Friday, December 15, 2017

Exam re-take sign-up period has concluded. 

All testing ends tonight at 11:59.

Journals must be completed by tomorrow night at midnight.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

You have until Thursday to sign up for a module test retake. Signing up doesn't mean that you have to take it, so if you are unsure whether you will need to, you should sign up anyway.

I'm reading Module 9 journal entries this weekend. I will read Module 10 entries, but will not provide feedback on them due to the exigencies of end of semester grading.

Thanks to all of you who completed the course evaluations.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Welcome to the last week of the semester. Please see the post below for instructions on signing up for your optional module test retake.

Please note carefully that you have until Friday 12/15 to finish all module tests, including the retake, and Saturday 12/16 to finish all journal entries.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

This is a link to a page where you can sign up to re-take a module test during finals week.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving break. Two weeks of classes to go!

Module 9 journal entries are due this weekend. I'll be finishing Module 8 feedback by the end of the week.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Module 8 materials due this weekend! I'll be done with comments on Module 7 journal entries tomorrow.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Due to unanticipated circumstances I am not able to keep my afternoon office hours today. Sorry about that.

Feedback to Module 7 journal entries is in progress.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

I'll be finished reading Module 6 journal entries by tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

I'll be working on Module 6 journals later this week and early next.  Your advised testing schedule is for Module 7 to be done by next weekend (11/5). Don't ruin your strong first half effort by letting these modules pile up until the end of the semester!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Module 6 completion dates are coming up at the end of this week.  Totally understandable if you used last week to take a short break from the material, but don't let it sneak up on you.

I am still finishing up some of the Module 5 feedback. Sorry for the delay; I should be done by Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I'll be going through your Module 5 journal entries this week.

Due dates for the rest of the semester are now coming at roughly two week intervals. However, please remember that the reason for this is to give you more time to assimilate more demanding material. Until now you have been more or less successful concentrating your work into a few days of the week, but this is not likely to be a successful strategy from this point forward.

Friday, October 6, 2017

I am still working through Module 4 journal entries. This weekend is the hard deadline for the Module 5 test. If you are far behind this deadline, be sure you have read the previous post for thoughts on what to do about it.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Good morning. I'll be finishing module 3 feedback this morning. I'm sorry for the delay.

The very important fact about this week is that the Module 5 test comes due, with a hard deadline on Sunday 10/8. Many of you are still working on Modules 2 and 3 and could find yourself rushing through to get to Module 5. Think hard before you do this. Remember that you can re-take one test at the end of the semester, and this includes any test that you failed to take by a hard deadline. So for some of you it will be wise to simply plan to retake the Module 5 test.

Their are 10 Modules in this class, so there is a sense in which those of you who are working on schedule will be halfway through the class at the end of this week, just  over 1/3 of the way through the semester.  For the rest of the semester the advised testing schedule is roughly once every two weeks. The reason for this is (a) I believe that most students will benefit from still greater scheduling flexibility in the latter part of the semester; (b) the material becomes more intellectually demanding, and you will require more time to get through it. So it is important to resist any temptation to think that you now have a lot more time  for each module. You have greater flexibility, but you will need more hours of study time to fully prepare for the module tests.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

I'll be providing feedback on your Module 3 journal entries this week. Please remember that if you've missed two entries in a row you need to notify me if and when you begin again, as they are currently in an inactive folder.

Monday, September 25, 2017

I have advised many students that they are writing paragraphs that are much too long. There is nothing inherently wrong with a long paragraph, assuming it is really pursuing one coherent line of thought. But typically they are the result of disorganized thinking and prolixity.

Some of you may be reluctant to write in shorter paragraphs because the journal document is formatted to bullet each new paragraph. This can easily be overridden with the tab, but it is perfectly ok in this context if new paragraphs are bulleted.

I have finished giving feedback on Module 2 journal entries.  Module 3 due tonight.

Please note that after today, you may only drop this course (or any specific course) for reasons deemed compelling by the Department Chair and the Dean of Arts and Letters.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

This is just a reminder that to be on schedule you need to be finishing up Module 3 this weekend.

Those of you who have not at least finished Module 2 by Monday will be receiving reminders by email that you are flirting with disaster.

