ECON 2020 Principles of Macroeconomics

Instructor Contact:

Karen Gebhardt, PhD


About the Course:

This course is designed as an introductory survey of economy-wide issues such as inflation, unemployment, national output, employment, and government deficits and debt. The basic aggregate demand/supply model will be introduced and used to model historical events. Monetary and fiscal policies will be surveyed where both their benefits and shortcomings will be discussed. Alternative economic theories will also be included throughout the course.

Course Prerequisites:

ECON 2010 (Principles of Microeconomics) with a C- or better course grade.

Hybrid Course Structure:

“Hybrid” is used to describe courses in which some traditional face-to-face “seat time” has been replaced by online learning activities. The purpose of a hybrid course is to take advantage of the best features of both face-to-face and online learning. A hybrid course is designed to integrate face-to-face and online activities so that they reinforce, complement, and elaborate one another. Expect to complete weekly online pre-class and post-class activities. The weekly class session will be no longer than 2-hours.


Upon completion of the course, students should:

  • identify the data and tools of macroeconomic policy;
  • describe the costs and benefits of economy-wide phenomena such as inflation, unemployment, government debt;
  • evaluate public policies in an informed and objective manner;
  • recognize the institutional surroundings that impact macroeconomic phenomena;
  • describe the role of international trade in the macroeconomy; and
  • further their analytical, research and writing skills.

Required Texts:

  • Schiller and Gebhardt: The Macro Economy Today, 15th edition with access to Connect. Connect is the website where you will read your textbook and complete some graded assignments. You will access Connect through our course website, Canvas. You will have a free Connect trial for the first two weeks of class before having to purchase it.

Grading (out of 1000 points):

  • Pre-class work (130 points) – There will be assignments (LearnSmart and Homework) due in preparation for each week’s class session. Your lowest one (1) of each of these assignments is dropped from your final grade calculation. All of these assignments are open book and open note and will be submitted through Canvas. See the class schedule for due dates. These assignments are always due on Tuesday at 11:59pm.
  • Class Activities (140 points) – You will earn points in class through answering Clicker questions each class session except for the exams (= 4% of course grade). Your lowest two (2) clicker assignments are dropped from your final grade calculation. You will also earn points by participating in class activities and completing assignments associated with in-class work (e.g., news analysis, discussion posting, group work, class presentation, etc.) (=10% of course grade). The in-class activities vary week-by-week and may not be assigned each week depending on course topic. The in-class activities will be announced in class and typically due in class or on Canvas.
  • Quizzes (330 points) – There will be quizzes associated with for each week’s class session each worth 30 points. The format of the quizzes will be multiple choice, calculations, and short answers and will be open book and open notes. Your lowest one (1) quiz is dropped from your final grade calculation. Quizzes will be submitted through Connect. Quizzes are always due after class on Fridays at 11:59pm. You have two attempts at each quiz and the attempt with the highest score counts.
  • Exams (400 points) – There will be two (2) exams. The midterm exam is worth 150 points and the proctored cumulative final exam is worth 250 points. The format of the exam will be multiple choice and calculations and will be closed book. You are allowed to use a calculator. The exams are completed in class in week 7 and 14.


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Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado