Course Outline and Requirements
The Professor's Role in this Course

Remember at all times that I am attempting to have the class form a Learning Community in which people interact and assist one another.  I am also attempting to develop the learner's critical thinking skills and the skills for acquiring knowledge and evaluating information.  This being the case I shall often respond to questions with other questions intending to have the student go further in the thought process.  I shall not be an information dispenser or the source of all official answers to be memorized as the correct answer.  I shall be a coach, an assistant, an instructor.  I am not a cheerleader.  Sorry, that is not my nature.  I will seldom merely praise performance that is what is expected.  I may note very good performance and achievement and model behavior.

Coach  This class is basically a skills development class. The learning objectives set as goals that you will become more careful and critical thinkers.  You will develop skills in critical thinking and in the dialectical process of thought and argumentation.  My role is to assist that development. I am similar to a swimming coach.  I'll point out the basic strokes and positions and then encourage and support you as you do the exercises.  I can get into the pool with you from time to time to demonstrate the skills but that will not make you better swimmers.  Only swimming will do that.  The LEARNING COMMUNITY is where you do the practicing of the skills and your classmates should INTERACT with you and you with them in the development and expression of critical thinking.

Answering questions and addressing concerns: I will check your Private E-mails (for private matters) and the Ask the Professor postings (for course related questions) nearly every day (sometimes twice a day!) and make it a point to get back to you immediately with the answers to your questions. If I do not answer your question promptly, let me know.

Monitoring and Evaluating the Discussions: I attempt to read every comment made by every student in the discussions. I enjoy the interplay, and I jump in occasionally, but I cannot respond to each comment, and indeed I have found that to be a hindrance to open discussion among students. I will correct any misunderstanding about Philosophical Principles or on how to apply them to situations.  I do NOT evaluate postings based on correct or incorrect but on how well participants are trying to INTERACT and to ask for assistance and offer assistance and contributions to the discussions.

Evaluating Written Assignments: The written assignments in this course will be read and graded after all papers have been submitted. I will evaluate them promptly and provide you with feedback as soon as possible following the due date.

Posting Progress Reports to the Web: Beginning with Module 2, I will update your Progress Reports in the GRADES web page after each module. The Progress Report will report your grade and the 'perfect grade' for each graded component of the course. You will always know where you stand in this course. My software allows me to track the number of posts as well as the frequency of your logons. You may examine your Progress Report on the GRADES web page and print it out at any time.  After several modules I shall post projections of final grades based on your performance thus far. You may improve your performance having learned where you have not been performing so well and thus earn a higher final grade than projected.

Contact me :  by Telephone 718 281 5038 or by email or in the class site under Ask the Professor.

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