STUDENT REVIEWS OF THE ONLINE COURSE

 PL 11 ISSUES IN PHILOSOPHY   SPRING 2002   
The views expressed here are by students of this course.  Their words are unedited.  There is material placed in bold by the instructor to highlight certain concerns.

FINAL VIEWS

FINAL ESSAYS on the  Course Itself

CULMINATING EXERCISE

 

FINAL VIEWS

OK, here we are at the end of the semester.  What does Philosophy now mean to you and why?  Is it any good at all for anyone?  What has it meant to others through time?

SW

Philosophy means the love of thought (or wisdom).  Philosophy asks the questions necessary to understand issues and beliefs, it is a method of critical thought. 

Just as we create more sciences, and understand the world around us a little more 

Philosophy is responsible for shaping history and will shape the future as we try to solidify our beliefs and understanding.

B  R

well, clearly philosophy has meant a lot to many people over time. It must then be good for some... but possibly not because it seems like many of the thinkers we have studied must have had a lot of sleepless nights pondering all of the issues they wrote about. I think that the study of philosophy is worthwhile. I have learned a lot in this course about both philosophy and myself. Because we have dealt so much with the thoughts, beliefs, and opinions of others, I have been forced to examine my own thoughts and beliefs. Some of my previously thoughts and stances like that on religion have been re-affirmed, while I have new thoughts formulate on topics such as ethics.

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L  P

When someone said "my Philosophy is...  before this class began, I would except the word philosophy with the wrong interpertation.  Everything in life is different after taking a class like this. I have a new appreciation for the minds of philosophers.  Philosophy is a brilliant method of trying to make sence of this world.  The philosophies studied, were extensive. With so much to read in such a limited amount of time I think I may read all the material I printed up when this class ends and possibly through the summer or maybe I'll just give myself a break and read it all when I retire twenty five years from now.  The professor sent me material on the meaning of abductive thinking. I thought it would be the length of a paragraph or two.  I was wrong. I often thought about politics and what makes someone decide what their political stance is. I often wondered why a person followed a particular faith and swore up and down that their faith was the right one. I took most of these philisophical discussions to the

 salon I work at. Every time someone came up with an answer I would ask them a question and they would be stumped just like I was. Someone said to me that many young students turn away from their religion after a philosophy course.  I think that instead it puts them on a path to truth.  Questions are good.  Answers are a bonus.   A broader spectrum provides us with a different mentality toward others. When I work at BOCES I see the struggle and challenges that the teachers and administration have.  They fight to help these students to find a way out of their cave.  Whether it is the limited cave of a young mind or the world they come from.  They are taught to open their eyes and to see the bigger picture.  We try to teach them a trade and then we encourage them to sign up for college when they graduate. Ignorance is not bliss.  IT only keeps people down.  Philosophy is an extraordinary way  of preventing the mind from being limited.  Philosophy helps all of us to be better thinkers and to be more open minded.

  In Western Civilization I learned a little about Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.  In this class I learned more about them. The many forms of philosophy that were taught in this class were incredible.  I printed so much of the information from this class so that I could take the material with me and read it in between all of my other obligations during this semester. I have a huge basket full of philosophy.  The subjects make for great conversation but I have to admit that this was the most difficult and most challenging class I have taken. 

M  F

In the begining of this course i said philosophy was a rule you went by in life, a way of life.  Now I know Philosophy is a never ending quest for wisdom in life.  Philosophy is good because it makes you think.  Even if you believe something with all your heart you may change your view or see from another point of view using philosophy.  Throughout time, philosophy has meant to others the freedom to explore, the frrdom to seek knowledge and the freedom to share their wisdoms they have gained.

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 K   L

Philisophy is a critical thought process that involves mathematics, logic, empirical and comprehensive ideas. It is using all area of thought and activity that you have incorporated from your daily life and use it to think beyond physical realm of thought. Philosophy is not a way of life, but how you percieve why things are they way they are in your life.

 

Yes, philosophy is good for anyone wanting to use it.  Searching for the truth gives more meaning to your life.  In the past philosophy has been used to understand religion and cultures or groups in society.

 

K  C

Well, I now see Philosophy as a means to developing my ideas and my beliefs. I feel that I have attained the knowledge of how to express those ideas and beliefs to others in a more complete way.

Philosophy has brought a lot of good to people. It has help to create and shape the world we live in today. As long as we are able to strive and examine things and seek answers to improve our way of life then we cannot escape the need for philosophy.

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D  J

Subject: meaning of philosophy

I didn?t expect Philosophy to be as difficult as it was as far as all the different theories to know.  My idea of what philosophy was has now changed into something deeper and more intense.  One of the things I see differently is the way that criticism is seen as knowledge and challenging to the philosopher, and I imagine they almost feed on it.  I thought that I was somewhat of a deep thinker until I took this course.  I see now that philosophy involves thinking an idea through to its infinite possibilities and every possible angle.   Because I found this a tough class, that required research and intense thought, I feel that I got more out of it and that I will retain more from it.  Philosophers have been a tremendous influence in history in encouraging people to question and think about how things are, instead of just accepting the way some things are.  That is the sort of thinking that leads to changes and improvements in society. 

M   W

My definition of Philosophy has certainly changed dramatically since the beginning of the semester, and I can see how it is a manner of thinking rather than a way of life.  I think that Philosophy will always be of good.  It encourages people to think about how they should live their lives, and evaluate what is right and wrong.  It's important to exercise our minds and be able to think in such a comprehensive manner.  It is necessary for an enlightened society.  I think Philosophy may even mean more now than in the past, since less and less people are relying on religion for all the answers.  If we don't follow the Bible on what is and is not moral, then we must provide other answers.  Part of philosophy is the attempt to distinguish between what is right and wrong.  Through time, as life changes and important events occur, it is necessary to evaluate our approach to life, and during such times Philosophy has been crucial. 

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C   H

I agree that philosophy is even more important today, as religion is not the primary means through which people decide on their value system. However, I think that philosophy leaves the principles one follows up to the individual. I believe that there are as many, if not more, questions in philosophy, than there are answers provided by the various philosophers. I think with philosophy, one learns how to think, question and make their own decisions about what they value.

Subject: Exactly!

I agree with that completely.  Philosophy presents us with many different theories, and it's great to learn what other people think about life, but ultimately the individual decides how they should live for themselves.  ________________________________

D   W

Philosophy is the most critical way of thinking, learning and understanding the way the world functions and why.  This course has enabled me to take a topic that I would ponder on normally without the aid of this course and explode its value and my interest by 100x.  Every theory I've learned contains a different concept and although one may seem more unrealistic than another, they all contain points that would spark one's interest to follow that theory. 

In the beginning of this course, say the 3rd module, I sent Dr. Pecorino a private post and told him that this work was driving me crazy.  I said there were so many different view points and ideas that I couldn't possibly stick to one theory.  I asked if he had any suggestions on dealing with the course material and he told me that I was just feeling the growing pains of philosophy.  When I saw his reply, I was very frustrated at first because that was all he could say back to me, but as teh course went on I began to understand what he meant. 

Philosophy is good for EVERYONE.  But I wouldn't suggest someone taking a course such as this until they are mentally capable of handling all these differnt views, understanding them and appling them to life.  This course contains A LOT to think about, and if you aren't ready to get involved, you gonna fall quickly.  This reminds me, Dr. Pecorino, how many people started the course and how many people are left at the end of this course.  I bet its half the class...  

For others through time, Philosophy meant another open door to the exploration of life.  Many new theories through time have proved other theories to be wrong, thus allowing us to get closer to the answers we are all searching for allowing us to become closer to a peice of mind. 

Although we don't know any TRUE answers to any of these topics, they have none the less expanded my mind and has given me the ability to approach a topic more openminded then I would have ever thought of.

