Syllabus for ECO-112



Economics is the study of how people manage their limited resources. There are two main branches of economics: macroeconomics and microeconomics. Macroeconomics is the study of phenomena that occur across the whole economy. Microeconomics deals with how individual households and firms make decisions and interact. The second branch is the subject of this course: Microeconomics (ECO-112-OL).

Note: If you have already taken Macroeconomics (Thomas Edison State College offering ECO-111-OL), you will notice that the first modules in this macroeconomics course (those that cover text chapters 1 through 9) are very close (but not identical) in content to the corresponding modules in the microeconomics course. Therefore, you may wish to review these modules rather than working through them as thoroughly as you will later modules. (Activities and assessments may differ, but they will cover the same content.) Be sure, however, that you submit all necessary quizzes and activities for this course, even if you have taken another economics course previously


The primary objective of this course is to teach you to understand the interaction of households and firms in specific markets. You will study market efficiency, the tax system, the behavior or firms in the marketplace, and labor markets.

After completing this course, you should be able to: 

  1. Explain the role economics plays in the tradeoffs people make.
  2. Explain the relationship of trade, including comparative and absolute advantage, to the decisions made by domestic firms.
  3. Explain the importance of market forces as they determine market demand and supply versus individual demand and supply.
  4. Define the role elasticity plays in determining demand and pricing decisions of the firm. 
  5. Explain the differences between producer surplus and consumer surplus.
  6. Understand the role taxation plays in supply and demand.
  7. Distinguish between marginal utility, total utility, and diminishing utility. 
  8. Explain the differences between private and public goods.
  9. Explain the relationship between productivity and the cost of production. 
  10. Explain the differences between the different elements of the costs of production.
  11. Identify the various market structures and their characteristics. 
  12. Describe the differences between economic and accounting profit. 
  13. Describe the effects of the forms of imperfect competition on the marketplace.
  14. Discuss discrimination in the labor market.
  15. Explain income inequality and poverty and the policies to reduce them.
  16. Explain the theory of consumer choice and how consumes act to optimize their choices.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

  1. Principles of Microeconomics, 5th ed., by N. Gregory Mankiw (Mason, Ohio: Thomson/South-Western, 2009).

    ISBN-13: 978-0-324-58998-6


Microeconomics is a 3-credit online course, consisting of eleven (11) modules. Modules include study materials and activities.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written activities, take a proctored online midterm examination, and complete a final project. See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar for activity due dates.


Discussion Forums

In addition to posting an introduction to the class in Module 1, you are required to participate in weekly online discussions.

Communication with the mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a discussion question and at least two subsequent comments on classmates' responses. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion.

Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.


Written Assignments

You are required to complete four (4) written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

Self-Tests and Quizzes

Microeconomics has periodic ungraded self-tests and 4 graded online quizzes. You will take the ungraded self-tests as part of your work with each chapter. You can take the self-tests as often as you like, and you can check your own answers after you submit them.


Note: You can take the self-tests as often as you like. However, you can enter and take a quiz only once, so don't enter a quiz until you are ready to take it, and don't quit a quiz until you have answered all the questions and are confident about your responses. Once you quit a quiz (whether you have submitted your answers or not), the system will not let you reenter the quiz or take it again.


Midterm Examination

Microeconomics requires you to take a proctored midterm examination

The midterm is a closed-book, proctored online exam and covers material in Chapters 1 through 12. The exam consists of forty (40) multiple-choice questions (similar in kind to those you have seen on the self-tests and quizzes) along with four (4) short essay questions, similar in kind to the Written Activity and discussion questions. The exam is two hours long. You are permitted to use a calculator.  

For the midterm, you are required to use the College's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exam within the first week of the semester.

Online exams are administered through the course Web site. Consult the course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.


Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during an exam. Cheating means:

  1. Looking up any answer or part of an answer in an unauthorized textbook or on the Internet, or using any other source to find an answer.
  2. Copying and pasting or, in any way copying responses or parts of responses from any other source into your exams. This includes but is not limited to copying and pasting from other documents or spreadsheets, whether written by yourself or anyone else.
  3. Plagiarizing answers.
  4. Asking anyone else to assist you by whatever means available while you take an exam.
  5. Copying any part of an exam to share with other students.
  6. Telling your mentor that you need another attempt at an exam because your connection to the Internet was interrupted when that is not true.

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in an exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.

Final Project

Microeconomics requires you to complete a final project.

The final project consists of a question made up of several different parts. You will perform research on the required topics and provide your analysis. It will primarily encompass subject matter from the latter half of the course but will require understanding of the material from the first half.

The project will be made available to you on this course site approximately three weeks prior to the end of the semester. You will find it in the Final Project area of the site. It will be due no later than Saturday of the last week of the semester. 


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Online discussions  (11)—11 percent
  2. Written assignments (4)—27 percent
  3. Quizzes—12 percent
  4. Midterm exam (proctored online)—30 percent
  5. Final project—20 percent

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a nonarea of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

  1. Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.
  2. Take the time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course, how to schedule exams, and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.
  3. Arrange to take your examinations by following the instructions in this Syllabus and the Online Student Handbook.  Then complete the "Proctor Request Form" and submit it to the Office of Test Administration (OTA). You must make arrangements to take your examination and send in your "Proctor Request Form" to OTA before the end of the first week of the current semester.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.
  5. If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting activities before class begins.

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

  1. To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting activities, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.
  2. Check the Announcements page and class Discussion Board regularly for new course information.


Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty takes the following forms:

  1. Cheating
  2. Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
  3. Fabricating information or citations
  4. Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others
  5. Unauthorized access to examinations or the use of unauthorized materials during exam administration
  6. Submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the mentor
  7. Tampering with the academic work of other students

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized activity, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.


Using someone else's work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > "Citing Sources.")

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else's. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

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