Econ 5 Online

Course Information

Economics 5, Introductory Statistics for Economics, Business and Social Sciences, is now offered online as of Spring 2019. This is a fully online course, with no required on campus meetings. The online course covers all of the same topics as the traditional lecture course, including descriptive statistics, probability theory, inferential statistics and simple linear regression.

Econ 5 at CCSF is equivalent to similar courses offered in the CSU and UC systems, and is fully transferable to those universities. Even though the course is offered under the title of Economics, it transfers to CSU and UC as a Math class, and meets the General Education requirements for quantitative reasoning for both of those systems. For example, it is considered equivalent to STAT 2 at UC Berkeley. It also fulfills requirements for many AA, AS, AA-T and AS-T degrees at CCSF, including the AA-T degree in Economics and the AS-T degree in Business Administration.

If the class is full you may add your name to the wait list and you will be notified through your email account if a spot opens up. At that point you will have 48 hours to enroll before your place is given to the next person on the list. Once the class has started I will contact you directly and send you an Add Code if a space opens up. If you are not on the official wait list, send me an email and I will notify you and send you an Add Code if space becomes available.

There are two sections of Econ 5 available in Fall 2019. The two sections are identical and it does not matter which one you enroll in.

Note that the class size limits for each section will be strictly enforced. Therefore, if you are on the wait list your chances of getting in the course are limited. If you need the course this semester it would be better to secure a place in a traditional face-to-face section of the course rather than to take your chances with the wait list. Both day and evening lecture sections of Econ 5 are available in Fall 2019.

Statistics graphic for decoration


The prerequisite for this course is Math 60 (Intermediate Algebra) or Math 92 (College Algebra) or demonstration of equivalent skills required for success in Econ 5. If you completed two years of high school algebra you will qualify. You also qualify if you placed into Math 80+80S or higher at CCSF. Students who do not show on the CCSF computer system as having met the prerequisite will receive a separate email message from me outlining what you need to do to retain your enrollment in this course. Please be sure to follow up if you receive one of those messages. Unlike Math 80+80S, Econ 5 does not require nor offer a Support course such as Math 80S. All students take the same Econ 5 course and additional tutoring is available for students who need extra review of basic mathematical concepts.


Econ 5 is a 5-unit course. For a traditional face-to-face course that means you spend five hours per week in class and the average student is expected to spend about two hours outside of class working on course assignments and study for each hour spent in class. For a 5-unit class that would mean an average of ten hours a week spent outside of class. This means an average student should expect to spend a total of about fifteen hours per week on this course altogether.

For the online version there is no time spent in class obviously, but you will still need to invest that time in the course watching videos and reading the textbook and online materials. So the average student should still expect to spend a total of about fifteen hours per week on the course in order to succeed. This means a bit more than two hours every day if you work on it seven days a week, or three hours per day if you work on the course five days a week.

Please plan accordingly! The online course will not save you study time compared to the traditional lecture course, but it does have the advantage of not requiring you to commute to campus and it allows you to work at any time of the day or night that suits your schedule.


You may preview the course syllabus. This is the syllabus for Fall 2019. You may need to use your RAM ID to access it. See the last section on this page for RAM ID instructions if you are not familiar with it yet. Or, you can access a Word document version of the syllabus, which is screen-reader accessible.

Photo of David Pieper

Contact Information


David Pieper

Social Sciences Department

To get in contact before the class starts, send an email to Once the class has started the preferred method of contact will be through the Canvas learning management system Inbox.

You can expect a reply within 48 hours, Monday through Friday. If you have not heard back by then, please send your message again.

Required Materials


Textbook cover for Discovering Business Statistics

The textbook for this course is Discovering Business Statistics, by Quinton J. Nottingham and James S. Hawkes, published by Hawkes Learning Systems, Mt. Pleasant, SC, ©2013.

You also need an access code for Hawkes Learning Systems software. The software access code is required to complete the online homework for this class. This is not optional, as a large portion of the course grade is based on this homework. You can request a temporary access code at Hawkes to use for the first two weeks of class.

The cheapest way to get access is to buy the access code directly from Hawkes Learning for $85. This includes free eBook access to the textbook.

When you register your access code on Hawkes, be sure to use your official CCSF email address (the one ending in This is necessary so that your grades from Hawkes will automatically load into Canvas.

It is highly recommended, but not required, to also get a printed copy of the textbook for reference to supplement the eBook. Sometimes it is just easier to find things in a printed copy. Used copies of the textbook are available for as little as $21.95, including shipping, if you shop online. A good place to search is

If you want a new printed copy of the textbook, you can buy it from the CCSF Bookstore for $144.50. This includes the access code for the software and eBook access. You can also buy a new physical copy of the textbook, including the software access code and eBook access, directly from Hawkes by going to the Hawkes Yahoo Store or by calling them at 843.571.2825.

You do not need the CD that comes with the book, so don’t worry if you find a used copy without a CD. You do not need the Minitab software that is bundled with some versions of the textbook.

If you are having difficulty affording the textbook, there are copies available to borrow from the Associated Students Bookloan program. Unfortunately, the Bookloan program cannot help with the online homework access code. There are also five copies of the textbook on course reserve at the library for short-term borrowing.



You will want to have access to a calculator for this course. No specific model is required and a calculator app on your phone will probably be fine. At a minimum you need to make sure you can calculate square roots and exponents (make sure it has a key labeled xy, yx or ^). Ideally, your calculator should also have an ex key.

Computer Access

Computer keyboard

Since this is an online course you will need access to a computer with internet access. There will be many videos to watch, so you will want to have sufficient internet speed to allow you to watch streaming videos.

Technical requirements for Hawkes and Canvas are very simple. You simply need internet access and a browser. More details on technical requirements are available for Hawkes and Canvas. You will find it much easier to do your assignments on a machine with a larger screen rather than on a phone.

We will also be doing assignments on Khan Academy, and a few of those assignments are very difficult to do on a phone due to formatting issues.

If you do not have the necessary computer equipment, you can use the computer labs available at CCSF locations.

Phone, Camera or Scanner

Phone with camera

Many assignments for this class will be far easier to complete on paper. Therefore, you will need a way to take a picture or scan of your work and upload it to Canvas for grading. Any phone with a camera app will work, or you can also use a digital camera or scanner.


Graphic with link for downloading Microsoft Office

For some assignments you will need access to a computer with Excel installed. You can install Microsoft Office on your personal device for free as a CCSF student. You are also welcome to use the computers at the CCSF computer labs, which have Excel installed. For some assignments you might find it useful to use Word, but this is not required. You can use Google Docs instead if you like.

New to Online Learning?

There are some useful resources on how to succeed in online classes.

Need help? Check out the CCSF Online Course Support Center

Log-in instructions for Students

This course homepage will not be used once the class starts. Instead you will gain access through Canvas:

Go to the Canvas Logon Page. (The URL is

Username: CCSF ID, examples: W12345678 or @12345678

Your Canvas password is your RAM ID password.

RAM ID instructions for students (Google Doc)

Canvas Support Hotline (844) 592-2198 available 24/7

If some disaster results in Canvas being unavailable, I will try to contact you by email, and I will also post an announcement here on this page with instructions. Otherwise, however, there will be no need to come back to this page once the class starts.

Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS)

The CCSF DSPS program is able to help you with any accommodations you may require.