 PL 11 SPRING   2002 

OK, what can we do to make this course better and why do you think so? 

What seems to work well, the best, the least?

Try not to rate things by the amount of work involved.

 Please attempt an evaluation based on its effectiveness in assisting you to achieve the learning objectives or intended outcomes.

 We know that the course required a great deal of time, effort and labor on your part.  Here is where we can express whether the labor was worth it in terms of contributing to the goals for the course. Those goals were set by both the instructor and the students.  For those of you who wanted to take a course like this because you wanted to learn about how others thought about things, the world, GOD, souls etc...  Did you get to learn about such things?   For those of you who were looking to find answers to questions are you now in a better position to go about that task?

 

Subject: was it worth it

you said "we can express whether the labor was worth it in terms of contributing to the goals for the course. Those goals were set by both the instructor and the students. For those of you who wanted to take a course like this because you wanted to learn about how others thought about things, the world, GOD, souls etc... Did you get to learn about such things?" 

First, this course was worth the effort.

Second, I did not learn enough about the things discussed in this course but it still helped me become more familiar.

 Subject: what i learned

I think this course is just fine the way it is.  The only thing To make it better is to have the private student chat room from the beginning.  The amount of work was fair. I have no complaints about that.  I took this course because i needed it but it turned out that I actually learned what philosophy is..a way of non stop thinking and questioning.  It's not the way of life i thought it was when i first signed up for the course.  I also learned everyone has a price and can be bought!(free points)

Subject: from the beginning

I too think that if we had the student chat room from the beginning it would have been better.  It was hard to incorporate that into my daily routine for this course, and I didn't really see many people in there so I really didn't use it.  But if I had it in the beginning I probably would have, anf I think others would too.

Subject: the course

I think the best part of this class was these discussions, it helped me out tremendously.  The discussions were good for seeing other views about stuff, and for a deeper understanding about the material besides lecture and other sources.  I think that feedback from the professor was also a great deal of help in understanding the material.  the questions that were posed to us by him were often hard and complex, but it made us think and try to understand them better.  I picked up on some things more, and some material i still have a difficult time understanding. However this class has taught me to look beyond the simple explanation and determine the true meaning. I now look at things on a deeper level, especially when it is something that I say I stand for in my principles.  For example, I found myself questioning my religion a lot more after the that module.  I didn't turn from my beliefs but I want to understand them better and know them more.  I believe that Philosophy is a search, a constant need to explain

 things fully.  We often are not able to fully understand things, but the more we search for the truth the closer we are to knowing it.  I have learned a great deal from this class, from the material but also something much more than that.  I have learned to question things instead of answering to it, I want to reason why I do the things I do.  Philosophy was a very hard course, but well worth it.  I now appreciate philosophers more; I used to view philosophy much different, but now I understand those people who constantly search for answers.  As lynn said, "questions are good but answers are a bonus."

Subject: discussions

I liked the discussion part of the course as well. I also liked the fact that we were given information on the many different views of particular subjects. I feel that the general knowledge we gained on the positions different philosophers took on certain issues will help us when we study only a few philosophical positions in depth. I believe this information will be helpful if we decide to take another course in philosophy.

Subject: the course

Well, I didn't actually come into this course with any expectations. I had never taken a course in philosophy before and to be honest had never given thought to the field of philosophy in general in the past, although I had thought over many of the issues we have covered, especially those of God and religion. I enjoyed the way we went about addressing these and other issues and overall think that the course was very worthwhile. As far as what worked best, I would have to say it was the openness in discussion and ability to post respopnses and rebuttals when we were able to and not at some specified time. This gave us time to both think about and read what we had to as well as do all the other things that seem to stack up before us and overwhelm our daily lives. I would definitely take another course similar to this one.

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Subject: I got clarified.

This course definately touch in the areas that I wanted it to. As only an introduction to philosophy though. I can see how much further and more in depth this subject is. This coursed opened me up to the basic functions of it's nature and corrected my views of what philosophy actually is. Which I see now was so completely off.

The labor was challenging and I believe that it provoked me to try harder to understand things more clearly. And I feel that I had all the tools available to me to help do this.

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Subject: the reading

I think the course is pretty good just the way it is.  This is my first on-line class and so I don?t have another one to compare it to but I was surprised at how thought out everything was.  The modules were organized in a way that was easy to follow.  The discussions are where the action is and is an essential part of the course.  I found everyone?s comments very interesting.  I do wonder if all of the reading was necessary.  Sometimes I just felt like I was going from one web address to another and another. 

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Subject: organized

I also think that the lessons were well oragized. I feel that you provided the essential information to get a clear understanding of people's positions. I found the questions you asked in the discussions to be very helpful in understanding the various philosophies as well.

Subject: Worth it

I learned a lot from this course, even though it was very time-consuming.  There was a lot of information packed into the modules, and I learned a lot about Philosophy and what interests me.  I wanted to take the course to learn about different ways of thinking and approaches to life, and I certainly did so.  I think, however, that I would have preffered to take the class in an actual classroom, rather than online, because it's tough to have actual conversations and explain what you think when it's not "real time".  I might write something and it doesn't neccessarily read the way I intended it.  I don't really have any suggestions on how to make the course better, because I think this format worked pretty well.  The discussions simulated a class talk, and the questions helped me process the written notes. 

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Subject: Websites

Last semester in Technical writing class I had to design a website for a pretend business. I spent weeks on it.  It covered seven pages.  The work I put into it was overwhelming.  I had fun doing it but it doesn't begin to compare to what went into designing this course. Dr. Soloff (Tech Write)suggested taking an online course.  This course is incredible.  On-line makes it phenominal.  My anxieties over the work involved prevented me from seeing some important information. Although it is embarassing to admit I think there should be a mini preparation course for people like myself to learn the way around an on-line course. Now that I've taken my first online class, another online class should go more smoothly, Then again that may depend on the way the course is put together. I enjoyed the freedom of entering discussions when time was at hand. The labor was worth it.  Now I understand why my son liked Philosophy so much. I was intrigued by the way others in our discussions viewed the many issues. I may not find

 the answers, but I am in a better position to go about the task.

Subject: Intro to Philosophy accomplished its Objectives

Overall, this course allowed to me to get a better grasp on things.  It opened up my mind tremendously and allowed me to look at things in a much wider perspective.  I can no longer say someone is wrong for thinking the way they do about something, because who is to say who is right or wrong, if we haven't really found a true answer.  Just like in the essays we wrote.  We chose a theory and the only way we would receive a good grade on it is if we defended the theory the best we could.  If not we did not, we wouldn't have substantial grounds to agrue for it.   

There was so much material to read on each individual theory allowing me to have a good grasp on each and also it gave me more options when I was deciding on which theory would best fit my ideas.  I think the links to some of the websites need to be cleaned up a little bit.  Some didn't work and then some contained a lot of nonsense which wasn't relevant to the course material. 

All in all, for an intro course to PHILOSOPHY this was an A+ class.  Introduction doesn't mean you are going to learn anything and everything about Philosophy in 4-5 months, it means you are gonna leave the course having a general idea about the field and I feel this online course accomplished just that.   

Even if every student just took this course and learned to observe lifes questions with a more cirtical eye, then this class did its job.

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FINAL ESSAYS on the  Course Itself

SW

1.Which of the issues covered this semester has been the most important and why so?

               The examination of ethics I feel was the most important because it has immediate real world ramifications that can improve everyone's quality of life. If everyone had a firm grasp of ethics the entire world would be a better place.


2. Which of the issues covered this semester has meant anything to you personally and why so?

I believe the module on ethics was the most important to me because it addressed how we live our lives.  Our ethical views help explain why we behave the way we do.

