This class is not easy for a lot of people. The material can seem easy to follow when you are reading it or watching a lecture, but difficult to apply to new situations in the homework or on exams… and then there are the time management and motivational aspects that can also be challenging.
Please reflect on your experience so far in the course and tell us the following:
- What has been the hardest part(s) of the course for you?
- What could you do to make it easier on you, if anything?
- Is there some way that the class could be designed or run differently that you think would address this issue? Please don’t be shy here. I’ve put a ton of work into this class, and am very dedicated to making it the best it can be, but I can’t do that without your feedback. Please and thank you 🙂
Please also comment on the response of at least 1 classmate.
The Macroeconomics Learning Portfolio
This learning portfolio consists of a series of short writing assignments. You will be required to complete and revise these assignments throughout the semester, and to compile and submit your completed portfolio by the due date.
- BE HONEST! It is strictly forbidden to copy things from the internet or work with other students, for any reason. If I provide an example, do not use it as a template. If you represent someone else’s ideas or work as your own, you will get a 0 on this assignment. Do not search the internet and try to “rephrase” things to disguise plagiarism… I have very powerful technology that searches the entire internet for anything in your portfolio, so I will catch any of this behavior. Because of this, the policy regarding internet searches is extremely clear: do not use the internet for anything in this learning portfolio unless specifically directed to, and do not visit any sites other than the one(s) specifically mentioned. If you violate this policy, you will get a 0 on this learning portfolio assignment, which is worth 18% of the final grade for the course. This learning portfolio is based on your experiences and understanding, so there is no reason to search the internet beyond the sites I specifically mention, or to work with other students. If you have questions, you can ask me, and if you don’t understand something you can review the provided course materials until you do, or you can use the tutoring services provided by the college. In general, the internet is NOT a permitted resource for this assignment. Students violate this rule every semester, and then are upset when I follow through on the punishment. Don’t let that happen to you. These are the rules and the consequences for breaking the rules, and it is your job to follow them. Thank you for understanding.
- Please complete ALL of the individual assignments listed below, and compile them into one document to submit by the due date. Note that some chapters do not have a corresponding assignment (e.g. chapter 1).
- Do NOT include the assignment questions in your learning portfolio. I already know what the questions are.
- Please submit your compiled and revised learning portfolio using one of the following programs/formats: Microsoft Word/.doc, Open Office/.odt, or Adobe Acrobat/.pdf. Other formats are not acceptable since I cannot read them. If the formatting gets messed up when submitting the document, don’t worry about it -I am used to it.
- Follow the directions for each individual assignment closely. This sounds simple, but most of the points people lose are due to failure to follow the directions. To help with this, many assignments are broken down by components, for example A, B, C, D, etc. Please respond to these assignments by specifically addressing each component with its own paragraph. After you complete an assignment, re-read the directions and analyze whether you did what was asked. Do not simply do what you are “comfortable” with, do what is asked. If you are not comfortable with what was asked, then go back and try to relearn the material or feel free to ask me questions.
- Use your best writing skills. This assignment should reflect college-level writing ability and will be graded significantly lower if it does not. High school-level work uses proper grammar, punctuation, spelling, sentence structure, and reasonable paragraph lengths, so these components are absolutely mandatory in the learning portfolio. I suggest reading each sentence and treating as its own entity… ask yourself these questions: Does this sentence sound like something an educated person would say? Does it support the point of the paragraph, and does the paragraph support the point of your response to the prompt?
- There are no length requirements for the individual assignments, so please do not try to lengthen your submission by including fluff, by being redundant, or using formatting tricks. But at the same time, do not provide superficial responses. Take your time to respond to the assignments in a complete, meaningful way, and whatever length it ends up being is the â€œrightâ€ length.
Individual Assignment Directions:
Chapter 2 shows and discusses the gains from trade that can result when individuals, firms, or countries specialize in producing goods for which they have the comparative advantage, and trade those goods with others.
Gains from specialization and exchange can be seen in many situations. For example, most people that we pay to do things for us (e.g. grow our food, cut our hair, tutor us, etc.) perform the task for a lower opportunity cost than we would bear if we were to do it ourselves. This is where the gain from trade that benefits both parties comes from, and is why it is rational for you to pay for the service.
To show that you understand how comparative advantage works in the modern economy, please discuss a good or service you recently purchased and address the following prompts:
- What is the item or service, and how much did you pay for it?
- What is a reasonable estimate of how long it would take you to make the item or perform the service at the same quality level of the one your purchased, if you had been unable to buy it? You need to come up with a number of hours or days or years, or whatever time measurement you want, for how long it would take you. Don’t try to avoid this. If you can’t figure it out, pick another good or service.
- Who worked to get the money to pay for the item, and how long did they have to work to get the money? If your money came from the government, see the how the government gets money page.
- Based on your answers to 2 and 3 above, was it rational to buy the good? Explain. Make sure you compare the time it would take you to make the good or perform the service (mentioned in part 2) and the amount of time that had to be worked to get the money (mentioned in part 3). It is only rational to buy something if you give up less resources working to earn money to pay, than you would have if you made the good or perform the service yourself. If it turned out to be irrational, why did you buy it?
If you want to see an example, check out the “great work” linked above. But do not copy the example or even the wording. There are many ways to express these ideas if you understand the material. Please find your own words or face the consequences of academic dishonesty.