So, you want to do well in my class..

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Here’s the deal, most students start out with the best of intentions.  They want to do well, learn something, and get a good grade to show for it.  It’s kinda simple, but not necessarily easy to do so.  Here are a few thoughts for you — based on my experiences teaching online for a while now (and this class in particular).  In no particular order —

  • The readings are hard — but they’re short.  Read it once or twice, taking notes as you go.  THEN look at the other resources  you’ll find in the content area for more information.  Also, Wikipedia can be helpful for general information on the topic… read it to get a sense of the ideas we’re talking about.. THEN read it again.
  • The reading quizzes are intended to get you thinking about some of the main ideas, so take a look and give it a shot to see how it goes — Pay attention to the questions, so you can find the answers.  Read the questions and the possible answers carefully.
  • Post in the discussion areas — for the General discussion, you’ll have a new group every time — go in, post, read responses and keep the discussion going.  That’s how you learn to write about this stuff.
  • For the Debate assignments, you’ll have the same group — check in with them ASAP.  These are the folks you’ll need to cooperate with to do the assignment.  Discuss strategy, division of posting etc..
  • The Read and Respond questions (unless noted on the class schedule) come from the assigned reading in the Rodgers DVD (or book… but use the DVD most of the time, it has more stuff in it).  Choose ONE question from the assigned reading — if there is more than one chapter on the class chedule, just pick one question out of one reading.
  • When you start your read and respond assignment, make sure to give me the question you’re responding to.
  • Take EVERY quiz. You may take every quiz an unlimited number of times, only the highest score will count.   When you get above 80% on a quiz, you’ll get access to a short paper prompt.  You need to write TWO of these short papers before the mid-term (on ethical theory) and two of them after the mid-term (on applied ethics).
  • Take your time with the papers, read the prompts to see which ones you can write a really good paper on.  Make sure you write a complete answer to the prompt, address every part of the question.  Proofread your paper carefully and make sure you cite sources as you need to.
  • Your mid-term and final will have the same format — short answer essay.  The possible questions are in the content areas for the exams.  Look them over before you start.  D2L will choose 10 questions for you (for the mid-term they’ll all be about ethical theory, for the final 5 will be about ethical theory and 5 about applied ethics).  Be ready to write coherent, concise, accurate answers for the questions.  You won’t have more than a paragraph or two to make your answer, so accuracy is important.  You’ll have a limited amount of time to write, so don’t plan to look up the answers as you go.  You will only have one shot at submitting the exams, so make sure you’re ready to take them.

This is a big one — PAY ATTENTION TO DEADLINES.  In general, I don’t take late work or permit make-up work on discussion areas.  I just don’t.. if you have a verifyiable reason for missing an assignment, look at the “excused abscences” part of the syllabus to see if your reason qualifies — and contact me via e-mail to determine what I’ll accept late.

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