  Many of my moral beliefs are inconsistent and contradicting.  This course clearly brought this to my attention many things that I had simply taken for granted.  Hopefully what I have learned will help me lead a better life, one that I can look back on with little or no regrets.

Many of the modules helped me analyze my beliefs and refine my opinions ranging from -- religion, politics, reality, and more.

3.Why do you think that the issues this course has covered have been issues and have remained issues for so long?

            Why have the issues covered in this course been around for so long? Well it depends on the topic, but usually any topic that has more than one possible solution will be discussed and debated.

            For example, religion and concepts of a divine will always be doubted because there are so many theories (and they depend on faith instead of proof).

            Ethics, there are so many different ways to guide behavior, which one is the correct way to live is difficult to determine because there are always situations that seem to be the exception to the rule. Eventually ethics will evolve into a more refined and complete theory thanks to the study of philosophy.

4. Why do you think these issues have been associated with Philosophy and not some other discipline?

Philosophy as the activity of thought is the method for finding answers.  Other disciplines are derived from philosophy. Seems like the precursor to other disciplines is philosophy.  Math and other sciences come to exist because of philosophy.

5. Why is it that most of these issues have not been so evident as issues in our contemporary culture? Why are not more people aware of these troublesome questions, issues or problems?

simple, people are concerned with day to day life.  They think about more immediate issues such as working for money, keeping food on the table, and a roof over their heads and squeezing in some time for fun.

            Philosophy is often viewed as a waste of time on topics that can't be answered and won't actually solve any problems.  Hard sciences, technology, medicine are seen as clear ways to improve the quality of life.  Art, music, and other forms of entertainment seem to also be a pleasant distraction from the serious questions philosophers try to tackle.  Why think about death when you can watch your MTV or play video games?

Even more of a problem is how easy people are distracted from the very real issues we should be concerned with.  It is so easy to waste time watching TV instead of reading and learning.  Technology has clearly not been tempered with wisdom.  Technology is growing geometrically.  We have access to genetics, xerographic transplanting, cloning, and a serious lack of ethical answers or standards to go with such technology.

 
6. Why were not you more aware of these issues than you were at the start of this course?

Before this course I did not even ask most of these questions.  My view point was mostly shaped by family, friends, and TV.  For example, religion was never critically analyzed by my parents.  Religion was more of a cultural thing, an excuse for "family get togethers". 
7. Now that you have been educated as to these issues in Philosophy in what way will they have any consequence in your life?

            First, I know I do not know enough.  I will take more courses on philosophy to help me learn how to find the answers.  Second, I am more aware of the issues philosophy addresses -- ethics, religion, politics, even reality.

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K L

1.Which of the issues covered this semester has been the most important and why so?

 The most important issue we covered this semester was the presence of God, and the problem of good/evil.  These issues are some of the major conflicts in the world and in history.  I also liked to learn about these complex and interesting issues. 

2. Which of the issues covered this semester has meant anything to you personally and why so? 

The most personal issue I thought was religion and mind/body problem.  These issues caused me to look at my beliefs and really examine my faith.  I have found that this has only increased my faith, but I am more knowledgeable now.   

3.Why do you think that the issues this course has covered have been issues and have remained issues for so long? 

These issues are the fundamentals to all of life activities.  There are the basis for society, government and culture.  Most wars are fought over these conflicts because they are so personal and important to our lives. 

4. Why do you think these issues have been associated with Philosophy and not some other discipline? 

I think these issues are a part of Philosophy instead of another discipline because they use very critical and complex thought involving many different areas of activity.  These are part of a realm of thought beyond our knowledge. 

5. Why is it that most of these issues have not been as evident as issues in our contemporary culture? Why are not more people aware of these troublesome questions, issues or problems? 

Because people lack interest or knowledge about these issues in philosophy.  Some have miss perceived notions about what it is.  In contemporary culture everything is faster paced and these thoughts processes in philosophy require a lot of time and energy.  Most people nowadays don?t stop or have the time to do take interest in it. 

6. Why were not you more aware of these issues than you were at the start of this course? 

I was aware of some of these issues because they have always interested me, but not to the depth I come to now know.  Most people views are incorrect and miss-leading; I always thought philosophy was one way to live their life, or ones ethical or moral principles, not the complex issues we come to know. 

7. Now that you have been educated as to these issues in Philosophy in what way will they have any consequence in your life? 

I now look at things a little bit deeper and try to really understand them. I also am more wary about putting my trust into something without really understanding it, to know what I am standing for.  It makes a life a little bit more interesting, fulfilling and intelligent.  It is more than a way of life; it is the way you think about major issues using multiple thought processes, and weighing your options.  It is searching for the underlying truth, regardless the outcome is against your prior beliefs.

BR 

1) Of all of the issues covered this semester, I feel that the most important would have to be that of God and religion. Issues surrounding this topic have been the basis of both great joy and great tragedy for centuries and remain so today. Although I do not think we will ever resolve many of the religious conflicts that rage, as long as we continue to explore religion and the existence of God, we may come close to doing so.

2)One issue that meant something to me was that of the mind-body problem. I often wonder about the existence of a spiritual world and ponder the possibilities of human powers beyon what we currently possess. I often wonder if there is something more and if I will take my mind and spirit with me when I die and travel to somewhere else still cognizant of what is going on.

3) I think that the issues we have covered have continued to remain issues for so long because they pose questions to which there are no answers. All of the questions we have discussed have different answers to many different people and anytime that occurs, the potential for persistent debate and discussion occurs as well.

4) I think that the issues we have covered are associated with philosophy because they all deal with intensive thought and wonder which I feel encompasses philosophy itself. Furthermore, I am unsure what other discipline these issues could be associated with.

5) I think that many of these issues have grown dormant within our contemporary culture because people have become so enveloped in other things. Many people would rather sit down in front of the television and vegetate than read Plato or Socrates. It is much easier today than in the past to simply tune out the world and one's surroundings, and I feel that the study of philosophy has felt the effects of this.

6) I was not more aware of these issues at the start of this course, because I am one of those people I just mentioned. After a long days work I would rather catch seinfeld and the yankee game than try to decipher why I am here and whether or not God exists. Taking this course has, however, altered many of my thoughts on philosophy.

7) I am not sure how my newly acquired philosophical knowledge will affect my life. I have learned a lot and I think that the most immediate impact will lie in my correcting people or enlightening people based on what I have learned. Other than that, time will only tell. As I grow older, begin a family, and near the end of my days here on earth, I am sure that many of these issues will begin to play much more important roles in my life.

M  W

1.) I think the issue of morality is the most important, because whether or not we are free, or bound by the laws of nature, whether or not our minds are spiritual or actually part of our brains, it's necessary to live a good life.   

2.) The issue of freedom has been the most important to me this semester, since I've always believed that we were completely free, but this course pointed out other alternatives and flaws in that logic.  I still think we are free, but I was forced to think about it more comprehensively, such as how the ideas of conditioning affect that.  I think this issue got me thinking the most. 

3.) Most of the issues covered in this course have no real answers.  People have multiple opinions on a given topic, and there will never be on unified theory.  Therefore, they have remained issues for so long since the questions are unanswerable, and the search can go on forever.   

4.) Philosophy can cover all aspects of life, because it is simply a manner of thinking.  Anything that requires deep thought can fall under Philosophy.  Issues of morality are not concrete; they don't fit into any other discipline.  This is the same for freedom, spirituality, and what is real.   

5.) I think in today's contemporary culture people are lazy and less willing to think.  Some of the questions presented in philosophy are not easy to think about.  Maybe people are content to continue to believe what they are accustomed to, rather than reevaluate their ideals.  People who are religious may be unwilling to see any other side, and others like me might want to believe that we are completely free and not "conditioned".  I also think that many people think that most questions have been answered already.  We've come so far, it doesn?t seem as if they are a great many troublesome problems anymore.   

