Introduction to Business

Syllabus Winter 2013



Sam Barker



Understanding Business, tenth edition, by Nickels, McHugh, McHugh is required.   



Computer with modem and e-mail capabilities.


Office Hours: 

I will be available on Thursdays from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  You can reach my by phone, during the above hours, at 509-529-4342. 



I check my “Course Mail” each week day; however, please do not expect me to be online 24/7.  Furthermore, I will generally not be available during the weekends or holidays. 


You can email me from within the course website by clicking the “Communicate” tab, “Quick Message,” “To,” “B,” my name, and “To.”  My goal is to respond to emails within two business days. 


Course Description:

This course provides an overview of the role of business in society, global economics, political, social, and other environments in which organizations operate. You will be introduced to concepts and applications of the various business functions, including management, marketing, finance, economics, accounting, productions, and information systems. The course is designed to encourage your curiosity and critical thinking about the world of business.



A proficiency in English, math, and reading all at a precollege level are prerequisites for the course. 


Since most of the communications in this class will take place over the Internet and email, computer access and computer skills are also prerequisites.  Specifically, proficiencies in both Excel and Word are required. 


There are a couple of resources on the home page which can help you assess whether you have the technical and skill requirements for an online course. You can access these resources by clicking “Students” at the top of the WAOL home page.  The resources include “Quiz: Is elearning for me?” and “Skills & Tech requirements.”


If you have any questions regarding these prerequisites, please contact me to make sure this class is appropriate for you.



This class represents an alternative method of teaching and learning business.   While we will be using the Internet to communicate, our goal is to maintain as much of the traditional experience of the classroom as possible.  Therefore, the course objectives, course schedule, assessment criteria, and grading are much like the business course offered in the actual classroom.


At the same time, we want to take advantage of the convenience, flexibility, and added resources that technology offers.  That means that you will be able to read lectures, work problems, ask questions, and provide comments according to your own time schedule, consistent with the time requirements that I will establish.


While online education provides flexibility and convenience, it also requires a time commitment at least equivalent to a traditional, face-to-face class.   A good rule of thumb for a college level class is to expect to invest three hours per week for every credit unit of the course.  As this is a five credit course, you can expect to invest fifteen hours per week, at a minimum, in reading, discussing, problem solving, and other class activities leading to your mastery of the learning objectives for this course.   Rather than spending time commuting to the campus at times that may not be convenient for you, you can participate in the class  from the comfort of your office or home, at times that are convenient to you.  But, you still need to do it in a disciplined and consistent manner!


We will be covering eighteen chapters during the course of the quarter.  The class week begins on Wednesday and ends on the following Tuesday.  I will make an announcement when a week is coming to an end and a new week is beginning.  At the start of week, I will post the week’s assignments in the Course Materials section of Angel.


Course Objectives:

The following college-wide abilities and specific learning outcomes are taught, applied and/or assessed in this course.


Critical Thinking Outcomes:

Communication Objectives:


Quantitative Skills Outcomes:


Specific Course Outcomes for Introduction to Business:  

After completing the online activities, participating in online lectures and discussions, and reading the text, you will be able to:

·         Describe the American economic system and recognize the differences between it and other economic systems.

·         Describe how the global market affects local business.

·         Define ethical behavior and social responsibilities.

·         Compare advantages and disadvantages of different forms of business ownership.

·         Define effective management and leadership techniques that empower employees.

·         Describe the leading theories of employee motivation.

·         Explain accounting procedures.

·         Identify effective management information systems.

·         Compare different ways of financing a business and understand securities markets.

·         Demonstrate use of appropriate vocabulary for business.

·         Recognize the demands of a continually changing business environment.


Assessment of Learning Outcomes:

Student learning of the course objectives will be assessed by a variety of instruments, including objective testing, self-assessment exercises, completion of individual and group homework problems and discussion questions. 


Exam and Homework Policy:

Late exams, homework, or quizzes may be penalized unless I receive sufficient notice and adequate reasons prior to the due date.  Exams, homework, and quizzes are due by midnight of the due date.


The quizzes and exams are taken online.  You may use your book and any other reference material while taking the quizzes and exams.  However, you may not collaborate with classmates or other individuals while taking them.  The scores for the quizzes and exams are recorded in the grade book instantaneously when you click “Continue” after completing the quiz or exam. 


Most, if not all, weeks will have approximately 10+ possible points in assignments, quizzes, etc.  There will be three exams during the quarter each worth 100 points.  So, there will be approximately 400 possible points.  I say approximately 400 possible points because I reserve the right to add an assignment(s) worth a few points during the course of the quarter. 


Homework assignments will be assigned in the week’s folder.


My goal is to have your homework graded and recorded within two business days of the specific assignment’s due date.


I do not provide extra credit opportunities.


Grading Scale:

Final grades will be determined by taking the student’s total points earned divided by the total possible points and applying the resulting percentage to the following table.


93 – 100



90 - 92



87 – 89



83 – 86



80 – 82



77 – 79



73 – 76



70 – 72



67 – 69



60 – 66






ACA Accomodations:


To request accommodations related to a disability, contact Claudia Angus, Ph.D., Coordinator of Disability Support Services, at 527-4262 or email [email protected].