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Introductory Course to Economics is a Course

Introductory Course to Economics

Ended Apr 9, 2018

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Full course description

Course Date:

Mar 12 - Apr 9, 2018


4 weeks


2-3 hrs/week



Course Type:





The course has been created by lecturers at the International Business School (IBS), part of Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen, based in the Netherlands. This is the first time a Dutch university has launched a MOOC in introductory-level economics. Besides the lecturers from the Netherlands, you will also meet lecturers from Italy and China, and learn how the same knowledge is presented in different cultural contexts. Moreover, you will meet business practitioners and listen to their experiences about how the theories are applied in their practices.

Course Syllabus

Microeconomics: The branch of economics that analyses the market behaviour of individual consumers and businesses in an attempt to understand the decision-making process of companies and households.

Week 1: Microeconomics Fundamentals of supply & demand.

Week 2: Microeconomics: Perfect competition and monopoly.

Macroeconomics: The field of economics that studies the behaviour of the aggregate (whole) economy. Macroeconomics examines economy-wide phenomena such as changes in unemployment, national income, rate of growth, gross domestic product, inflation and price levels.

Week 3: Macroeconomics: Economic performance and employment.

Week 4: Macroeconomics: Government intervention and trade.

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Recommended Background

This introductory course is designed for those interested in business, management or economics. However, it does not require a background in business or any other specific area. Pitched at an introduction level, an economics or mathematics background is not needed. All we ask you to bring to the course is a strong motivation to learn about the field of economics! The course is ideal for those at end-secondary school (high school) level or higher, such as those considering a business-related bachelor’s degree or those switching to a business-related field of study.

Suggested Readings

No textbook is required to follow this course. Some recommended readings are detailed within the course slides.

Course Format

The class will consist of lecture videos, generally between 5 and 10 minutes in length. At the end of the week, there will be an online quiz with up to 10 questions.


Will I get a statement of accomplishment after completing this class? Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a statement of accomplishment signed by the Dean of International Business School of Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen, Mr Bram ten Kate MSc.

What is the format of the class? The class consists of lecture videos, which are broken into small chunks, ranging from five to ten minutes. There will also be standalone quizzes by the end of the week. There will be approximately 1.5 hours worth of video content per week.

Can I really do this course if I don’t know anything about business? Yes, this is an introductory course for those who have little or no knowledge about economics, or those who haven’t got much experience in business.

MOOC Provider & Teaching Staff:

Mr. Henk Jager, MEc, MEd, from IBS will be the instructor. Besides his academic degree in economics and financial accounting, Mr Jager worked at ING bank for years and is highly practiced in the application of economic concepts within daily business.

Ms. Ning Ding, PhD, from IBS will be the instructional designer and technology facilitator. She achieved her PhD in computer-supported collaborative learning from the University of Groningen.

International students from the Honours Talent Programme at IBS will join the MOOC as moderators in the Discussion Forum.


During this four week introductory course you will learn the fundamental concepts of economics. On completion of the course, we expect you to be able to:

  • Understand basic economics concepts. You can follow the economic news and understand the economic context of news stories. In addition, you have the potential to dig deeper into the subject and learn more through your own initiatives.
  • Discover and identify the economic issues within your surroundings. For example, in your daily life you can be sensitive to economic issues, such as the interrelationship of markets and how this may influence the prices of products that are important to you.
  • Analyse real-world problems. At your work place or in your study, you can use your newly-gained knowledge to explore economic problems related to competition, economic indicators and international trade.

Course is offered by the Hanze International Business School, University of Applied Sciences.

Course Instructors

Henk Jager

Henk Jager, MEd

Lecturer of Economics

Henk Jager is a Lecturer of Economics at Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen, the Netherlands. He has worked in the field of international business education for over 10 years. In 2014 Mr Jager published articles on the effects of feedback in education and the use of tutorials - such as MOOCs - in this process.

Ning Ding, PhD

Ning Ding, PhD

Instructional Designer

Dr Ning Ding is a University Lecturer and Researcher at Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen, the Netherlands. Dr Ding specialises in computer-supported collaborative learning and has published articles in Computers & Education Business Journal and the Journal of Teaching in International Business.

Dr Ding and Mr Jager were leading members of a multidisciplinary team of lecturers from the International Business School, Groningen, that received the Board of Executive award at the finale of Innoveer 2014. Mr Henk Pijlman, President of the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, congratulated the team and praised the high level of innovation.