6.) I was somewhat aware of most of these issues before the start of the course because I brushed over them in other classes, and also it's a discipline that interests me so I have read about it.  

7.) This course got me thinking about a lot of things, and presented alternatives to my beliefs about what is real, moral, what guides our actions, etc... But I still firmly adhere to these ideals, so I?m not about to change my life dramatically by any means.   The consequence might be that I think more, and realize that there are so many answers to every question to consider.  

 


C  H            I believe that the module on political and social philosophy was the most important. I believe that with the events occurring around the world today, one should consider the role the government and officials play and should play in a state. I believe that people should also consider what role they play in the state. With this knowledge, people can influence the government in certain states, or create a form of government that fits the values of the people within that state.

            I believe that the section on ethics was the most important to me. I feel that this section made me challenge and consider, not only what my beliefs were, but also how I determine what my values. Being interested in law, I found this section very interesting. I am more aware of how people in a single community can hold certain beliefs for very different reasons, and how these reason affect the laws that are established in a society.

            I believe the issues covered in this class have been studied for so long because they are problems that society and individuals face in their daily lives. The concept of God, ethics, politics, etc., help develop the moral and legal structure of the states in which people live. Because there are many different views on these topics, the questions raised in this class have been and will be important for a long time.

            I believe the issues have been associated with philosophy because they involve developing theories in which to explain topics that cannot be analyzed in concrete ways. With many other disciplines, knowledge comes from empirical evidence. For many disciplines, there is only one conclusion to particular problems. While they may be solved in different ways, the conclusion is consistently the same. In philosophy, many theories are a result of reasoning about intangible issues, such as values. When these issues are studied, there are many different conclusions that people may come to. Philosophy is about the beliefs people hold about the world and themselves that cannot be solved scientifically.

            I believe that because people today rely on the knowledge gained through scientific analysis, they are not interested in the problems that involve beliefs, not able to be solved through a formula. I believe that because many countries have a moral and legal framework in place, and because many religions have a solid set of beliefs, people don?t consider the manner in which values are constructed, and do not challenge the religious or political structure in which they live. In times of political or religious unrest, I believe these issues are more important for individuals.

            I believe that I didn?t often consider the way in which I learn or gain knowledge prior to this class. Because of the lack of attention philosophy gets, and the manner in which many institutions only assert one set of beliefs, I didn?t consider the various principles on which people establish their values, political systems, religious beliefs and means to attaining knowledge. I believe societies that are settled in a particular set of beliefs, often do not encourage the free thinking of philosophy. It is also not a discipline easily measured, and is therefore, not a topic popular in schools.

            I believe that with more knowledge of philosophy, I will examine the beliefs I hold and act more consistently with them in mind. I believe that I will take more time to consider the social, political, ethical and religious issues that arise through the conflicts that are occurring around the world. I will keep in mind the beliefs and principles that are being asserted and challenged in everyday life, as well as in current events.   

D   J

1.  The Metaphysics and Epistemology sections were probably the most important.   

2.  I enjoyed learning about the Greek philosophers, Socrates and Plato, especially.  I think that the philosophies of religion was a particularly thought provoking section. 

3.  The issues covered are issues that affect everyone and the world we live in and some of these issues may never be resolved to satisfy everone.  

4.  I felt that some of the issues were related to sociology but only in a small way, that's the only relationship I can make.   

5.  I think that most people are caught up in their busy lives and are too busy to take the time to thoroughly consider some of these issues.  Maybe people feel that they cannot change the way that things are.  I also think that a lot of people are not emotionally able to handle some complex issues and may not have the ability to fully understand them either.   

6.  I am guilty of a couple of the examples from question 5.  Even though I always felt that I was a deep thinker, I never really gave consideration to those issues that I grew up believing were true.  I never questioned whether there is a god, questioned how God makes decisions, if there is an end to God's power in the universe.  I can't explain why I wasn't aware of certain issues but maybe I just didn't want to disrupt my beliefs because that is a scary thing to do. 

7.  I have learned the meaning of how to think outside-the-box.  It's not as easy as it sounds.  I wont be afraid to question my beliefs because it doesn't mean that I don't have my faith, just that I want better answers to my questions.  I have noticed that my children are out-of-the-box thinkers and I intend to encourage this in them.


  1. I think the mind body problem was my favorite material covered because it really gave me insight on questions that I have always been pondering about.  Being a psych major really interests me to find out how much of the mind is truly interacting physically with the body.  I still believe that there is a non-physical entity of the mind for the simple fact that the non-physical has never been proven to not exist, and in my mind, I believe it never will be proven.  These unanswered questions make up the heart of philosophy.
  1. The most personal issue for me had to be the module on the Philosophy of Religion.  I went to church when I was young and I was educated about having God in my life, but as time went on and I experienced the death of my father and other close family members, the existence of God became less real for me.  Going through all the separate theories on Religion made me realize that I was not alone on my personal views and it helped me feel more comfortable with the choices I made and believe in.
  1. The issues in this course have been issues and remained issues for such a long time because all the theories presented can still be argued for and against because none of them contain a straightforward answer to the problems that arise.  Theories are just well thought proposed answers that are never necessarily considered correct until they are proven to be through research or assumed to be because no objections can be formed against them.
  1. These issues have been associated with Philosophy and not another discipline because these are all life issues that are well thought out and argued about.  They all exist for the same reason, which is trying to find answers to life's many questions.  Philosophy is defined as taking these many questions, breaking them down, and looking at them as critical as possible to try to make some sense of life's concerns.
  1. Many people are unaware of these issues because they are too involved in following the norm.  Too many of us are too deep into our work, family and friends, that we don't take the time to consider the reasons on how and why we are the way we are.  Also some people may be afraid of trying to deal with these questions because it makes them feel uncomfortable to never truly know the answers to them or their existence.  So instead of the contemporary culture dealing with these issues, they put them aside and choose to live simplistically, and follow the rules within their society because they believe it is what will bring them the most happiness in life.  College goers are the ones that choose to explore the realms of their mind and try to achieve the most they can get out of life.  These are the people who go on the quest for knowledge and are capable of handling these issues.
  1. I was aware of these types of issues before I began the course, but I never really considered them to deeply because I thought it was just a thing that people thought about.  Never did I think that getting into a course called Philosophy would allow my ideas and interests to flow.  I'm so happy to have finally had to the opportunity to ponder on these problems and give my input.

The only consequences I can think of, knowing what I know now about the issues in Philosophy is being afraid that I will pass on never knowing the truth and even after death never being able to find out what the real answer to the Mind Body Problem, is if there is really a God, or even if answers to these questions exist.

 L   P

Last Philosophy Essay

 

            My essay will cover an issue in Philosophy from the 2002 semester.  Epistemology is the most important issue for me.  It was the one that studied truth.  The path to understand what truth is varies.  There are different theoretical approaches to understanding truth.  The corresponding theory approaches truth through observations and physical measuring devices.  Truth is the correspondence of belief with fact.  A method for getting at the truth puts all of us in a position to be factual and more consistent in making choices in our everyday lives.  It helps us to eliminate the acceptance of things that could be false. The outcome of what is false when followed blindly is usually not in our favor. While religion itself is based mostly on faith Science is based on concrete methods of searching for truth. 

When philosophy is applied, then science and religion are given new questions to respond to which lengthens the search for truth thereby making the idea of truth more profound and forcing all of us to rethink our thinking. Truth in essence puts us on a path to keep an open mind and to be more tolerant of others in the process because we are all vulnerable to being wrong about so many things even when it all seems so clear from an innocent unquestioned irresponsible perspective.  Questioning broadens our minds and forces us to make responsible choices based on the most accuracy possible.