Feedback on Module 2 journal entries will continue through the weekend.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

I will be providing feedback on Module 2 journals this week. 

I will always write something to indicate when you are doing substandard work (i.e.,  < 3 points) and I will often make comments when you are saying things that are particularly interesting.  If I make no comments, you may infer that your work is acceptable. If you are ever concerned by a lack of feedback, feel free to email me.  You may reply to comments I've made, but make sure that you never delete or resolve them.

Remember that if you let 2 weeks go by without making journal entries, your journal will be placed in an inactive folder, and you will need to email me if you begin writing in it again.

Monday, September 18, 2017

I have been asked to supply the contact information of other students so that people may form one or more study groups. I can not do that, but I have created this sign-up sheet for anyone who is interested.

Hi folks, I've given feedback to everyone who did the Module 1 journal entry.

To be on schedule today you should have already taken the Module 2 test and be finishing the Module 2 journal entry.  Remember that the latter is a hard deadline.

If you have not taken the Module 2 test you are officially in the process of falling behind. Unofficially you may be in perfectly good shape, e.g., if your schedule is such that you plan to work extra hard in the coming week, but if this is not your plan, you need to get back on track quick.

These next couple of weeks are going to flash by and you do not want to be looking at a mandatory Module 5 test when you haven't even finished 3 or 4.  Remember, there is no way to simply skip ahead to take this test and then come back and do the previous ones.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Please note that the advised completion date for the Module 2 test is this weekend and the hard deadline for the Module 2 journal is this Monday.

Journals that are inactive for two weeks in a row are placed in an inactive folder. It is permissible to begin writing in them again, but you will need to email me to let me know that you have begun doing so.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Please see below for some good study advice. Over the course of the week I will be reading your journal entries and giving you some feedback on them.

We are now entering the very dangerous phase of the course where there are no hard test due dates until the Module 5 test. The danger, of course, is that you will let things slide during this period. The reason for this structure is to give you a lot of freedom to set your schedule while still maintaining a clear midterm goal so as not to get hopelessly behind.  Please remember that you may not skip modules, so there will be no option to take the Module 5 test on time and then go back and take the earlier ones later.

Also, please remember that all of the journal due dates are hard deadlines.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Most of you have taken the Module 1 test and have therefore received some concrete evidence regarding the effectiveness of your study methods.  For those of you who were disappointed in your grade, here is some excellent study advice from a student from a previous semester. (I have edited it slightly so that it corresponds to the structure of this course.)
  1. In case it helps anyone, I wanted to share my study method. Advanced warning that it is labor-intensive, but my grades were low for the first two tests and rose considerably after I changed my method. 
  2. For each chapter, I read the text and watch the corresponding lecture. I take extensive notes for each and make sure I can answer the text study questions (at the top of the schedule page) and the study questions at the end of the lecture.
  3. I then take the corresponding quiz, copying any questions where I was uncertain of the answer. 
  4. I assess the quiz results and see if I got more book or video questions wrong. For me, it's usually video so in the next day or two (after my brain has recovered), I typically re-watch the entire video and augment my notes to clarify any points or answer any incorrect quiz questions. I had tried fast-forwarding to only certain segments of the lecture, but watching the entire thing works better for me to reinforce what I learned and put any new material in context. 
  5. I then repeat the entire process for every chapter in the module. 
  6. Before I take the module test, I retake every quiz in the module to make sure my comprehension is still strong. By this point, I am usually ready.
  7. Since I'm doing the journal, and the professor has said I'm doing a good job, I am pretty happy with an 18-20 on the test. If I average this I know I'll have an A in the class. 
  8. Hopefully this helps. Good luck everybody!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Hi everyone, as an accommodation to a large number of people who have added the class late I have made the due date on the the Module 1 test Monday. This applies to everyone. The Module 1 journal entry due date remains Monday.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Hello everyone, this is just a reminder that your first hard due dates are coming up quick:

1. You must have passed the syllabus test by tomorrow evening Thursday 9/7, or on Friday you are subject to administrative drop for non attendance.

2. The due date for the Module 1 test is Sunday 9/10 at 11:59 PM. Please remember that this is the time at which the test must be completed. For 24 hours after that you may still take the test for credit, but with a 25% reduction.  Note: If you do not complete the Module 1 test during this time you will not get credit for it. This is not necessarily a catastrophe, as there will be an opportunity at the end of the semester to re-take one test.  However, you do need to take the Module 1 test in order to progress to Module 2.

