Introduction to Business

COMM 200/3.0

This business course is designed to develop an introductory appreciation of the role of the manager and business in society. It will discuss environmental trends and issues - political, economic, technological, social and cultural - that affect business, complex organizations and management. The course will also serve to introduce the student to an understanding of the nature of the modern corporate enterprise, and to begin the process of acquiring skills in the analysis of administrative problems.


This course introduces students to the main functional areas of business, and demonstrates how these areas interact to produce and market products and/or services in an economically viable manner. An emphasis is placed on both strategic and tactical development and execution. The course also assists students in developing an understanding of the nature of the modern corporate enterprise in Canadian and international contexts, and of the tasks, practices, and responsibilities of its managers.

Of particular importance is the use of the Capsim Strategy Simulation, "Foundation," whose focus lies in the development and application of fundamental strategic management skills and financial analysis interpretation for decision-making purposes. The approach of the course is to challenge students to strive to develop a base-level competency in business principles which they can effectively transfer to their future occupation within a business or organization-based enterprise.

Students are expected to enhance their understanding of the global marketplace and current managerial techniques by actively reading the business section of a preferred newspaper (or its website) on a daily basis, exploring business-related websites and/or blogs, reading periodicals, such as Canadian Business and/or Fortune magazine, and reviewing additional supplementary sources on specific topics via the internet or library searches.


Your final grade is based on 100 points.

Individual Assignments and ExamsPoint/Percent Allocation
Financial Statement Assignment10
Strategic Assessment – Current Company10
Investment Portfolio Report10
‘Capsim Foundation’ Initial Strategy Document5
‘Capsim Foundation’ Final Report10
‘Capsim Foundation’ Game Ending Position10
Mid-term Exam15
Final Exam (proctored final exam)30
Combined Total100

You must pass the final exam to pass the course.

Please note that a final grade of a “B” is considered to be fully competent work in this course. To achieve a grade of “A,” the student must exhibit exceptional performance across all course components.

Final Examination

Students must write their exam on the day and time scheduled by the University. The start time may vary slightly depending on the off-campus exam centre. Do not schedule vacations, appointments, etc., during the exam period.


I would like to welcome you to the COMM 200 correspondence course. The objective of this course is to provide you with an overall understanding of business concepts while providing real-time application through two simulations. My belief is that ‘everything is business’ so in my experience, those students who enroll in COMM 200 learn a great deal and can relate to many of the concepts discussed during the course. While you will be taking this course online, I look forward to providing you with a very well organized course, podcast lectures, video captured instructions and access to virtual office hours. Of course, those who are in the Kingston area are certainly able to meet with me when assistance is required.

Darren McCaugherty is a Term Adjunct Professor specializing in teaching general management courses. In addition, Darren is the Director of Program Services for the Executive MBA and Masters Programs at Queen’s School of Business. He holds degrees from Queen’s University; Bachelor of Commerce (1997) and MBA (2007). 

Time Commitment

A course such as this on campus would have three lecture hours per week. Students can expect to spend, on average, about 10 - 12 hours per week on the course. 

COMM 200 requires the meeting of weekly obligations, on the part of students, especially with respect to the Capsim “Foundation” business simulation. Students should not try to compress COMM 200 into a very small window within the semester calendar. The course requires an ongoing, full semester commitment.

Course Resources


SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.


Moodle is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into Moodle to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the Moodle site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a good-quality computer (Windows XP/Vista/7, Pentium III, or Mac OS X 10.5, G4 or G5 processor, 256 MB RAM) with a high-speed internet connection, soundcard, speakers, and microphone, and up-to-date versions of free software (Explorer/Firefox, Java, Flash, Adobe Reader). See also Preparing For Your Course.


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s are 1 April (for May summer term), 1 June (for July summer term), 1 August (for fall term), and 1 December (for winter term). All documents must be received by the 15th of the month following the deadline. You can register for a course up to one week after the start of the course. See also Dates and Deadlines.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for 2014-15 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Canadian students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $605.31; for a 6.0-unit course, $1210.62. See also Tuition and Payment.

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.