Religion meant the most to me personally because I can?t prove what I believe.  The idea of evil caused me to wonder about a very important issue concerning God.  My beliefs are that God is all powerful and all loving and all good.  Here I am, this nothingness compared to God trying to defend God.  From the Christian, Judea, Muslim works we know that God was vengeful and we cannot deny all the suffering endured by this vengeance.  The purpose for all the suffering is not clear to me.  I still choose to believe God has all the characteristics that I thought God had before.  The fact that we refer to God as being the father of all creation, I choose to call God a, ?him?.

  From a Christian stance I believe that Jesus is God in the flesh so when you asked me if God has a penis I will now respond yes when he came in the form of a man.  How does anything so great that it can create the world manage to fit into a man?s body?  I don?t know.  It is not possible for me or anyone else to know the answers.  I know that from the written word in the New Testament Jesus prays to God the father as God?s son.  He later provides us with the Holy Spirit according to the bible?s New Testament, which takes place for the first time in the upper room.  I wasn?t there.  I just take it on faith and only know what my own spiritual experiences have been which corresponds with the beliefs and similar claims of many others in this world.

You ask why issues in this course have been issues and remained issues for so long.  People have a natural tendency to be curious about all that we are part of or all that effects us in one way or another.   Philosophy scrutinizes everything so well that new questions constantly arise.  The questions and answers are endless. Other disciplines can be used to find answers pertaining to the sciences and the arts.  Through philosophy we reflect on the many subjects that have concerned humans since the beginning of time.  It is a form of thinking meant to guides action.  Philosophy is the most critical type of thinking.  In philosophy issues are stripped bare and dissected for us to look at, observe, think about and try to make the most honest and accurate account for things.  It enriches and broadens experience.  It expands our horizons and makes us grow.  Philosophy helps us to be better citizens in a better society.  Philosophy helps us to reach our human potential. 

In our contemporary culture we live in an electronic age.  People don?t really talk as much as we once did. Families don?t sit around the table as much contemplating the burdens of the world or the politicians that we should vote for.  We watch TV as the media frowns on one individual or group of individuals, as we are encouraged to believe what they would want to sways us to.  From the time we were very young we learn to follow so many things blindly. Children so often ask philosophical questions or show philosophical hints of curiosity such as a child wondering where dirt comes from.  Their open minds and natural curiosities lead them into questioning things that most adults don?t pay much attention to. 

Most of the time in our fast paced electronic world we don?t pay attention to so much of what is going on.  We listen to our compact disks in our car, watch television when we get home, chat with a friend or a family member on the phone or sit in front of our computers talking in chat rooms.  Most people ignore the troublesome issues and go on in their everyday lives just doing their best to get through another day pleasantly as possible.  That is probably why there are so few recognized great minds.  There was only one Plato and one Socrates.  If there were many more comprehensive, empirical, synthetic, practical and speculative thinkers that formed the philosophical thoughts of that time then we may not have been so intrigued by the issues that began the process of such deep thought.  Philosophy will never be common.  There are many great minds in the world although we must acknowledge that great minds are not common. 

The issues over time accumulated to the point that it is at in our contemporary times.  The first seeds planted by the great Socrates, Plato and Aristotle grew to become what our world is today through the ongoing study of philosophical minds through history that took the philosophical ball and passed it along.  The philosophical ball has been passed along by the great minds of those such as Descartes, Kant, Hegel, Pierce, Whitehead, Hartshorne and others.  Most people are only concerned about daily situations and world events such as what country is doing what to whom, how the events will affect us economically and whether or not a person will continue to have a job and a paycheck each week. 

Most of the great Greek thinkers were Hellenized-Christians.  They were responsible for mathematics, modern science and technology. If not for them we would not have all the great technology that exist in these contemporary times. 

 I wasn?t more aware of these issues at the start of this course because I was never taught about philosophy.  I never even knew why Plato was so important until I took Western Civilization.  My father was a hard worker that struggled to make ends meet.  My mother would take us to museums, planetariums and botanical gardens and zoos.  She was a visual person.  We learned to appreciate art and different forms of cultural music.  All I knew was that Plato was some Greek philosopher.  The name Plato meant nothing to me until I took Western Civilization. I was simply not exposed to it in an educational way until college.

Now that I have been educated in the issues of philosophy I will be more aware of the ways in which I can choose to think about things.  I saw the movie K-Pax on video.  Instead of listening to the dialogue as though it were strictly fictitious gibberish I was impressed by the writers of the story.  He mentioned something about a bubble being round because it was the most energy efficient shape.  Some discussions on Einstein took place that made me think of philosophy and the involvement of semantics, science and thought.  When the word philosophy comes up in the wrong sense of the word, I find myself wanting to say something.  I wouldn?t.  It was only a few months ago that I didn?t know the meaning myself.  I find I am questioning things a lot more now.  Everyone should have to take a philosophy course.  It gives all of us a better understanding of who we are, how we?ve come so far, and what direction we are heading into as the decades in the twenty first century arrive.


M 

1.   Which of the issues covered this semester has been the most important and why so?  The issue that was most important to me was the module with freewill.  It makes me wonder and question what is freewill and are we really free or are our lives determined already?
2. Which of the issues covered this semester has meant anything to you personally and why so?  The most personal issue for me was when we talked about religion.  I do not consider myself religious but I got to see the point of view from those who are.
3. Why do you think that the issues this course has covered have been issues and have remained issues for so long?  I think all these things have remained issues for so long because there is no answer or no wrong answer to all the questions about each issue.  People develop new aspects of each issue all the time and with new aspects come new questions.
4. Why do you think these issues have been associated with Philosophy and not some other discipline?  Because philosophy deals with the questioning of why things are, and the method of thinking and questioning why things are.  I think because of constant questioning on these issues makes it fit philosophy.
5. Why is it that most of these issues have not been so evident as issues in our contemporary culture? Why are not more people aware of these troublesome questions, issues or problems?  I think people are aware of the issues in contemporary culture.  I just donít think they know that it involves philosophy.  In the beginning most of the class thought philosophy was a way of life and we were wrong.  I think people just donít associate all these issues with philosophy or what they think philosophy means.
6. Why were not you more aware of these issues than you were at the start of this course? I donít know what you are trying to say in this question.
7. Now that you have been educated as to these issues in Philosophy in what way will they have any consequence in your life?  I canít say what consequence it will have on my life other than giving me college credit for now but I know I can definitely correct someone if they assume they know what philosophy is and they are wrong!

 

 

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CULMINATING EXERCISE

SW

Part 1: What did you like best about this course? 

 I liked the selection of topics -- politics, religion, reality, etc.In particular I really enjoyed (and many of views were changed) by the discussions within the module on religion.  

Part 2: What specific things do you think could be improved in the structure or design of the course and learning activities? 

 I believe for a 100 level course the material was too advanced.

I still do not understand most of the topics.  If someone was to ask me to explain the concepts of reality that we covered I would only be able to spit back what I gathered from the readings. 

If we had an initial discussion before the readings and then another after the readings I believe people would be more involved and appreciate how their perspective was influenced by the readings.

 

Part 3: How would you improve the quality and participation in course discussions/interactions? 

 I would have to say quality over quantity.

The sheer amount of information that I had to absorb was too much for one semester.  I feel a great deal of quality was lost by the deluge that this course provides. 

See above, same advice 

 

Part  4:   What changes would you suggest be made to the pacing or sequence of the content and activities for this course? (e.g., were the due dates doable for you? Were the course materials sequenced well?) 

Due dates were fine, the expectations of were unclear.  I did not understand what quality of discussion meant (and I still don't). 

I would get rid of the quality point system for discussions entirely or explain what is meant by quality in a detailed manner.  

Part 5:  What changes would you suggest be made to the quantity of work required for this course? 

