Issues in Philosophy

COURSE ACTIVITIES :

The course is divided into 8 Modules, and each module contains 2 or more chapters from the textbook. Modules may last from one to three weeks.

The following learning activities apply to each module:

1. Read the assigned textbook material.

2. Respond to discussion questions submitted by the instructor. Respond to each lead discussion item or particpate in each and every discussion area.

3. Create and submit a discussion question about the material. At least one in each module.

4. Respond publicly to some or all of the questions submitted by other students.

5. Reply to students who respond to your question and responses.

6. Submit the written assignment at the end of the module.

Virtual Seminars/Discussions

In every module you will find a "Virtual Seminar" or class discussion. Here, for each module and topic, you are expected to reply to questions from the instructor, you will ask a "critical thinking" question about some topic in the chapter, get responses from other students, and reply to those responses. Here too, you will answer the questions posed by other students, and they will reply to your answers. You are welcome to keep up this "virtual discussion" as long as you wish. The idea here is for each student to join in and to lead a discussion with the other students about some important issue introduced in the chapter. You are to receive credit for how often and how well you participate in these discussions.

This is the heart of this course as far as your instructor is concerned. It is here that the process of philosophy will be in evidence. It is here that you get an opportunity to DO PHILOSOPHY. This is the component of this online course that fosters the dialectical process of inquiry that is the heart of Philosophy.

Written Assignments:

Upon completion of each module there is a written assignment or essay question. These assignments and questions are my way of testing your understanding of the texts and Virtual Seminar/Discussions for that module. You will know what the questions or topics are at the start of each module. You should post your essays during the 2-day "window" that is established for submissions, not before. Unlike your responses to the discussion questions posed by me and the other students, you will submit your essays just to me, not to the whole class. You need to consider these essays as "take-home, open-book essay exams", which require well-organized, thorough responses.

Talk with the Professor

In each module there is a "Talk with the Professor" area. Here I will ask questions which each student should respond to. Also, you may ask me questions, which I will respond to. Most often, I expect these questions (mine and yours) will be related to the discussions or the textbook - but nothing is "off-limits."

Ask a Question

Most documents you will be reading On-Line have a "Ask a Question" button at the bottom of the page. When you use this button, it creates a discussion thread that the professor and other students can participate in. It is the equivalent of "raising your hand" in the classroom.

GRADING REQUIREMENTS:

1. Class Participation & Discussion: 32%

2. Critical Analysis Essays (Papers) : 56%

3. The Quality of Your Discussion Threads: 16%

 

WORKLOAD:

In a fifteen-week semester (Spring and Fall) the workload for this course would be 9 to 12 hours per week. This includes all the reading, writing, and dialogue with your instructor and fellow students.

In the SUMMER SESSION with only 8 weeks from May 29th to July 25rd the workload in effect is double that of the regular 15-week semester. It requires 18 to 24 hours per week to successfully complete this online course.

This requires a serious commitment on the part of the learner. You can access the course at any time from any computer with an Internet connection. However, you must put in the effort, the labor, the work needed to meet the course requirements and obtain a passing grade.

The course can prove to be a lot of fun for those who take it seriously and keep up with the workload. For those who are unable to put in the time and fall behind the course could prove to be quite horrible.

E-Mail

You may ask me a private question at any time using as a private office visit.

I welcome your comments and feedback, too.


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