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ECON633 – Intermediate Macroeconomics

2017 – S1 External

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
Alexander Blair
Office: E4A 418
Consultation hours to be advised via iLearn
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MCom or MAcc(Prof)MCom or MBioBus or MEc or MIntBus or MIntBusMIntComm or MIntBusMIntRel
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This is an intensive unit in intermediate macroeconomics, designed to provide the postgraduate student with all the basic macroeconomics required for a general commerce postgraduate program, and serving also as a starting point for specialist studies in postgraduate economics. The unit covers a wide range of the models in use in economics today, including IS-LM, AD-AS, theories of the labour market, and the theory of exchange rates, culminating in the Mundell-Fleming model of an open economy. The unit also provides a substantial introduction to the history of economic thought, allowing students to see the origins of the models they study and so better understand the models themselves. Although a theoretical unit, the contents have a large practical application, with reviews of many of the problems facing the global economy since the beginning of this decade, as well as the attempted solutions. This unit needs no prior knowledge, thus any basic economics and accompanying mathematical and other skills required by the unit's material are taught as part of the unit curriculum.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand the theoretical models that form the body of contemporary macroeconomics.
  2. Apply macroeconomic models to various economic problems and issues.
  3. Identify, define and analyse problems and recommend creative solutions within real-world constraints.

General Assessment Information

As an online unit you will generally be able to proceed at your own pace.  The In-Session Practice Test and Final Exam will take place online on set dates (the former determined by indicators of overall student progress, the latter according to the University's Examination schedule) but there will be no rigid deadlines for submission of online Assignments, and no penalties for late submission.  We will give you guidelines as to a suggested schedule of submission of Assignments.  You should aim to follow this schedule for best results in the Unit, and to avoid falling behind, and we will monitor your progress and discuss solutions with you if delays in submission  start to be of concern.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Due
In-Session Test 10% see iLearn website
Multiple (x4) Assignments 50% see iLearn website
Final Examination 40% University Examination Period

In-Session Test

Due: see iLearn website
Weighting: 10%

This is a short answer test, to be completed online using Powerpoint software. You will demonstrate your written communication and software skills, as well as your grasp of the basic models, based on material from certain specified Modules of which you will be notified well in advance.  Your Powerpoiint file will be returned electronically with comments.  You will have a three hour window to complete and submit the Test.  Part of the purpose of the exercise is to give you some practice in the methods we will use for completion of the Final Exam..

In addition, we will use this test is to take a snap shot of your current skill set, so as to allow any gaps in those skills to be addressed in plenty of time for successful remedy.  As with the other in-semester assessments, this purpose is more important than the mere accumulation of marks.  The test will use the basic models presented in the first few Modules to take stock of your written communication and mathematical skills.  Any difficulties likely to hamper your progress will be identified in plenty of time for action to be taken.

Unlike the Assignments, all students will undertake the Practice Test within the same twenty four hour window (you will have three hours to complete the exercise once you access the Test).  If you are unable to sit the Test at this time, due to illness or other misadventure, you may apply for a Supplementary Test or other remedy under the Disruption to Studies procedures set out on the University website.  Consult the Policies and Procedures section of this Unit Guide for further information on these Disruption to Studies policies.  If a Supplementary Test is granted, then this will be held within one week (7 days) from notification that your application has been successful, with the same conditions (twenty four hour window and three hour completion time).


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Understand the theoretical models that form the body of contemporary macroeconomics.

Multiple (x4) Assignments

Due: see iLearn website
Weighting: 50%

These will be available online with the opening of each corresponding Module. In total the four Assignments contribute 50 marks to your final grade, but again, as with the Class Test these Assignments are designed primarily to help you with learning the models and prepare you for the Final Exam. You will submit a Powerpoint file by iLearn, and this will be returned with comments.

Again, these assignments are designed primarily as tools of learning.  You will use Powerpoint software to recreate the models presented in the Lecture Videos.  The animation facility in Powerpoint allows you to use the models for economic analysis.  You will show shifts of the curves and changes in equilibrium in the correct sequence, explained by textboxes, much as in the Lecture Videos (which will serve as a template for these exercises).  This is the best way of mastering the models which are the key to success in the Unit.  Collectively the Assignments make the largest contribution of marks to your final grade, though as always the teaching and learning purpose is primary.