 The quantity of reading was not difficult but the complexity of the topics was overwhelming.  Tackling the concepts of reality should be a semester in and of itself (with some sciencepre-requisites). 

Trying to keep up with grand scale topics maed the quantity of work seem larger then just reading a certain number of pages.  For example, I had to reread the posted material constantly (sometimes I would lose my entire weekend to reading the material).  I think I enjoy philosophy but the demands of this course (quantity wise) was affected by the scope of the topics which I feel were too large.  Luckily the expectations for comprehending the topics was reasonable.  I also noticed you were very generous with grading. 

Part 6:  How could the course be improved in terms of my interaction, participation, and management of the course? 

    Your interaction was inconsitent.  Sometimes it was a bit intimidating and at times discouraging.  At other times you were very helpful and understanding. 

  As a mentor, teacher, master of philosophy you should try to be as approachable and encouraging as possible. 

  I noticed some students caused you quite a bit of irritation (including myself).  Typing in caps is considered yelling (and not very polite internet ettiquette).  I suppose it is difficult to teach a course and make everyone happy, overall you did an excellent job. 

If you could follow the practice of praising in public and keeping anything that may be negative private it would probably help the course overall. 

Part 7:  What other suggestions, comments, or recommendations would you have for the instructor? 

Thank you for teaching this course.  Overall I feel philosophy is an important but one I still do not grasp at all.  This experience I believe has only scratched the surface when it comes to the questions of reality, religion, ethics, and politics.  Maybe as I take more philosophy courses my understanding will solidify or I will be able to formulate my own ideas more clearly. 

Thanks again

 

DW

Part 1: What did you like best about this course? 

 The best thing I liked about this course was the convienence. I could access it from anywhere or anytime, EXCEPT at 5:00a.m., lol.  I liked the option of going to class when I wanted to instead of when the class was in session, because it was always in session.  I LOVED the virtual text provided by Dr. Pecorino because everything I needed was right smack in front of me on the screen and if I wanted to keep something on paper, I'd just print the page out and use it for reference. 

*You might want to read through your text though and search out the grammatical errors because there are quite a few.  Missing letters, chopped up words, and some words are even mispelt. 

Part 2: What specific things do you think could be improved in the structure or design of the course and learning activities? 

 I mentioned this before in the mid break that the discussion threads must be COLOR CODED.  It gets way too confusing when Discussions become very involved and you are unable to pick out the exact thread you want to look at.  I suggest that the Professor's thread should always be bolded and in Red and the intial response to the discussion question by each student should be bolded.  Every response there after should just be the plain blue.  This will not only make it easier on the Professor's eyes when he or she is grading, but also on the student's eyes, when they are tyring to look for a specific link. 

Part 3: How would you improve the quality and participation in course discussions/interactions? 

 I think the discussions/interactions will become of higher quality if more of the discussion questions are stated more clearly and to the point.  When the professor inserts the disucssion questions, sometimes the actual question gets lost because there is so much criteria within the question.  I find that not just myself, but also other students don't seem to be giving answers to the COMPLETE question because we aren't sure what is to be directly answered.  This may sound odd, but I think the Professor really has to "spell it out for us" exactly what he or she wants us to respond to.  I prefer when Dr. Pecorino uses A. B. C. status because it gives me a direct way to formulate my answer. 

Oh, I just thought of something else!  Sometimes I get "discussion threaded out" because the responses the each discussion question are all crunched together.  I think SLN should use a bigger font and space out sentences, so it is eaiser to read everyone's responses and so the eye doesn't get as tired as fast.  Also, I think they should dump the yellow backround on the response pages.  It is very Blah.  But I am not the web designer. 

Part  4:   What changes would you suggest be made to the pacing or sequence of the content and activities for this course? (e.g., were the due dates doable for you? Were the course materials sequenced well?) 

Due Dates were perfect!  Sometimes when there was that double assignment in a few a modules, I wasn't too happy with that, but I managed through. 

The whole structure of the modules and pacing of the course was PERFECTO!  The course materials went right down the line and everything fitted in perfectly. 

PART 4:  A+++++ 

Part 5:  What changes would you suggest be made to the quantity of work required for this course? 

 Quantity of Work?  Hmm...well, maybe you can ditch those double essay modules and make the double essay into one assignment.  This may sound crazy, but if you stuck all that info into one assignment for the students, they might score higher because they won't feel like that have to pump out 2 essays, just one long one. 

I suggest that there should be an optional assignment in every module.  Maybe like doing research on a specific philosopher or writing about additional aspects of a theory and how they've been applied through our culture. 

Part 6:  How could the course be improved in terms of my interaction, participation, and management of the course? 

 Dr. Pecorino, you shouldn't act like such a wise guy to us.  We know you are a Philosophy God and we respect your wisdom, but I'd certainly appreciate more feedback from you if I am taking the time, of sometimes more than 30 minutes, when trying to convey something to you. 

I notice that you only really interact within the course when someone says something wrong or that you don't agree with, but then when we respond back with what seems correct you don't say anything back.  You should at least write back and give us some satisfaction if our response to your original criticism was a good one.  This will encourage us students to be more active in discussions and feel more appreciative for our input. 

Part 7:  What other suggestions, comments, or recommendations would you have for the instructor? 

Overall, excellent Course!  I'll see you at graduation. 

 

KC

Part 1: What did you like best about this course? 

 What I enjoyed most about this course was that I got to earn credit toward my degreee entirely from home. 

Part 2: What specific things do you think could be improved in the structure or design of the course and learning activities? 

 I feel that the design of this course was very well maintained and laid out for me. I honestly do not see any need to improve it. 

Part 3: How would you improve the quality and participation in course discussions/interactions? 

 I don't see how the discussions/interactions could possilbly be improved. Perhaps as technology improves then improvements could be done, but with what there was to offer at this time was just enough for me to understand and communicate effectively to everyone. 

Part  4:   What changes would you suggest be made to the pacing or sequence of the content and activities for this course? (e.g., were the due dates doable for you? Were the course materials sequenced well?) 

No changes here, I was very impressed with the way things were organized. It wasn't too easy and it wasn't too difficult. 

Part 5:  What changes would you suggest be made to the quantity of work required for this course? 

 For me personally the work required was challenging in the begining, but as I became more familiar with what was expected I was more confident. I think this is the same as in a classroom, so again I have no suggestions. 

Part 6:  How could the course be improved in terms of my interaction, participation, and management of the course? 

 I was very impressed with your interaction, participation, and management of this course. I appreciated the fact that I could always count on a speedy response, and everything was very well organized.  

Part 7:  What other suggestions, comments, or recommendations would you have for the instructor? 

I really came to enjoy this course. I plan to take more online courses and I hope I have the same experience. 

Thank you.

Br

Part 1: What did you like best about this course? 

 I liked the fact that the discussions were not in real time. I found it very easy to manage my time in the course because I was able to make my posts when I could. I have heard of some online courses where the students were required to sign on at specific times and that is something I would have had trouble doing and incorporating into all else that I do. 

Part 2: What specific things do you think could be improved in the structure or design of the course and learning activities? 

 Overall, I think that the course was structured very well. The only thing I might suggest would be to not have so many internet links to other sites. Although many of these sites were helpful I often found myself having to open and close many different windows, etc. and sometimes had trouble getting back to where I wanted to be within the course format. 

Part 3: How would you improve the quality and participation in course discussions/interactions? 

 I think the quality of the discussions was good, but I feel that something could be done to make it clearer when someone is talking/responding to you. I don't know if its possible, but if some type of notifier like a "you've got mail" could be installed to let me know ehen some one has responded to something I posted I think it would make things more clear. Often replies come at weeks end and at that point there may be 30 or so posts that one must navigate though. Maybe it may also be beneficial to reduce discussion periods to 2-3 days rather than week intervals so all posts are done within a more limited time span. 

