Some Teaching Material Used in the Past

Below, you find some material I have used for teaching in the past. Comments are of course always welcome!

Intro to Logic

For teaching Intro to Logic, I use Language, Proof and Logic by Daver Barker-Plummer, Jon Barwise and John Etchemendy. There is a self-paced online course associated with the book (see here), as well as tons of additional material (e.g. video lectures and tests) that is beneficial for students to consult. Also, the book comes with various software applications that students use to work on assignments, which they then submit to the website (several times if necessary) affiliated with the course. For many (though not all) assignments, the website generates (automated) feedback on student’s work, including hints as to how to improve their work where necessary. As a side benefit, the website also alerts instructors to (what are with a very high likelihood instances of) plagiarism.

I find working with this book highly enjoyable. Especially, I find that the time I do not need to spend on grading homework assignments is better spent on polishing and adding to my lecture (I added e.g. an excursion into non-Western logic at the outset of the course to make students aware that logic is not a Western technique ultimately derived from Aristotle), on addressing students’ questions, devising short quizzes, midterms, practice exercises, etc.

You can find a few sample short quizzes below, also a long in-class midterm I used. As for the midterm, it is still a bit too long. At least in my summer course, many (though not all) students – even those who did well on the homework – needed more time to go through the exercises than I had expected.

PHIL 0500 – Midterm – no solutions

Short Logic Quiz 1

Short Logic Quiz 2

Short Logic Quiz 3

Ethics

I designed and used the following PowerPoint to give an introductory lecture on Kant’s moral philosophy which was part of the 2016 Intro to Ethics course in which I served as Teaching Assistant. The following video runs you quickly through the PowerPoint. It does not have the explanations I contributed. Sadly, that can’t be helped. Basically, I included interactive elements whenever examples where needed and whenever pictures and question marks show up. These serve to indicate that some philosopher whose material we had covered earlier in the course would disagree with Kant’s view. So naturally, the questions that arose were: how and why?

Some people don’t like slides that are animated and crowded. That said, I received rather enthusiastic feedback – students responded really well to the lecture. I also made the slides available to students afterwards, so they did not have to take extensive notes during lecture and were free to look at the slides as often as they desired.

 

How to Write a 1-page Summary

The document provided below contains a few guidelines how to write a 1-page summary of an essay or a book chapter. I like to ask students to write these summaries, comment on them extensively, and then meet with students to discuss what I liked about their summary as well as ways in which they can improve. If possible, I do this twice a term so that we can jointly assess ways their writing may already have improved.

How to Write a 1-page Summary – Some Guidelines

Bring me back to the teaching section, please.

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