Judgment about the progress of your work is based on the quality and depth of critical and constructive thinking exhibited on tests. Your course grade should reflect your understanding of some of the central concepts of Eastern thought, the expression and analysis of those concepts, and your reasoning and insight into their practical application. Your course grade is determined by averaging the points you achieve from the following scores:
Each item above counts 25% of your course grade; your final course grade is assigned according to the final average of these four scores. There is no comprehensive final examination in this class.
Letter grades are assigned according to your mathematical average. General remarks on how much study is recommended is outlined in section 3.5 Grade Evaluation.
Judgment about the progress of your work is based on the four test scores. The course is essentially performance-based and consists of a progressive series of concepts to be learned and mastered. For this reason, few students can do well in this course by ``cramming'' before exams. Normally, the course is not difficult if you attend class, keep up with the reading and homework daily, and do not attempt to learn a large amount of information at one time.
Understanding philosophy does take some patience; only by dedicating some time and an open mind toward different ideas does philosophy finally prove accessible and personally rewarding. A six-part distillation of notes on ``How to Study'' for this course is available on the Web at
and is well worth checking.
Tests are usually a combination of objective, short answer and problems. The subject-matter is primarily based on the reading, lecture notes, and homework assignments.
Even though tests are based on questions from the homework and reading assignments, the tests are neither based on memorized facts nor based on objective information derived from memorized arguments. Instead, the emphasis given in tests is on the operation and active transformation or manipulation of the concepts learned. Occasionally, some particularly difficult optional questions are included for extra credit.
On essay-type questions, be sure to answer with complete sentences; answers provided as lists of phrases or the names of concepts, alone, do not reflect an understanding of the subject and usually will be given little, if any, credit.
Example tests, quizzes, and lecture notes, are online at
Online quizzes are provided as study aids and may be used for self-testing. They are entirely optional and form no part of your grade in this course. Practicing with the online quizzes is especially important to test your understanding of the important concepts before you take a test.
Your final course grade is assigned according to your final average as described above in the Section 3.1 Evaluation. The number of hours advised to study given below is usually an accurate guide to how well you will do in this class. If you study only for tests, your doing well in the course is doubtful. Many students assume they can do well in philosophy without doing homework and without studying outside of class because they have been able to do so in other high school or college classes. Since these students have become habituated to passing courses without much study, they are often alarmed to discover our philosophy course is substantially different from what they have expected.
Other than some occasionally offered intriguing problems on tests, no other opportunities for extra credit are offered in this class. Subjects and problems for this course have been chosen on the basis that they are the best and most important introduction to beginning study of philosophy. ``Extra Credit'' problems are in addition to class requirements--not a substitute for, or a make-up of, missed class assignments.
You may access your grades online at any time on the Philosophy Server (not Lander WebCT) with a username and password (not your WebCT username and password) as described here.
Username: Your username for the course is the first letter of your first name followed by your complete last name in lowercase letters and without spaces. For example ``Lauren Bouchett Satterfield'' would have the login username of ``lsatterfield'' with no limitation of number of letters (as in some email programs).
Password: Your password is your Lander L-number (without hyphen). Type a capital L followed by eight digits: e.g., Lxxxxxxxx.
Where to Log In: From the Philosophy Homepage click on the yellow ``Introduction to Philosophy" link under the gray heading entitled ``Class Grades" as in Figure 1.
The Blackboard Discussion Board is not used in this class. Instead, we will be using the Philosophy Forum on the Philosophy Server at
for which you will need to register as described below.
The Philosophy Forum is used in our class for the posting of questions of any kind, reading comments, and replies to comments.
The Philosophy Forum are an important part of obtaining help in real time from your classmates and from your instructor. You are encouraged to post questions, problems, or answers on any topic relating to the course policies, procedures, or homework of our philosophy class. Your post is placed directly on the Philosophy Web and can be immediately accessed by anyone in the world. The Philosophy Forum is a good place to obtain a pre-evaluation of your philosophy reading questions or to seek answers to questions at the beginnings of the readings.
The purpose of the Philosophy Forum is to discuss the daily class activities of our philosophy course: reading posts, comments, homework questions, homework answers, housekeeping matters, class procedures, assignments, test dates, and class policies.
Signing up for the Philosophy Forum is a completely separate procedure from WebCT and is explained here.
Lost Password: If you lose or forget your password to the Philosophy Forum, click on the Login link on the upper-right of the Philosophy Forum Homepage. At the bottom of the Login page in a box labeled ``Request Password.'' Fill in your username in the username bar, and click the ``Request'' button. Your password will be sent to you via email.
Forgotten Username: If you have forgotten your username to the Philosophy Forum, click on the Login link on the upper-right of the Philosophy Forum Homepage. At the bottom of the Login page in a box labeled ``Request Password,'' fill in your account's email address in the username bar, and click the ``Request'' button. Your username will be sent to you via your account's email.
Forgotten Email Address: If you have forgotten your email address and you have posted to the Philosophy Forum at least once in the past, then find your message on the Philosophy Forum and click on your username. Your ``Profile Page'' will load, and your email address will be displayed, if you chose not to hide it when you first registered for the Philosophy Forum.
When you login to the Philosophy Forum for the first time, you can enter personal information on your Profile page. To accomplish this, log in to the Philosophy Forum and click on the ``Option'' link at the top of the page.
When the Profile page loads, you can change your password to a more easily remembered password if you wish to do so. Choose a simple easily remembered password, and record the password in your philosophy notebook or in the space provided below:
If you wish to hide your email address when you post, check the appropriate box on this page. I recommend but do not require that you do not hide your email address so that your instructor and other students can email you privately. If you do hide your email address, be sure to check your official Lander email account for class-related communications daily even if you do not normally use that email account. When finished entering the information you want, scroll way down to the bottom of the page and click on the ``Change'' button so your information will be saved.
After you post to the Philosophy Forum, if you click on your blue hyperlinked username or you click on ``Options'' at the top of the page in the Philosophy Forum program, you can find out how many times you have posted as well as find out about your other personal data. To do so, click ``Info'' on the line just below your username on the Profile page. Next, click on the ``Posts'' link for a list of all your messages.
(again, note there is no "www in this URL,) click on the ``Philosophy Forum'' link toward the middle of the left-hand column.
When the ``Discussion/Post'' page loads, click on the ``Add Topic" link. See Figures 7 and 8.
If I do my job correctly, our philosophy course will be one of the most valuable in your university career.
Lee Archie 2011-01-05