Welcome Letter ECON 201A

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Welcome to Principles of Macroeconomics

Welcome to economics at Cuesta College! My name is Mrs. Tanya Downing, and I will be your instructor for Principles of Macroeconomics (ECON 201A.) This letter is to inform you of some important details prior to the start of class. Please read this page very carefully! This course will start at the beginning of the Fall semester and will conclude in the 18th week of the semester (mid-December), and  is either fully online with pre-recorded interactive lectures, OR is in-person (or attend via Zoom) with mandatory meeting sessions, please check your course CRN and confirm against the information below to determine whether you have mandatory meetings:

CRN section 70669 has mandatory in-person (or optionally via Zoom), meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30-1:50p.m. in room 2608.  The URL and password to attend these meetings via Zoom will be posted to course announcements prior to the start of classes. Failure to attend these meetings will lower the participation portion of your grade in the course.

CRN sections 70670 and 71526 have pre-recorded interactive lectures which apply toward the participation portion of your grade.  There are no mandatory in-person or Zoom meetings for these sections.

Contact Information:

Instructor: Mrs. Tanya Downing
E-mail: tdowning@cuesta.edu
Voice Mail: TBD


  • First of all, go to the Online Readiness Resources and take the "self assessment survey" then read "Your Results".  (If that survey does NOT describe you, then taking this class online is NOT for you and I strongly suggest that you drop the online class and enroll in a traditional classroom section.

Computer and Class Requirements:

  • You must have access to a computer with a video camera (webcam) for proctored exams
  • Email account
  • Reliable Internet connection. You will also need to have a backup plan in case your internet provider or computer goes down. All of the assignments and tests will be submitted via Canvas. We will also be using a link directly to the publishers website (via Canvas) where you will complete assignments.
  • It is also essential that you understand the basic concepts of email, web navigation, slide presentation creation and uploading, PDF creation and uploading, and online communication to succeed in this course.
  • You will obtain access to the following textbooks on the first day of class.

Required textbooks / materials:

Principles of Economics, Asarta/Butters 3/E with Connect Access Code
You will be provided access to your textbook on day one and materials fees will be charged at registration.
Technology tools outside the LMS:
o McGraw Hill Account (established through Canvas)
o Zoom (optional for instructor conference requests or to attend in-person meetings remotely - you do not need an account)
o Presentation and document creation software (ex: Google slides and Word or Adobe)

Mandatory Orientation  

You must complete the mandatory orientation to say enrolled in this course:

Log into Canvas on the first day of the course, and open the course website for Econ 201A.  As with each week, the course homepage will include a Student To Do list of that week's student responsibilities.  Week one's Student To Do list includes required elements for orientation.  Complete the required orientation exercises which include: watching orientation videos (for CRNs 70670 and 71526) or attending in-person orientation (for CRN 70669), reviewing orientation module materials, posting in a discussion forum, locating your homework site and submitting your first assignment. Failure to complete these exercises may result in confusion and inability to find the necessary course links for a successful semester, and may result in an automatic drop from the course.  Navigation to each item can be found by either clicking on highlighted and hyperlinked resources, or by clicking on Modules (on the left side of the course website), then opening the week of study.  You'll find items grouped within modules.  Regardless of how you access each item of responsibility, always begin each week by reviewing the Student To Do list homepage.

You should also Review the Canvas Quick Reference for Students Online.

Important Notes

Note that once class starts all communication will take place within the campus learning management environment. Additionally, if you are using a web access email account or any email account with high spam settings, it is likely that you might not receive some initial emails that detail important class information.  If this is the case, be sure to check your spam folder and adjust settings (or check course announcements within the Canvas course homepage.)


Student Learning Outcomes

What's This Class About?  This class is a 3 unit principles of macroeconomics course designed to introduce concepts and tools of macroeconomic analysis, with emphasis on how they apply to the United States economy.  Topics include the economizing problem; resource allocation between private and public sectors; national income determination; the aggregate expenditures model; fiscal and monetary policies; and Keynesian, monetary and supply-side views as they relate to solving economic problems.   More specifically you will be able to:
  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.  


Course Policies


Online classes can make your education experience more convenient. However, this is not a self paced, learn on your own class. This is a 3-unit college-level course which translate to roughly 9 - 10 hours a week of lecture and homework. I have structured weeks as "modules" with material for you to read, watch and interact with specific learning outcomes and due dates.  The days in which you log on are up to the choice of the student and can be weekdays or weekends whichever works best for your situation.  However, keep in mind due dates for discussion assignments and homework are typically Thursdays and Sundays.

The quality of your contributions determines your grade for this portion of the class. Contribution of quality thoughts and analysis are imperative to succeed in this portion of grading. As stated in the Class Schedule: “Normal progress and successful completion of scholastic work depends upon regular attendance. Students are expected to attend all classes and laboratories for which they are registered. Instructors set an attendance policy for each class and it is the student’s responsibility to know and comply with each one.”  A typical week's participation includes:

  • Attending class if registered for an in-person section; watching pre-recorded interactive lectures if registered for a distance education section
  • Participating in class discussion boards.  This typically includes watching a video, listening to a podcast and/or reading article(s) relevant to the week's topic and sharing your analysis and/or opinion on the topic.

If you cannot participate in class, my expectation is you will communicate with me via e-mail, complete with reason for missing class. This may not excuse an absence but it does provide a context for your absence when I complete the evaluation of this portion of the course.

Drop Policy

In addition to points earned for contribution in class discussion, any absence from the course with failure to notification the instructor by email will be dropped from the class after two weeks of absence / non participation.

In addition students that fail to complete the required orientation exercises will be dropped by the orientation deadline in the first week of class.

Please review the campus add/drop policy.

Academic Honesty:

You are expected to complete your own assignments and exams. If you are caught cheating, both you and the other students involved will receive an F.  A Student Incident Report may also be filed for Academic Dishonesty, which becomes part of your academic record.

What do we mean by “cheating?”

  • Sharing answers with another student to complete assignments or exams
  • Submitting someone else's files as your own
  • Submitting either your assignments or another student’s files from a previous semester
  • Helping someone or receiving help on an exam
  • Getting someone else to take your exams

What happens if you cheat?

Both you and the other students involved will receive an F on the assignment, exam, and/or for the entire course.

For more information, see the Student Code of Conduct. in the General College Catalog.



  1. Contact the DSPS office.
  2. Present documentation of disability for review by a disabilities specialist
  3. Discuss options for support through DSPS
  4. Present a signed DSPS authorization for accommodation to your instructor

Fall/Spring hours: M-F 8 a.m.-12 noon, 1-5 p.m, (805) 591-6215, (805) 591-6216 TDD dspsinfo@cuesta.edu

Sample Syllabus

For a sample syllabus, including the course schedule, grading, late work policies, etc. see the document at the link below:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1y_WksVMqurel0qEUeV15DDkOyuCAtATcNvqZ4JKo-eg/edit?usp=sharingLinks to an external site.


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