Both intro micro (304K) and intro macro (304L) fill multiple functions. They are (a) prerequisites for the economics major, (b) taken to satisfy the social science flag requirement, (c) required for business majors, (d) required for Business Foundations (one only), (e) taken by some UTEACH students who plan to teach social studies,1 and (f) taken for general interest. Each course fills these functions by teaching the basic concepts and analytical tools of the subject.
Up to this point, intro micro and intro macro have used a content‐based approach. The instructor’s starting point is the set of topics that should be covered (below). Delivery is traditional (lectures, textbook). Some instructors have broadened the set of learning activities (in‐class experiments, interactive web‐based homework labs, clicker questions).
These courses are difficult for most students, because of the nature of the material (skills and knowledge required to become proficient), lack of preparation in some skill areas, and problems students have determining how best to learn the material (and how best to remedy deficits in preparation).