Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy
Penn State University

Getting Started

With the semester fast approaching, I wanted to bring your attention to a few things before we officially get underway. I wanted to provide some early information so that you are aware of the course expectations and can switch classes if you aren’t able to complete the requirements this semester.

I will start teaching from our coursepack on Day 1, so please make sure you stop by the bookstore or print the first lesson that is a available in Canvas. Most of the syllabus-related material will be left for you to read on your own.

Econ 102 Course Site

  1. I'll talk very briefly about course material when we start class, but we’ll jump right into the material on the first day, so make sure that you come to class prepared. At every class, you should have a copy of your course pack and some colored pens or markers (I like these). You don't need to bring your books to class. I have put together a good list of "tools" that previously successful students have mentioned (you clearly don't need the macroeconomics study card since this isn't a macro course and you don't need the writing book since this isn't a writing course!). 

  2. I recommend signing up for the Morning Brew, which will deliver a digest of important news topics to your inbox each morning. We may talk about some items in class, they may appear on exams as bonus questions, or you may be able to use them in your Packback posts.

  3. Part of this course involves a subscription to Packback, but I will send them a roster during the first week of class and they will create an account for you. There is a 2-week window to determine if you want to purchase Packback to count toward your grade. MyEconLab, however, will require you to create an account on your own. The account creation guide will be posted in Canvas. You have a 2-week window to determine if you want MyEconLab to count toward your grade. After the two-week windows with these websites, they will requirement payment.

  4. I'll have a dedicated "check in" day during the first week of class where you can come by and make sure you have all your accounts registered correctly. Check the calendar in Canvas when the course opens.

  5. I will e-mail you A LOT during the semester. I will send emails through Canvas and directly to your PSU email address. If you don’t want to use your PSU address, please make sure that you’ve setup email forwarding so that you get all emails from me. Please check the announcements tab each time you login to Canvas. I recommend updating your Canvas preferences to get daily digests rather than individual emails each time something changes in your courses. You'll receive a notification email when our course officially opens (usually about a week before class begins).

  6. I have very high expectations for all of my courses, which is good to know before we begin the course. This course will be VERY different from other offerings and will feature a reading component.  Each 102 course at Penn State is a little different. We all cover the same material, but we go about it in different ways.  My main responsibility is to push you to be the best individual you can be. I ask that you commit at least 7-8  hours of work outside of class each week. If you don’t think you can commit to that for the upcoming semester, please consider taking this course another semester or taking a different section

  7. There are a variety of ways to get the required material for the course. I have placed copies of the books on reserve at the library if you'd prefer that method. Owning the books are not a requirement, but you are required to have regular access to the material.  I highly recommend that you have access to the following items:

  8. I have created a course pack for the course that costs about $30. I will use this EVERY DAY and it will help you stay organized throughout the semester. I strongly recommend purchasing this before the first day of class. You can wait a few days to decide how you want to get the other materials.

  9. You will want an iClicker for this class. You should register your clicker online before we begin the semester.

  10. We will use Canvas for our course site and all information/assignments will be posted there.  It is organized based on the assignments and will includes all reading sets, project information, and exam review information. I will be add material throughout the semester.

  11. I occasionally tweet economics stuff that can be beneficial to you. You can follow me on Twitter (please don't feel obligated). I've also created a Facebook group for our class so that you can meet others in the class and ask any questions you have before the semester starts.


I am looking forward to another great semester at Penn State!