The purpose of the Discussion Board (DB) is for each person to be productively engaged with their fellow students in the learning process. Each semester the Discussion Board will relate to an economic problem or issue within the “real world” of Macroeconomics.
Your contribution to the Discussion Board (and to your fellow students) will be graded based upon Item (1) the quality of your Initial Contribution to the DB in accordance with Instructor requirements (0 to 60 points) and Item (2) – the quality of Your Responses to other students’ postings in accordance with Instructor requirements (0 to 60points). See next paragraph …
Regarding Item (1) (0 to 60 points) – A strong Initial Contribution is one that: a) is well thought-out in compliance with the “Specific Requirements”, Section II below, b) is between 500 and 550 words in length (about one page, single space, Arial 11 font ), and c) contributes in a legitimate way to the class’ overall learning process.
Your Initial Contribution (IC) should employ the concepts described in the Course Theme outlined in the PREFACE of your text and/or e-text. The Course Theme is “Making Good Choices” (in the Webcom e-text see the sequence: Lesson Units / Introduction/ PREFACE). Print this Course Theme if you haven’t already done so and keep it in your course folder … OR use it as a bookmark in your hardcopy textbook. NOTE: Your IC should also employ some of the additional concepts covered in Lessons 1 through 4 of the course.
Regarding Item (2) (0 to 60 points total) – Your four (4) Quality Responses to other students’ postings (to their primary IC or to any of their QR’s) should include references to “real life events” (current events, historical events, your personal experiences, etc.) as well as references to our Course Theme. You should also include references to additional concepts covered in the course as we proceed with Lessons 5 through 11. Your responses should be well thought out and contribute in a legitimate way to the learning process. Each of your four (4) Quality Responses is worth up to 15 points.
Regarding both Items (1) and (2) above – Tell why you hold a certain opinion and why you agree or disagree with another student’s “Initial Contribution” or a particular “Response” that a student has posted. Try to make your dialogue easy to follow. If you are asked a question, please respond in a timely manner. NOTE – The rules of civility are very important in these postings. Always be respectful and appropriate with your comments.
Consider the concepts and data in Lesson 4 that describe the Personal Distribution of Income in our society. Also perform an internet search using that key term to obtain the most recent data … and to obtain various “normative” points of view regarding this topic. The assignment for the Initial Contribution (Item 1) is to post your basic view on this topic. Your initial posting on this topic should be approximately 500 to 600 words. This is equivalent to approximately one page (single space) in an 11 Font / Arial / MSWORD document. It is a good idea to rough draft your Initial Contribution in MSWORD, evolve your final draft, then copy and paste it to the DB.
Questions to consider (an average of 100 to 120 words on each question below with perhaps a little less on the first four questions and a little more on the last question ) –
1. In what primary way is the current Distribution of Income a BENEFIT to our economy and to our society ? Why do you think so?
2. In what primary way is the current Distribution of Income a COST to our economy and to our society ? Why do you think so?
3. Should the Federal Government make a CHOICE to try to influence the Distribution of Income through tax policy and social programs ? Should the goal be: a) an exactly equal distribution, b) a somewhat more (or less) equal distribution, c) a slightly more (or less) equal distribution … or d) the government should not try to influence the distribution at all ?
4. In your view, what is the primary UNCERTAINTY and the primary RISK of a Federal Government choice to try (or not to try) to influence the present Distribution of Income ?
5. What is your interpretation of Figure 4.6 on Page 77 of our textbook and how would you change those figures if you had the power to do so ? What would be the Benefit, the Cost, the primary Uncertainty and the primary Risk of the changes that you would make ?
Your Initial Contribution (0 to 60 points) needs to be between 500 and 550 words (about one page) and will be posted under the DISCUSSION BOARD button on ecampus (not Webcom). For your fellow students, it would be good to provide a link to at least one article that supports your position on any of the five questions above.
Up to four (4) Quality Responses to postings by fellow students (125 to 150 words each, about one-quarter page, single space, Arial 11 font, up to15 points each) need to be posted. As much as possible, these should be spread out during your coverage of Lessons 5 through 11. In concept, this means adding one new response on the DB for every one-and-a-half lessons that you cover during that span. This approach provides some time for you to “digest” different points of view on the topic as well as some time to absorb new concepts in those six Lessons that may cause your views on this topic to “evolve”.
You can contribute to the Discussion Board until the deadline stated on Page 4 of your Syllabus (that deadline date is indicated several times on that page). This deadline date applies to ALL students, Flex as well as Regular and Short semester students.

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