused courses and less financial courses.  I love the flexibility of online learning and I like managing my own schedule.  However, I find online learning difficult when I need academic help, especially the time delay between asking a question and getting a response can really derail my progress.”

She explains that ECON 248 “discusses Macroeconomic forces such as gross domestic product (GDP), international trade, banks, policy, and more.”

As for the structure of the course, Shannon states “The course involved reading the textbook and completing practice exercises.  My Econ Lab has some good practice questions and flash cards.  It had two assignments that had ten short answer questions each.  There is no midterm examination and the final examination was multiple choice and short answer questions.”
When asked if she would recommend the course to other students, she states “I enjoyed the content of this course, but I found the textbook difficult to follow.  It didn’t elaborate on a lot of the main topics that came up in the assignments.  I’m not sure I would recommend this specific course if someone had another similar alternative.”
As for tips and tricks to completing the course, Shannon explains that “because the textbook was hard to use, I ended up using Khan Academy a lot.  It expanded on some of the topics and made them easier to understand.”

For those who are unfamiliar with Khan Academy, it is a non-profit educational organization and website that has several videos and tools to help explain different subjects to students.  Whether you are taking English, math, a specific science course, or music, Khan Academy will most likely have content explaining the concepts you are studying.  I definitely recommend checking it out; it got me through some pretty difficult courses.

When asked how the communications with her tutor was, she states “For the most part I had good communications with my tutor and the turn around time for assignments and tests was reasonable.  I waited quite a while near the end of the course, but it was during the convocation, so I assumed that had something to do with it.”

Whether ECON 248 is a degree or program requirement of yours, or the topics mentioned above are of interest to you, this course will have you learning a lot of interesting content surrounding the topic macroeconomics.