OK , here is my very best advice concerning how to approach this course and do well.
Read all the introductory materials. Explore the site. Take notes.
Read over the requirements for this course very well.
Get prepared somehow to put in 9-12 hours per week on the course at the computer and reading . 18-24 hours per week in the SUMMER SESSION
Participate in the discussions (3 separate days each week in the Fall and Spring)
Time at the computer would be spent reading and writing and lots of thinking , thinking , thinking in between.
Ask questions of the instructor concerning assignments.
Ask questions of the instructor concerning the lessons.
Ask questions of the instructor concerning the key questions.
Ask questions of your fellow students concerning the key questions.
Get your written assignments in on time. Use e-tutors to assist you.
If allowed to revise the written assignments to raise your grade, plan to do so.
Take all topics and questions seriously, but not that seriously. That is to say , you should realize that they are important; important enough to have changed the course of events and helped to shape our social world. But they should not cause you to become overly concerned or worried sick over this.
Have fun! Philosophy is something I must do because it is in my nature to ask questions and attempt to look at things in different ways. It would be very boring if Philosophy was just the same old stuffy and dry questions and ideas. I hope to show you that it is far from that. Philosophy springs from that place deep inside our minds that gets disturbed by uncertainty, contradictions and inconsistencies, paradoxes, ironies, metaphors, sufferings and great joy and magnificent beauty.
So, be prepared to work but prepare to explore and to be challenged and to be entertained a bit as well. In my estimation the hardest part of this course is finding the time. Studies show that lots of people who take online courses do so because of time considerations. So this is a key factor in determining what a student will be able to do and that in turn has direct bearing on how well someone will do in this type of course (nearly any course , for that matter.)
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