Use this tool to calculate your final course grade and predict what grades you would need on remaining assignments to obtain a desired course grade.


There will only be a handful of homework assignments this semester, mostly in the first third of the course (where we are reviewing and practicing models). These questions will help check your understanding and mastery of the material, and will be a combination of quantitative, graph, and short answer questions of examples. These will also be good indicators of what to expect on the exams. You may collaborate with other students to work on homeworks, but each person must turn in an individual assignment. Homeworks are due one week from the class period where we finish a lesson, and must be turned in at the beginning of class. I will grade homeworks as follows: 70% of the grade for completion, and 30% for one randomly selected question. This is to reward students for putting in a full faith effort to try to reach an answer for each question, but not worry that every answer has to be fully correct.

Participation and Discussion

We will occasionally have a weekly discussion board open on Blackboard. You will be expected to contribute to the discussion board at least twice in the week. Your weekly contribution will be graded out of 5 points. At the end of the semester, I will apply the average of your weekly participation grades to apply (40%) towards your final course grade.

I am interested in your thoughts, reactions, comments, and questions about any of the material (lectures and/or readings). You do not need to write more than a paragraph. Anything more than that, including continuing to reply to each others’ thoughts, questions, or comments, (which I strongly hope you do!) is solely based on your own interest and curiosity. I will jump in to answer questions the group is stuck on, give my two cents, and stir the pot as needed. I strontly hope we still keep a conversation going and can learn from each other, that was always my goal, not to lecture at you! If you crave visual human contact, you can submit your comments/reactions in the form of a short video, and we can try that out! Though we might eventually need to move beyond Blackboard in that case. We’ll see how things go.


Category 3 Points 2 Points 1 Point 0 points
Quantity More than 2 replies/started threads 2 replies/started threads 1 reply 0 posts
Quality Extremely thought provoking, demonstrates clear grappling with readings, adds to conversation Provides a well-reasoned reply, suggests familiarity with readings, keeps conversation going A simple reply, may make no reference to readings or ideas, makes further conversation difficult Minimal effort

Recall, these are out of 5 points. Notice it is possible to get above 5 points for a truly remarkable week of contributions, but I give these sparingly.

At the end of the semester, I will drop your lowest participation score.

Final exam

The take-home final exam will be a series of essay questions.