Part  4:   What changes would you suggest be made to the pacing or sequence of the content and activities for this course? (e.g., were the due dates doable for you? Were the course materials sequenced well?) 

I think that all of the due dates and course sequences were fine. Two weeks is plenty of time to write a paper of 3-5 pages in length, and as I previously mebntioned, discussion intervals of one week may actually be too long. 

Part 5:  What changes would you suggest be made to the quantity of work required for this course? 

 I don't think that the quantity of work was too excessive. I would have rather there been one paper per module rather than two as was the case in some of the modules. I found it much easier to create one good, solid paper than to try to work on two separate ones. 

Part 6:  How could the course be improved in terms of my interaction, participation, and management of the course? 

 I think your feedback and interaction was good. YOu made us think and were not afraid to challenge our thoughts when we did so. I would have liked to have more feedback on papers rather than the "X" evaluation system. Possibly just a short summary of what you liked/disliked would have been very useful. 

Part 7:  What other suggestions, comments, or recommendations would you have for the instructor? 

Thats about it I think. The course went well and was relatively painless!! 

 

MF

Part 1: What did you like best about this course? 

 I liked the fact that I learned the difference about what philosophy is and what I thought it was.  I also liked the fact it was an online course made simple. 

Part 2: What specific things do you think could be improved in the structure or design of the course and learning activities? 

 The addition of the student chat room was the best change you could have made.  It was a little late for us but I think your future students will benefit from it. 

Part 3: How would you improve the quality and participation in course discussions/interactions? 

 Get on students asses when they aren't responding to the lectures, like you did with us in the begining with all the emails and stuff telling us we weren't participating enough.  The more students who participate, the better the quality of the discussions. 

Part  4:   What changes would you suggest be made to the pacing or sequence of the content and activities for this course? (e.g., were the due dates doable for you? Were the course materials sequenced well?) 

I have no complaints about any of this.  I think two weeks per module was great. I think everything was all sequenced well. 

Part 5:  What changes would you suggest be made to the quantity of work required for this course? 

 Uh more work?  No I don't think so...LOL  :)I think everything was good.  I liked all the readings and found all the links that worked to be helpful.  The quantity was just fine. 

Part 6:  How could the course be improved in terms of my interaction, participation, and management of the course? 

 Your interaction was fine although you could be a little nicer with your answers and comments back to us.  I think that maybe if we are wrong with our comments that a little push in the right direction from you would be very beneficial.  I speak from experience:) 

Part 7:  What other suggestions, comments, or recommendations would you have for the instructor? 

The best thinng I could think of is just giving us a push or pointing us to the right direction.  In general philosopy can be confusing to most of us taking this course who don't know much about philosophy. With some help from you though , learning philosophy and questioning it becomes easier.  And it helps to stay in contact with a student who may be falling behind or having difficulties in the class.   

 

DJ

Part 1: What did you like best about this course? 

 I enjoyed the uniqueness of taking this course on-line as well as learning how complex philosophy really is.  This was not an easy course by any means which is why I think that I got a lot out of it. 

Part 2: What specific things do you think could be improved in the structure or design of the course and learning activities? 

 I think the course is pretty good the way it is.  This is my first on-line class and so I don't have another one to compare it to but I was surprised at how thought out everything was.  The modules were organized in a way that was easy to follow.  The discussions are where the action is and is an essential part of the course.  I found everyone's comments very interesting.  I do wonder if all of the reading was necessary.  Sometimes I just felt like I was going from web site to web site.   

Part 3: How would you improve the quality and participation in course discussions/interactions? 

 I thought that the quality and participation was better than I expected.  There were a few people who had stronger views or a stronger understanding of their views than others which made things interesting at times.  The points given for the degree of participation is a good incentive.   

Part  4:   What changes would you suggest be made to the pacing or sequence of the content and activities for this course? (e.g., were the due dates doable for you? Were the course materials sequenced well?) 

The due dates for the written assignments were spread out nicely.  Now that the course is ending, I can look back and see how one module flows into another.  The week of the spring break, there really wasn't a break for this course which would be difficult for anyone going away on vacation, for instance.   

Part 5:  What changes would you suggest be made to the quantity of work required for this course? 

 I felt that this course required a tremendous amount of reading because of the web sites required for reading along with the modules, sometimes the readings caused me to be more confused about a theory.  The theories were difficult to remember and understand, and I had to read the material a couple of times to understand it.   

Part 6:  How could the course be improved in terms of my interaction, participation, and management of the course? 

 I felt that you were continually participating in the discussions and I see no need to makes changes there.  I think this must be a difficult class to teach to people, especially on-line.  Your interaction, participation and management was appropriate and just as expected.   

Part 7:  What other suggestions, comments, or recommendations would you have for the instructor? 

The only suggestion that I would dare make is to have someone proofread your writing of the modules for grammar, punctuation (you don't use commas much) and spelling.  This would make for faster reading and understanding I think. 

 

LP

Part 1: What did you like best about this course? 

 I liked the freedom of class participation at any hour of the day or night.  The discussions were fun, interesting, and challenging.  Introductions in the beginning were nice. Forcing myself to think about the honest truth of it all and coming to terms on a different level than I ever had before was mind altering. 

Part 2: What specific things do you think could be improved in the structure or design of the course and learning activities? 

 Essays frustrated me because of the way they transfered over witout paragraphs.  I think the class should begin a week ahead of time to spend the first week training and learning the way around the system of the online class.  So many people can benefit from online courses while they avoid it because of their fear of the computer.  Online training courses given as an elective would be nice. It would open another job position and I'm sure the classes would be easily filled.    

Part 3: How would you improve the quality and participation in course discussions/interactions? 

 Maybe the class can be broken up into teams that are randomly chosen in two's from one module to the next.  An idea can be assigned and defending it can be the job of two students.  This may inspire more involvement because of the obligation involved.  The teams can be color coded.  Two heads are better than one and may encourage interaction. This may inspire learning most of the materials given. The essays would have to be solo. The chat room can be used for sharing ideas by the teams before writing. Discussions can remain the same with the addition of team participation color coding.  

Part  4:   What changes would you suggest be made to the pacing or sequence of the content and activities for this course? (e.g., were the due dates doable for you? Were the course materials sequenced well?) 

The due dates were doable until my computer broke down.  You gave me the extra time.  Yes I think the course materials were sequenced well.  I don't know how else you could have done it.  You went from one chapter to the next.   

Part 5:  What changes would you suggest be made to the quantity of work required for this course? 

 Eliminating much of the extra reading and just limiting the reading to the chapters might take some of the overwhelming stress out of the course. Selected and most important additional reading to make a point is not so bad but most of the READ segments overflowed the amount I can take. Sometimes I felt like I was drowning with information. There is already so much to read.  The rest can be done through personal research for those that have the interest or time to read all of it. Its a lot to digest.  

Part 6:  How could the course be improved in terms of my interaction, participation, and management of the course? 

 I don't think you could improve on any of the above question.  You give 110%  You get right to the point when someone is going off track.  You manage and interact very well. You take charge just enough to allow the freedom of participation without letting it get out of hand.  You read your students well. Your not intimidating. You just speak out to help your students to stay on the right path.  You are patient, realistically understanding and direct.  

Part 7:  What other suggestions, comments, or recommendations would you have for the instructor? 

I don't have any other suggestions. I think you do a great job.  There is one problem.  The sound of the computer is very hypnotic.  Is there something that can be done to change that?  I sometimes fall asleep with my hand on the mouse because of the background sound of the computer. It sounds like an electronic ocean.  Anyhow thank you , this class was quite an experience.  Have a great summer. 

