Principles and Theory of Macroeconomics

General Education Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this Macroeconomics course, you should be able to embrace the following competencies:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the theoretical and conceptual frameworks of economics as applied to businesses in the USA, and how they interact with businesses in other countries, especially trading partners.
  2. Develop an understanding of self and the world by examining the dynamic interaction of individuals, groups, and societies as they shape and are shaped by history, culture, institutions, and ideas through business interactions, commodity and service trading.
  3. Utilize Social Science approaches, such as research methods, inquiry, and problem-solving, to examine the variety of perspectives about human experience using a variety of communication venues, culminating with professionally written reports and presentations.
  4. Evaluate how reasoning, history, and culture informs and guides individuals, civic, and global decisions.
  5. Understand and appreciate similarities and differences among and between individuals, cultures, or societies across space and time.

Course Specific Learning Outcomes

This class emphasizes critical thinking and problem solving for Macroeconomics. It is accomplished by using economic models with the goal of the students being able to relate the models to real world economic events. Among other things, all students will:

  1. Evaluate the concept of scarcity of resources and opportunity costs.
  2. Examine the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  3. Discuss functions of money.
  4. Evaluate the Federal Reserve System in the US.
  5. Explore government monetary policies.
  6. Review taxation.
  7. Explore the U.S. Government’s fiscal policy.
  8. Discuss international economic issues.
  9. Learn the scientific method and quantitative analysis used in economic science.

The overall goal of this class is that you gain an understanding of macroeconomics and the ability to apply the principles and models you learn to real world events.

Macroeconomics as a college class, was a concept taught in all colleges and universities, and in some high schools around the world. In the 21st Century, students have gained more experience using media outlets. Classes were once taught in a traditional classroom with a chalk-board with an instructor teaching the subject.  In 1986, the software product Harvard Presentation Graphics revolutionized computer aided presentation software to be the first personal computer program running MS DOS, to integrate text, graphics, and charts into custom slideshows. These images could be exported to color plotters or to 35mm film slides. Slides enabled instructors to incorporate photographs personally taken on hand-held film cameras and developed into 35mm color slides.

Example and demonstration were combined with instructor experiences and interactions with students to increase the effectiveness of classroom-based learning. Harvard Graphics slides remained firmly in the repertoire of professional instructors into 1990 as Microsoft Corporation introduced MS Windows and its presentation software solution, PowerPoint, and the bundled package known as Microsoft Office.

PowerPoint ushered features of its predecessor into software available on Windows and Macintosh computer operating systems to combine text, charts, tables, photographs, images, and video graphics in a variety of formats. Presentation cost effectiveness was substantially improved as the MS solution exported screen images to local printers and through video projection monitors to classroom screens. Today, PowerPoint presentations can be made into YouTube videos, integrating action videos, instructor narration, and examples from the life around us.

Macroeconomics focuses attention to understanding Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Most everything discussed in Macroeconomics links back to the GDP for specific countries. Understand this foundation and you will understand “economic thinking”. Macroeconomics is about globalization and how countries trade goods and services. The BIG picture is how Macroeconomics is the GDP. This is where you embrace the big topic of economics. It is a great launching point to move you forward.

As I taught a college macroeconomics classes, ECON-201, I created a series of 13 videos to take the place of in-class live lectures. Each video ranges from 21 minutes to 1 hour 8 minutes. These videos were part of the on-line student experience and also replaced the live-class session lectures. These videos are only part of the educational experience to be taken alongside the textbook, integration of current events, discussions, tasks, and ultimately a term report integrating these concepts into abstract ideas. You can watch these videos to see and hear how concepts of macroeconomics are expressed in the real world.

All videos made on the Dr. Bill YouTube Channel, have subtitles created from the scripts made while developing each video. Get to know your YouTube control panel as you watch these videos: in the lower-right side of the screen you will see a CC image to turn on the subtitles/closed captioning. The text placed on these videos is a perfect match in English, and it translates into other languages easily on this YouTube interface. Also on the lower-right corner of the display you will find a rotor that when clicked on, will give you options to speed the show’s video and audio – without distortion – to accelerate the show. I had a student who took my microeconomics class, then the next semester, took macroeconomics class from me. She shared with the class how she would repeat watching each video while accelerating them at 2x speeds on the 5th or 10th time through, “just to prepare for the quiz or exam. It works!”

These videos walk through Learning Objectives, using sub-video examples, discussions, and problem solving tasks. Like the videos? Subscribe to this channel while watching the video, ‘like’ the show, and share the links with your friends and colleagues. Make comments to share with others how these videos help you embrace the Abysmal Science of Economics!

13 Macroeconomics Videos, in YouTube Playlist

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Dr. Bill Economics Channel
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Dr. Bill’s YouTube Channel

I have made YouTube videos a part of classes I teach, to allow a consistent message from student to student, and between classes and semesters. The YouTube video format was something that became available only as PowerPoint was upgraded to Office version 2016, onscreen video recordings were enabled, and bandwidth was augmented into realistic speeds. I have placed videos on my YouTube Channel page for the classes I teach, while also augmenting the lecture videos with class assignments delivered through the demonstration videos. I make videos helping learners to discover how to use these tools to make their own videos. In my classes, students were tasked to write a term report in their Word processing program of choice, like MS Word, and to use the program’s features to apply Style Sheets, create an automated Table of Contents, List of Figures, List of Tables, apply the References Cited mechanism to cite their sources and auto-create their Literature Cited section.

After Term Reports were completed and approved, students then made a PowerPoint presentation, wrote a script to narrate their show, and then recorded their narration. After all preparations were set, students then imported their digitally mastered audio tracks into their PowerPoint show, set timing and automation on each slide, and exported it an MP4 video. This presentation video was then exported to the student’s YouTube Channel where it was viewed by other class-students, commented on, discussed, and made part of the class experience.

In Economics classes, students learn of Frictional Unemployment, where employees do not possess the skills expected of them in their professional job position. The adoption of Tech Tools for Learner Success is one of those Frictional Unemployment protections I created for students in my classes.

When I was teaching economics classes and using PowerPoint slide shows to deliver lectures, and students prepared PowerPoint presentation shows to deliver their term reports, end of semester class grades followed a normal distribution bell shaped curve with the average student receiving a B- grade. When I transitioned to students learning how to deploy their Word processor’s features, PowerPoint shows made into YouTube videos, and all lectures were delivered as YouTube videos I created, the end of semester grades increased dramatically. The bell shaped curve transitioned into an inverted J-curve with 92% of students receiving an A- or A, a few earning a B or B+, and only a few students out of 100 failing the course they took.

I became better at delivering the content of the course, but more importantly, students took the challenge to empower themselves to