3. Your first journal entries are due by midnight 9/11.  Please refer to the syllabus to understand the rules for late journal entries. In particular, anything you write late must be written in blue. Google Docs contains a record of your revision history, so please do not think it is possible to make late journal entries without detection. Also, remember that your journals will be uploaded to at the end of the semester. If, at that point, you are determined to have engaged in any form of plagiarism, then you will receive an F in the class and be referred to Student Affairs for disciplinary action. Please, please be sure you understand this and write to me immediately if you require any clarification on this policy.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Good morning.

As of this morning everyone who signed up for a journal should have one in their Google Drive. If you signed up and you don't see it there, email me from the gmail account you signed up with. Be sure to click on <Shared with me> in the sidebar first.

Today is the last day to sign up for journal on the sign-up sheet. You can still sign up next week, but only by sending me an email notifying me of your desire to do so from the gmail account you will be using.

If you have not passed the syllabus test and gotten started on Module 1 materials then you should consider yourself to be substantially behind.  Of course week 1 is crazy and this weekend is Labor Day, however:

Remember that if you have not at least passed the syllabus test by Thursday 9/7 you will be administrative dropped from the class for non attendance.

Have a good weekend. Stay cool and try to breathe as little as possible.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Good morning. As of 10AM today journals have been shared with everyone who signed up for one. If you have signed up for one, please go to your Google Drive and verify your journal's existence. If you don't see it immediately click on the "Shared with me" link in the sidebar. If you do not find it, then please return to the sign-up sheet and verify that you have entered your email correctly. If you did not, then please write to me with the corrected email, being sure to identify yourself as you did on the sign-up sheet.

You may still sign-up for a journal, but the next round of sharing will occur Friday morning. After Friday you will have to write to me directly to receive a journal.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Good morning. Please be sure that you have read the posts below and the syllabus carefully. Today most of you should be focusing on passing the syllabus test so you can get started on the course material. Anyone who has not passed the class by next Thursday (9/7) will be administratively dropped from the class, but anyone serious about passing the class will pass the syllabus test by today or tomorrow.

Today I will start the process of sharing Google Doc Journals for all those who have signed up in the order of signage. The sign-up sheet will come down at the end of the week so be sure to sign up soon.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Hi and welcome to the class. Please read the post below very carefully and then watch this orientation video to get started.

I'm sorry about the fuzziness of this video. I'm not sure why that happened.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hi and welcome to Philosophy 125 Fall 2017.  This What's Up page is where you should come on a regular basis to find out about any new developments.

I am currently setting this course up, but here are a couple of things that you need to know right away.

1. If you don't have the book already, get it right away.  It is here. You can get it immediately as an e-text or from the Hornet bookstore. You absolutely do need the book to pass this class.

2. This is an entirely online course.  We never meet in person.  All quizzing and testing is done through Blackboard.

3. This course is almost entirely self-paced. There will be a recommended testing schedule and a few mandatory testing dates to help keep you on schedule. (The only absolute deadlines are associated with journal entries. This is explained in the syllabus.)

5. There is a good deal of work associated with this course, and those who tend to put things off will find that things do not go well. This course is built for students who are self-motivated and can keep up a steady work pace. If you are not a highly disciplined and self-motivated person please do not take it.  You will not succeed and at the same time you will prevent someone else from taking it who may be in a better position to succeed.

6. Please go to this link to sign up for your online journal. Be sure that the email you enter is a Google Gmail account or another account that you have registered with Google.

7. I am very available and responsive to all questions and issues. On a normal weekday the longest it will take for me to respond to an email is a couple of hours. Often it is just a couple of minutes. Don't hesitate to ask me questions. You won't get yelled at if they are stupid ones (though I may gently direct you to place where they are answered.)

8. Believe it or note there is a syllabus test for this course. This is not there to annoy you, but to make sure that you really understand what you are getting into. If you encounter trouble passing this test, then this is a very strong sign that you are not ready to take this course.

9. If you are reading this before the beginning of the semester, come back on Monday evening to watch a course orientation video.