 

KL

Part 1: What did you like best about this course? 

 I really liked the discussions, I found them very helpful for feedback from other students.  Fellow peers helped clarify issues in your lecture that were still unclear to me.  Reading their ideas about the subjects helped me either find my own way of seeing it, or I really disagreed with their ideas.Also, the discussions helped to get to know my fellow classmates, and understand their reasons for beliefs and why how they came from where they did. 

Part 2: What specific things do you think could be improved in the structure or design of the course and learning activities? 

 I know that it is really near impossible, but if there was a way to go to a nearby college for an online class introduction it would be helpful.  I know in the beginning my biggest task was figuring out how to use the course and its resources.  I know that we all couldn't meet with the professor that will be for the class, but it would be great.  Similar to freshman orientation, everyone is required to take it, and it is an easy course (only a credit.)  Maybe prior to taking an online class that could be the prerequisite.  A small 2 or 3 class meeting to learn how to use the sln system, or similar ones.  I think this way it would be beneficial to know how to do the course and what is required of you before starting it.  It took me two modules to get a handle on it, I know most were probably quicker, but I am not very computer literate.  I also know many who are not computer literate as well, maybe this would allow more students who feel uncomfortable taking an online class to attempt it. 

Part 3: How would you improve the quality and participation in course discussions/interactions? 

 I honestly think the system you use for class discussions is great and worked well.  You gave us plenty of time to discuss material pertaining to the module, and plenty to talk about.  It is up to the student to make the most of this.  If you really discuss things that perplex you with other students, by far do you have a better time figuring them out.  I think that if a student really wanted to take the time to recieve an A for a course they would discuss as some have this semester.  The discussion is already weighed into the final grade, and I think it is a fair percentage for that, and shouldn't be changed. 

Part  4:   What changes would you suggest be made to the pacing or sequence of the content and activities for this course? (e.g., were the due dates doable for you? Were the course materials sequenced well?) 

I think that certain courses were definatley harder and required more time than others, but some didn't.  I think the modules on religion and mind/body problem were much harder and more complex.  These should have been able to explore farther.  I also think that the opening and closing module could've be done quicker, to allow longer times for the other modules.  The order of material was very logical to follow.  We started with history and lead to more complexing issues that were related to one another. Each getting deeper into the philosophical theories of people such as Plato, Hobbs or Locke. 

Part 5:  What changes would you suggest be made to the quantity of work required for this course? 

 The work was a lot of reading, but was what I expected since there is no talking available.  It was pretty fair however, the workload I mean. I think  more extra credit opportunity would be good too.  I think some of the papers covered a lot of topics, almost too many.  But if there was a choice of three small essays out of five choices, would give higher quality of material within.  For example each module had major issues covered in them, at the end for the written assignment you could choose a certain amount out of the choices that you feel strongest about.  Similar to essay exams in classroom classes.  You were able to choose either 3 out of 5 or 4 out of 6 essays.  This way you would be able to focus on one idea at a time in a paper, in a way making it easier and clearer to do. 

Part 6:  How could the course be improved in teRms of my interaction, participation, and management of the course? 

 I know that the professor has a lot of work to do with this class, but faster interaction would be helpful I think.  I like the evaluations you use when grading the paper, they are helpful. It gives examples of our work and your response, but slightly more information about why you say the things you do about our paper would be great.  The class dicussions responses you gave us were the best thing about interacting with you.  There were definately the most helpful, and often the most challenging. 

Part 7:  What other suggestions, comments, or recommendations would you have for the instructor? 

Professor I must say thank you for allowing me to find my way in this course.  I know in the beginning I seemed pathetic about interacting in the course, but you allowed me to learn how to do it and now I am fairly proud at how I ended up.  I know I didn't an A or something, but I learned how to do online courses and challenge a lot of my beliefs.  I now look at things a little deeper and try to figure out the truth, or find another question pertaining to it, either answer or question lead me to knower something a little better. 

Also, you were excellent at challenging our minds and beliefs.  I never felt so confused about stuff that I was sure I knew.  I still have my beliefs, but I try to understand them and find their truths.  Confused is a path to find answers, but along the way you find yourself.  Thank you for a wonderful course.

 

CH

Part 1: What did you like best about this course? 

 I liked the sections on social and political philosophy, as well as the section on ethics. 

Part 2: What specific things do you think could be improved in the structure or design of the course and learning activities? 

 I believe that you could add more sources for the students to study about certain philosophers and philosophies. I also believe that a private chatroom for the students would be helpful for many students who wish to discuss their experiences with the classwork, as well as topics that are not entirely related to the course.  

Part 3: How would you improve the quality and participation in course discussions/interactions? 

 I thought that the current questions stimulated reactions very well. But you could possibly add more subjects to discuss.  

Part  4:   What changes would you suggest be made to the pacing or sequence of the content and activities for this course? (e.g., were the due dates doable for you? Were the course materials sequenced well?) 

I think that I would place the sections on ethics and political philosophy before the modules on god and epistemology. I feel the material would be less intimidating in the beginning, and will allow students to gradually get into the mode of philosophical thinking. 

Part 5:  What changes would you suggest be made to the quantity of work required for this course? 

 I believe that the modules provided were necessary for one to get a more complete view of all the forms the study of philosophy takes. You could make one module optional for extra credit, but I feel it is necessary for the students to do papers on each subject in order to pay close attention to the material, and fully understand the theories. I believe that you gave full warning about the amount of work that is expected, and a student should be prepared to do that work. 

Part 6:  How could the course be improved in terms of my interaction, participation, and management of the course? 

 I thought that your participation was very helpful. You added different viewpoints and questions that the students wouldn't have thought of. This made the material clearer, as well as more relevant to the students. 

Part 7:  What other suggestions, comments, or recommendations would you have for the instructor? 

I believe that you should warn the students who plan on registering late that there is a great amount of work that will have to be made up. Due to illness, I registered late, and found the work overwhelming in the beginning, as I was trying to catch up. I appreciated the opportunity you provided to vatch up very much. However, I believe you gave students fair warning about the amount of work that was expected from them.

 MW

Part 1: What did you like best about this course? 

 I liked reading the lectures the most.  They were interesting to read, very informative, and easy to understand.  I liked some of the "simulations" - such when we covered the theory of forms - that were like an activity that would take place in the classroom.  It was a good way to show the concept over the computer, without being able to give a demonstration in person.   

Part 2: What specific things do you think could be improved in the structure or design of the course and learning activities? 

 I thought the course was designed very well.  Some of the the links should be updated, but I liked how there was a lot of links to do extra reading if we were interested.   

Part 3: How would you improve the quality and participation in course discussions/interactions? 

 It's somewhat difficult to have discussions that aren't real time and that are "virtual", but I think for this course the discussions were good.  There was a lot of participation, and the professor also actively participated, posing questions that guided the discussions towards higher quality.   

Part  4:   What changes would you suggest be made to the pacing or sequence of the content and activities for this course? (e.g., were the due dates doable for you? Were the course materials sequenced well?) 

The due dates were definitely doable.  For some of the modules, there was a ton of reading to process, but I felt that it was paced well and I had enough time to complete all of the modules.   

Part 5:  What changes would you suggest be made to the quantity of work required for this course? 

 I think the amount of work was extremely reasonable.  It was not too much at all.   

Part 6:  How could the course be improved in terms of my interaction, participation, and management of the course? 

 The Professor actively participated in the course, interacting with the students and asking them questions.  I think over the computer it was a little intimidating, because although all the responses were meant to set us in the right direction or make us think more about our posts, it was sometimes hard to tell how we should take the criticism.   

Part 7:  What other suggestions, comments, or recommendations would you have for the instructor? 

I think overall the course was well run and well structured, so I don't have any other suggestions. 

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