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BUSN 1300 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

BUSN 1300 - Personal Finance

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course helps students define and reach personal financial goals.

The topics studied in this course may include:

  • Planning
  • Budgeting
  • Taxes
  • Credit
  • Housing
  • Insurance
  • Investing
  • Retirement planning. 
Course Outcomes:
  • Develop a tentative comprehensive financial plan for the student and/or the family unit.
  • Prepare a short-term budget for the student and/or the family unit.
  • Select appropriately from among various saving and investing options, with consideration for retirement and estate planning.
  • Develop a plan for managing debt and the student’s creditworthiness.
  • Analyze the process for making appropriate purchasing decisions, specifically in the areas of transportation, housing, and household-item purchases.
  • Recognize the impact of financial decisions on the student’s personal income tax situation.
  • Select appropriately from among various insurance options, including property and liability insurance, health and disability insurance, and life insurance.
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:


Course Topics:
  1. Personal Financial Planning
  2. Money Management Skills
  3. Tax Planning
  4. Savings and Payment Services
  5. Consumer Credit
  6. Consumer Purchasing Strategies, including Vehicle Purchases
  7. Housing Purchases
  8. Home and Automobile Insurance
  9. Health and Disability Income Insurance
  10. Life Insurance
  11. Investing Basics and Evaluating Bonds
  12. Investing in Stocks
  13. Investing in Mutual Funds
  14. Retirement and Estate Planning
Specific Course Requirements:

No specific course requirements.

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:


Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

Students are not required to be proctored on module tests and chapter quizzes. Students may use textbooks and Lecture Notes while taking the module tests and chapter quizzes. However, format of the tests/quizzes and time allotted for tests/quizzes do not allow the student to be successful without thorough preparation as if for a closed-book test.

Students are required to use the Respondus LockDown Browser to take module tests. This lockdown browser may be downloaded to the student’s computer, or tests may be completed on a college campus computer with the lockdown browser already downloaded. Instructions for downloading the browser to the student’s computer are available in the course.

Students are expected to abide by the following Honor Code and will be required to answer Honor Code questions at the end of each module test: Quizzes and tests must be taken by the student without any outside help from other people.

  • Students will not divulge the content of online quizzes and tests to others, whether or not the other people are current, past, or prospective students and whether or not the other people are enrolled in this course.
  • All work submitted (papers, completed forms, assignments, etc.) by the student must be his or her own work, using only that assistance from others allowed by the instructor.
Grading Procedures:
Type of AssessmentNo. of Graded Items in Each Category to Be Averaged No. of Possible Points on Each ItemWeighted Percentage
Module Tests410045%
Written Assignments210025%
Chapter Quizzes1410015%
Discussion Postings 910015%

The tests and quizzes assess a student’s comprehension of the concepts presented in the course through assigned reading in the textbook and the lecture outline. The discussion postings and the assignments assess the student’s ability to apply the material to his/her personal life and financial situation. Details of the particular assessments are found under “Assignments and Participation” below. The grading scale indicates levels of achievement in the course.

Grading Scale:

A weighted average of the course components described in Grading Procedure will be calculated to determine the final course grade. The following grading scale will be used to assign the course grade:

A = 90-100%
B = 80-89%
C = 70-79%
D = 60-69%
F = below 60%

Assignments and Projects:

Fourteen Chapter Quizzes will be given. Each quiz will consist of 25 true-false and/or multiple-choice questions worth 4 points each for a total of 100 points possible on each chapter quiz. Each quiz is a “timed quiz” administered online. The questions will be randomly selected from the Question Library. Students will have 40 minutes to complete a quiz and may have three attempts on each quiz with the highest score being recorded. The fourteen Chapter Quiz grades will be averaged; the average comprises 15% of the final course grade.

Four Module Tests will be given. Each test will consist of 100 multiple-choice questions worth 1 point each for a total of 100 points possible on each module test. These questions will be randomly selected from the Question Library. Students will have 90 minutes to complete a module test and may have only one attempt on each module test. The module tests cover the following topics:

  • Module I Test (Personal Financial Planning, Money Management Skills, Tax Planning)
  • Module II Test (Savings and Payment Services, Consumer Credit, Consumer Purchasing Strategies, including Vehicle Purchases, and Housing Purchases)
  • Module III Test (Home and Automobile Insurance, Health and Disability Income Insurance, and Life Insurance)
  • Module IV Test (Investing Basics and Evaluating Bonds, Investing in Stocks, Investing in Mutual Funds, Retirement and Estate Planning)

The four Module Test grades will be averaged; the average comprises 45% of the final course grade.

Chapter Quizzes and Module Tests may be accessed in the individual modules or chapters of Course Content and under Assessments.

Students are required to use the Respondus LockDown Browser to take module tests. This lockdown browser may be downloaded to the student’s computer, or tests may be completed on a college campus computer with the lockdown browser already downloaded. Instructions for downloading the browser to the student’s computer are available in the course.

Course Participation will be evaluated based upon participation in nine required discussion assignments. Each student must post a meaningful, thorough response to each of the discussion assignments in the Discussions section. Each chapter or module discussion, including the student introduction, is worth 100 points. Responses should be a minimum of 100 words. Students are encouraged to comment on other students’ responses. The chapter discussions may be accessed under the individual chapters of Course Content or under Discussions. Course participation through these discussion assignments comprises 15% of the final course grade. Composition skills (grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, etc.) will be considered when grading the discussion assignments. 

Additionally, students are encouraged to ask questions and make comments under the appropriate Module Discussion (Questions/Discussion about Course/Course Material) also found under the Discussions section.

Two Assignments will be completed during the semester. The first assignment requires the development of the student’s personal cash flow statement for a period of one month and the student’s personal budget for the following month. This cash flow statement/personal budget assignment will be evaluated according to the following criteria: cash flow statement—accurate reporting and calculation of cash inflows, cash outflows, and cash surplus/deficit (50 points); and personal budget—accurate reporting and calculation of projected income and projected outflows including emergency fund and savings, fixed expenses, and variable expenses (50 points).

The second assignment is a paper summarizing key lessons learned in the course. This paper will be evaluated according to the following criteria: content (70 points), format and mechanics including grammar, spelling, punctuation (20 points), and organization including introduction, conclusion, and logical presentation of information (10 points).

Details for each assignment are found in the Content section and in the Dropbox. Students will submit these assignments through the Dropbox. Each assignment will count 100 points.

All Assignments grades will be averaged; the average comprises 25% of the final course grade. The Assignments may be accessed under the appropriate chapter or module of Course Content or through the Dropbox.

Class Participation:

Students must participate in all interactive aspects of the course, specifically chapter discussions

Late Policy:

Deadlines will be given for completing chapter quizzes, module tests, discussion participation, and assignments. These deadlines must be met in order to receive a grade on a chapter quiz or a module test. Late submissions of discussion postings will not be accepted. Late submissions of Dropbox assignments will result in a deduction of points from the grade.

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on July 12, 2021