As an online unit there will be room for you to set your own pace in terms of submission dates.  We will give you a recommended timetable for submission of the Assignments, but you will be free to venture outside it depending on your rate of progress.  We will require however that you only submit an Assignment after you have had any previously submitted Assignment returned to you with comments, so that you can incorporate the comments on the last Assignment in preparing the next.  Furthermore that all Assignments are to have been submitted by June 16th at 11pm.  These requirements will impose a timetable that you should keep in mind as you move through the in-Session work.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Understand the theoretical models that form the body of contemporary macroeconomics.
  • Apply macroeconomic models to various economic problems and issues.
  • Identify, define and analyse problems and recommend creative solutions within real-world constraints.

Final Examination

Due: University Examination Period
Weighting: 40%

The Final Examination will include long answer questions, both diagram and essay based, and some calculations, for all of which you will have received plenty of practice in the Practice Test and Assignments.  Details regarding the structure of the Final Exam will be given online.  The exam itself will be delivered and the script submitted online, with a time limit from opening of the exam to final submission of three hours, using the procedure already practiced in the In-Session Test.

As with the Practice Test, all students will undertake the Final Exam within the same twenty four hour window (you will have three hours to complete the exercise once you access the Test).  If you are unable to sit the Final Examination at this time, due to illness or other misadventure, you may apply for a Supplementary Examination under the Disruption to Studies procedures set out on the University website.  Consult the Policies and Procedures section of this Unit Guide for further information on these Disruption to Studies policies.  If a Supplementary Examination is granted, then this will be scheduled after the conclusion of the official University examination period, with the same conditions (twenty four hour window and three hour completion time).  Note that it is University policy not to set early examinations for individuals or groups of students.   All students should ensure that they are available until the end of the teaching Session, in other words the final day of the official examination period.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Understand the theoretical models that form the body of contemporary macroeconomics.

Delivery and Resources

Required and Recommended Texts and/or Materials

Many of the models used in this unit are drawn from the following text - students may find it interesting to have a look at the 3rd edition of this text (or the 4th edition for which there also is an e-book) but neither is mandatory, as the online lectures and other materials contain all that is required for successful completion of the unit:

Olivier Blanchard & Jeffrey Sheen, Macroeconomics, Pearson, 3nd Australasian edition, 2009.  (hereafter B&S)..

 

Technology Used and Required

Unit Web Page on iLearn

Lecture and tutorial material as well as up to date information concerning any aspect of the unit, including any changes to the schedule, will be available to students by logging on to the unit web page at http://ilearn.mq.edu.au.

The following information will be available on iLearn:

Unit schedule Announcements
Lecture slides Lecture videos
Results of Assessment tasks Other relevant material

This is a purely online Unit, so you will need to regularly check in to the website and use it as a resource centre to assist with your learning.

 If you are unable to access the iLearn website because you are not aware of or have forgotten your username and password, please contact the IT helpdesk located on C5C 244, if you are close to the Sydney campus, or call 61 2 9850 4357. The IT helpdesk will also be able to assist you with using the unit web page.

Please remember to log out when you have finished using the unit web page. Failure to do so could result in unauthorised access to your unit web page account.

 

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html The Disruption to Studies Policy is effective from March 3 2014 and replaces the Special Consideration Policy.

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Grades

Macquarie University uses the following grades in coursework units of study:

 

·         HD - High Distinction (85 - 100)

·         D - Distinction (75 - 84)

·         CR - Credit (65 - 74)

·         P - Pass (50 - 64)

·         F – Fail (0 - 49)

 

Grade descriptors and other information concerning grading are contained in the Macquarie

University Grading Policy which is available at:

 

http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/grading/policy.html

 

For further information, please refer to page 71 of the 2013 Calendar of Governance, Legislation and Rules- Postgraduate Rules at

 

http://universitycouncil.mq.edu.au/pdfs/2013-Postgraduate_rules.pdf

 

Grade Appeals and Final Examination Script Viewing

 

If, at the conclusion of the unit, you have performed below expectations, you are entitled to and welcome to review your final examination as well as your other marks.  First contact your lecturer by email or in person.  Should you wish to appeal your grade, the University website provides information on the criteria to be met for appeal to be lodged, and the procedure to follow.

