Econ 201A

Principles of Macroeconomics

Welcome to Econ 201A!

My name is Tanya Downing and I will be your instructor for the course. Please read this page carefully. Further and more detailed information will be given with the syllabus and orientation materials (available on the course site at

Course and Contact Information

Start Date: August, 2017
Course meets 100% online for 18 weeks

Instructor: Tanya Downing

Email (the best and fastest way to reach me): (Except for exceptionally busy times in the semester, email turn around is 24 hours.)

Phone: (805)776-3056 (accepts texts)

Office hours: Room 4314 on San Luis Obispo campus

First Steps

Please do the following before the start date of this course:
1. Go to Cuesta's distance education support materials page. You can access Cuesta's distance education support materials here.
2. View the FAQ and FAQ-Technical pages which provide some assistance with the technical side of distance education (for ex. suggested minimum system requirements, how to get technical assistance, etc.) Be certain that you have the minimum technological requirements for this mode of learning.
3. Take the Survey and For Whom? assessments at the site. These support materials will help you determine whether online is best for you (before you find out the hard way.)

Technical Requirements

I realize this is stating the obvious, but you must have access to a computer, an email account, speaker or headset, and a reliable Internet connection. You must have a backup plan should your system or your Internet provider fail - technological problems related to Cuesta's online system, called Canvas I can help solve - but issues outside of these areas will be up to you to solve. It is essential that you understand the basic concepts of email; web navigation; computer security including firewalls, cookies, trusted sites; Microsoft Word and Excel; adobe PDF; simple video creation and uploads to YouTube - no graphic design required but comfort with PowerPoint, Prezi, etc. is needed; and online communication, to succeed in this course.

Nature of Course

This course is conducted on the Canvas platform (you will also access the publisher's ebook and homework system through Canvas.) The course schedule, grading summary, and structure specifics can be found in the syllabus. The syllabus can be found in the Orientation area of the course Canvas site and will be emailed to you during the week classes start. Print out and read the course syllabus, as this is where answers to most of the questions pertaining to the course structure can be found.

Student Readiness and Time Requirements

You can expect to spend 9 hours per week on this course. As with most other online courses you will need to:
  • Know how to access Canvas, and through Canvas the course ebook and homework site. (Ebook and homework site registration instructions are included in the syllabus.)
  • Learn effectively through reading, video lecture, and online discussion forums
  • Be able to upload: Word or PDF documents and videos; and create URL links
  • Be comfortable following instructions to research online
  • Be comfortable with timed and untimed, online assignments and assessments

If you have a disability and might need accommodations in this class, please contact Disable Student Programs and Services (DSPS) in building 3300 on the San Luis Obispo campus as soon as possible to ensure that you receive accommodations in a timely manner. Their website can be reached here.


This course uses an ebook and online homework manager: registration for these materials requires a fee and will be completed through a course-specific link provided at the beginning of the semester. A hard copy of the textbook is not required, however, if you'd like to preview the textbook, we'll use:

Principles of Macroeconomics, 21st Edition by McConnell, Brue and Flynn

A loose-leaf copy of the text with access code to the ebook and homework manager can be purchased from the Cuesta bookstore.

Course Description and Student Learning Outcomes

Introduces aggregate economic analysis. Topics include: market systems, aggregate measures of economic activity, macroeconomic equilibrium, money and financial institutions, monetary and fiscal policy, international economics, and economic growth. Prerequisite: MATH 123 or equivalent. Advisory: Eligibility for ENGL 156. Transfer: CSU; UC.

Student Learning Outcomes:

1. Illustrate the economic way of thinking, including but not limited to: marginal analysis, opportunity cost, and how people respond to incentives.

2. Identify assumptions of economic models and use economic models to make predictions of outcomes when factors in the economy change.

3. Calculate key economic variables such as unemployment, inflation and national income. Critically analyze these variables and how they are calculated.

4. Evaluate factors that contribute to economic growth.

5. Identify the role that monetary policy, fiscal policy and international trade play in shaping the national economy.

Cuesta's Online System - Canvas

After you have registered for the class you will find you are now registered for Canvas. You will need to follow these steps:

  1. From the Cuesta Website, Click on the Canvas Link
  2. You will be asked for a username and password. That information is the same as your myCuesta username.
  3. You will see all of the classes you are currently enrolled in listed in this area. If you have an additonal questions. I suggest watching the following video

Cuesta Policies

Each student is required to follow all school guidelines and comply with all school deadlines including personal responsibility for adding and/or dropping this class. The link to college-wide policies is here. Each student is responsible for obtaining updates or changes to the syllabus and/or assignments for the course - any changes will be posted to the announcements section of the class Moodle site.

Additionally, this course has a zero tolerance policy for Academic Dishonesty. Please see the school website and refer to the Student Code of Conduct for clarification. Authentication of your identity will be conducted through the use of the course Learning Management System, Moodle. Moodle requires unique and secure student login and password to access it. Additionally, some assignments will require video or picture authentication.

Your instructor will provide regular and effective contact through weekly instructor initiated discussion forums; weekly instructor-created videos; timely and effective feedback on assignments; email, phone, messaging and/or announcements to individuals and the class; and office hours.

College Support Services

If you have a physical, mental, or learning disability that requires any special accommodations, please contact Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS) as soon as possible to ensure that you receive the accommodations in a timely manner. I will be happy to work with the accommodations to support you through DSPS.

Tutorial services are provided free of charge to students. You may contact them at (805)546-3150 for further information.

For the library services list, including learning research and assistance, please use this link: Library and Learning Resources

For Veterans' services, click this link (and thank you.)