Course Syllabus

The syllabus contains essential information regarding university policies, course expectations, and assignment guidelines. Your course assignments are chronologically listed below by due date. Also, take advantage of Canvas's Calendar tool (on the left) which can be integrated with any calendar app that takes iCal feeds (Google Calendar, iCal, Outlook, etc.). If you encounter any technical difficulties, please contact LMS Help Support Services.

ECO 4903 | Undergraduate Seminar Syllabus

Instructor: Dr. Hakan Yilmazkuday

Office: DM 315A (MMC)

Office Hours: By Appointment


Course Time Zone | Eastern Standard Time (EST). Course due dates are according to this time zone

Course Description and Purpose

This course has been designed to improve the presentation and writing skills of students. The course will focus on investigating the financial crises of 2008 (the Great Recession). By the end of this semester, each student will leave with better skills in terms of presenting and writing. 

According to the format of the course, there will be student presentations and essay-writing assignments.


Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Present economic concepts and ideas in a fluent way.
  • Write essays on economic developments.
  • Discuss the 2008 financial crisis.


Important Information

Before starting this course, please review the following pages:


Course Prerequisites

The prerequisites for this course are ECO3101, ECO3203, (MAC2311 or MAC2233).  Review the Course Catalog webpage for prerequisites information.


Textbook and Course Materials

The Courage to Act Book Cover

The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and Its Aftermath

Ben Bernanke

W. W. Norton, 1st Edition 2017

ISBN-10: 0393353990

ISBN-13: 9780393353990

You may purchase your textbook online on or at the FIU Bookstore.


Expectations of this Course

This is an online course, which means most (if not all) of the coursework will be conducted online. Expectations for performance in an online course are the same for a traditional course. In fact, online courses require a degree of self-motivation, self-discipline, and technology skills which can make these courses more demanding for some students.

Students are expected to:

  • Review the Getting Started Information located in the course.
  • Review the Policies Page as it is important to the quality of your education.
  • Introduce yourself to the class during the first week by posting a self-introduction in the Introduce Yourself discussion
  • Take the practice quiz to ensure that your computer is compatible with Canvas.
  • Interact online with instructor/s and peers and keep up with all assignments.
  • Review and follow the course calendar.


Course Communication

Communication in this course will take place via the Canvas Inbox. See the Canvas Conversations Tutorial or Canvas Guide for more information on communicating. 



Discussion Forums

Keep in mind that your discussion forum postings will likely be seen by other members of the course. Care should be taken when determining what to post.



Each student will make one presentation during the semester. The presentation will contribute 25% toward the final grade.

Each student will present a chapter of the textbook. The chapters (to be presented by each student) will be assigned by the instructor. The students will receive a message on Canvas and an e-mail at their FIU accounts by Tuesday, August 30th (after adds and drops) regarding which chapter they will present. Accordingly, please check Canvas and your FIU e-mails to see which chapter of the book you will present.

The presentation will consist of:

  • Preparing a presentation file based on the textbook chapter (about 25 slides). It is the student’s responsibility to decide which part of the chapter is more important to present.
  • Presenting and video recording the presentation file by using Zoom.
    • In the video recording, you will share your screen and present your PowerPoint slides. 
    • On the other side of the screen, you will record yourself as you present the slides. This requires a webcam and a computer. 

Zoom image

While preparing the presentation, please pay close attention to the following details:

  • Each presentation (using Zoom) should be about 25 minutes.
  • The presentation should not be less than 20 minutes.
  • The presentation should not be more than 30 minutes.

After the add/drop period. Each student will log in to their Zoom account with their FIU credentials to record their presentation. Follow the instructions on the "Important Information about Your Presentation" page in the modules area to log in and record your presentation. Once you have a recording you are satisfied with, you will submit a URL of the recording in the appropriate assignment area.

The deadline to submit the URL to your presentation to the appropriate area on Canvas is September 14th (Wednesday).

  • Not submitting the URL to your presentation by this deadline will result in a score of ZERO.
  • Accordingly, please pay attention to this deadline and submit your presentation on time.
  • You can face several technical problems along the way; hence, please start working on your presentation and getting familiar with Zoom right away to meet the deadline.

Feedback on Presentations

Each student is supposed to provide feedback on each uploaded presentation (presentations will be available on the Discussion Board). This feedback will contribute 25% toward the final grade.

  • The feedback will be in written format, as replies to the appropriate discussion forum.
  • Each feedback should be at least about 100 words.
  • If a presentation is available, the deadline for feedback on a particular presentation (based on a particular textbook chapter) is the same as the deadline for the timed essay-writing based on that chapter. See below for such deadlines.

Potential feedback may include:

  • What else can be said regarding the particular textbook chapter presented?
  • How the student can improve his/her presentation skills?


Timed Essays

Timed Essays will contribute 50% toward the final grade.

The following are the details regarding essays:

  • The essays will be based on the textbook chapters.
  • There will be several essays to be written during the semester. See course calendar for details.
  • Each essay should be at least 200 words.
  • Once you begin an essay, you will have 30 minutes to complete it. In order to get the full 30 minutes, you must begin at least 30 minutes before the closing time on the due date. 
  • Each essay must be completed within one sitting. Essays cannot be saved and resumed at a later day/time.
  • The deadline for each essay-writing assignment is given below.
  • Please pay attention to these deadlines; there will be no extensions under any circumstances!

In order to mitigate any issues with your computer and online assessments, it is very important that you take the "Practice Quiz" from each computer you will be using to take your graded quizzes and exams. It is your responsibility to make sure your computer meets the minimum hardware requirements.

Assessments in this course are not compatible with mobile devices and should not be taken through a mobile phone or a tablet. If you need further assistance please contact FIU Online Support Services.


Zoom Video Conference

Zoom is a video conference tool that you can use to interact with your professor and peers by sharing screens and broadcasting or recording live video/audio. We will be utilizing this tool to record our presentations and for virtual office hours. (Office hour appointments should be made in advance).

You can join the Zoom Test Meeting Room to test out the software before joining an actual session.

Additional Zoom Resources:



Course Grades Distribution Table
Course Requirements Weight
One Presentation 25%
Feedback on All Other Presentations  25%
Timed Essays 50%
Total 100%


Letter Grade Distribution Table





Letter Range%
A 97 or above B 85- 89.99
C 70 - 74.99
A- 94 - 96.99 B- 80 - 84.99 D 60 - 69.99
B+ 90 - 93.99 C+ 75 - 79.99 F 59.99 or less



Course Summary:

Date Details Due