 

Provisions for unavoidable disruption of studies

The University is committed to equity and fairness in all aspects of its learning and teaching. In stating this commitment, the University recognises that there may be circumstances where a student is prevented by unavoidable disruption from performing in accordance with their ability.  Policies for the grant of assistance to students who have suffered unavoidable disruption to their studies have recently been reviewed by the University. The current policy is available at:

www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.pdf

 

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Support

Students who require assistance are encouraged to contact the Student Services Manager at Macquarie City Campus. Please see reception to book an appointment.

 

Macquarie University provides a range of Academic Student Support Services. Details of these services can be accessed at http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

IT Help

If you wish to receive IT help, we would be glad to assist you at http://informatics.mq.edu.au/help/ or call 02 9850-4357.

 

When using the university's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students and it outlines what can be done.

Students must use their Macquarie University email addresses to communicate with staff as it is University policy that the University issued email account is used for official University communication.

Students are expected to act responsibly when utilising Macquarie IT facilities. The following regulations apply to the use of computing facilities and online services:

 ·         Accessing inappropriate web sites or downloading inappropriate material is not permitted.

·         Material that is not related to coursework for approved unit is deemed inappropriate.

·         Downloading copyright material without permission from the copyright owner is illegal, and strictly prohibited. Students detected undertaking such activities will face disciplinary action, which may result in criminal proceedings.

Non-compliance with these conditions may result in disciplinary action without further notice.

 

Graduate Capabilities

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Understand the theoretical models that form the body of contemporary macroeconomics.

Assessment tasks

  • In-Session Test
  • Multiple (x4) Assignments
  • Final Examination

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the theoretical models that form the body of contemporary macroeconomics.
  • Apply macroeconomic models to various economic problems and issues.
  • Identify, define and analyse problems and recommend creative solutions within real-world constraints.

Assessment tasks

  • In-Session Test
  • Multiple (x4) Assignments
  • Final Examination

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Apply macroeconomic models to various economic problems and issues.
  • Identify, define and analyse problems and recommend creative solutions within real-world constraints.

Assessment task

  • Multiple (x4) Assignments

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, FREQUENT PROBLEMS, AND SOME ADVICE ON PASSING THE UNIT

I will have much more advice on this online but first some general points:

  1. The material for the Unit is available online, along with discussion forums, additional readings and handouts, all designed to assist students in mastering the material.  All of the material will be accessible and all will be examinable.
  2. Following from Point i), you must make use of the online material.  This gives you an interactive summary and explanation of the material, in a way that no written notes or textbook can.  In other words, no textbook can tell whether you understand what is being said; by interaction between staff and students online, we can explain the material again or in a different way until you have a complete understanding of it.  This will require only an engagement with the resources found online.
  3. Don't panic if you don't immediately understand the material.  Very often, understanding will come later, as the material becomes familiar.  Very often, it is most clear when you return to it, closer to the end of the Unit, especially as we will have covered so much ground that the pieces will start fitting together in your mind.
  4. Following on from Point iv), don't even try to understand, until you have learnt the diagrams.  You cannot understand a diagram, until you have learnt it well enough that you can close your eyes and see it in your mind.  Most models are built around one or two major diagrams; if you can remember the diagram unaided, then you’ll understand the diagram.  Understanding the diagram, you’ll understand the model.  This advice is so important that perhaps it should be at the top of the list; and ignoring it is the easiest and quickest way to fail.
  5. I am happy to go through practice exam questions with you.  The first thing I will do, is ask you to draw the diagram or write down the equation, from memory.  If you can't, the problem will become evident and the solution will immediately present itself; learn the equation or diagram and likely your questions will answer themselves.
  6. Special Advice for Repeating Students:
  •  Sorry you weren't able to get through the Unit the first time, we'll do our best to help you get through, this time.  First step, look again at Points ii), iv) and v), and ask yourself, is that why I didn't succeed?  Maybe so.
  •  often you received a mark somewhere close to a Pass.  This doesn't mean that doing the Unit a second time will easily give you those few extra marks. Very often, repeating students receive a lower grade than in their first attempt.  Why?  Because they assume that, since they were close to passing the first time, they don't need to come to lectures or to put in the necessary study time.  This is a mistake, and it happens too often.  Don't let it be you.