Up@dawn 2.0


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PHILOSOPHY 3345 Bioethics                                                                                
Spring 2016
4:20-5:45 pm, BAS S
Dr. Phil Oliver, phil.oliver@mtsu.edu - 898-2050, 898-2907 (philosophy dept.), 525-7865.

OFFICE HOURS: TTh 11-1 & by appointment, James Union Building 300 (but check the message board on my door on "nice" days). I answer emails mostly during office hours, never on weekends. Best way to secure a quick response: call or come in during office hours.

TEXTS: Campbell, Bioethics: The Basics (BB); Biss, On Immunity (OI); Sacks, Gratitude; & tba

First day, in class and on our blogsite: Introductions. Who are you? Why are you here?

On our second day we’ll break into rotating discussion groups of three. For every class, a member of each group will be designated "reporter" to post a brief summary of group discussion before leaving class. Each group will also appoint a moderator and scorekeeper each day.

Spring Semester 2017
  • Jan 17 - Classes Begin 
  • Jan 31 - identify midterm report groups & topics 
  • Feb 9 - Midterm group report presentations begin 
  • Feb 28 - Exam 1
  • March 6-11 - Spring Break 
  • Mar 30 - Exam 2
  • Apr 4 - Final solo report presentations begin
  • Apr 25 - Last class, Exam 3, Final solo report post installment 1 due 
  • May 2 - Final solo report post installment 2 due
  • May 6 - Commencement - Undergraduate
  • May 8 - Deadline for Final Grades

T 17 - Introduce yourself in class and online (before next class) by replying to "Introductions" on our blog site at http://bioethjpo.blogspot.com/ & read classmates' introductions. Answer two questions (bearing in mind that this is an open site): Who are you? Why are you here?

TH 19 – Author signups; What is Bioethics? (BB 1)

T 24 - Moral Theories (BB 2)

Th 26 - Perspectives (BB 3)

T 31 - Clinical Ethics (BB 4)

Th 2 - Research (BB 5)

T 7 - Justice (BB 6)

Th 9 - Midterm group report presentations begin: Group 1 (groups, post 10-20 pages of relevant text or a link thereto, at least three days prior to your designated reporting date; and post a 4-6 question quiz on that material at least 24 hours in advance)

T 14 - Group 2 [Happy V-day!]

Th 16 - Group 3

T 21 - Group 4

Th 23 - Group 5

T 28  - Group 6;  Exam #1

Th 2 - Group 7
Spring Break
T 14 - OI 3-39

Th 16 - OI 40-76

T 21 - OI 77-109

Th 23 - OI 77-109

T 28 - OI 110-163

Th 30 - G 23-45; Exam #2

The exam originally scheduled for March 30 is cancelled. That material will be covered on the exam scheduled for our last regular class date.

T April 4 - Oliver Sacks, Gratitude

Th 6 - Solo reports begin, with reporters 1-4. Same format and order of presentation as with midterm group reports. Post your readings, quiz, and DQs 3 days in advance of your designated reporting date.

T 11 -  Reporters 5-8

Th 13 - Reporters 9-12

T 18 - Reporters 13-16

Th 20 - Reporters 17-20

T 25 - Report presentations conclude. Last class, Exam 3, Final solo report post installment 1 due, turn in personal logs, top three run-scorers identified

May 2 - 2d final solo report blog post due from all but three top run-scorers

May 8 - Deadline for Final Grades; grade queries welcome
Course requirements & grades, Spg 2017-
  • attendance and participation, which we'll track in personal logs and on a daily "scorecard" and reward with "bases" and "runs" whose final tally will contribute to final grade (4 bases = 1 run, earn up to 5 runs per class... but you have to come to class to get on base and score runs.
  • short daily quizzes, worth one base per correct answer
  • short (200+ words) weekly essays posted to the class blogsite - worth 4 bases
  • a longer (1,000+ words) final essay posted to the class blogsite in two installments, first installment due by last regular class, second installment due-date tba (but, three top runs leaders may do just one 1,000 word post)... worth up to 20 runs... link to your first installment and to at least two comments on classmates' first final report installments
  • Three 20-question exams based on the quizzes, worth one run per correct answer
  • Collaborative MIDTERM GROUP REPORT PRESENTATION (3 reporters to a group, worth up to 20 runs; include quiz and discussion questions
  • FINAL SOLO REPORT, consisting of a class presentation and two blog post installments (one installment for top three run-scorers) of at least 1,000 words each (including relevant graphics, videos, and links), worth up to 20 runs.
  • comments on classmates' final reports (each comment on classmates' reports earns a base)
  • PARTICIPATION is the single largest grading factor: you can earn up to 5 participation "runs" per class, via attendance, quizzes, discussion, and posts to this site. Relevant comments, links, and questions for discussion or the quiz posted before class each earn a base. Participation in group discussion as a moderator, reporter, or scorekeeper (see below) also earns a base.

  • Count your total bases each class and divide by 4, to determine your runs total. Keep track of any extra bases in your personal log, they don't carry over and accumulate but they do impress the teacher.

    PHONE POLICY. It should go without saying, but for some does not: put your phone away during class. Participate. If you cannot comply with this, you'll be asked to leave and will be marked absent.

    MAKE-UP POLICY. You cannot earn bases or runs from the quizzes on days when you are not present, but you can submit extra-credit blog posts of 500 words (minimum) on topics covered when you were absent, worth up to three runs, to be posted within one week of the class date you missed. Log the date you missed and the date when you posted. You can then claim 3 make-up runs on the scorecard for the day you missed, unless I tell you otherwise.

    We'll track daily participation with baseball-style scorecards. But our game's much easier than the national pastime, all you have to do to get to 1st base is show up for class. Each class date is a column or "inning" on the scorecard. Simply showing up to class gets you to 1st base. Mark your scorecard accordingly. Now you're eligible to score runs (runs=participation points). Here's how:
You can come around from 1st base to score your first run if you took today's quiz before class.

You can score additional runs (up to five per class) if you: 
  • aced the quiz; 
  • posted relevant comments before class, about last class and/or today's new material; 
  • posted a relevant quiz question (in the comments section below the daily quiz); 
  • posted a relevant question for class or group discussion; 
  • posted a link to something relevant online or in print (a YouTube video, an article, a book...); 
  • started the computer/projector & this site before class; 
  • served as your group's discussion MODERATOR, SCOREKEEPER, or REPORTER today. (MODERATORS keep group discussion flowing, orderly, & civil, SCOREKEEPERS certify, tally, and post each group member's runs totals, today and to date, REPORTERS post a brief summary of their group's conversation); 
  • do something else that impresses the professor. 

How to post. Eventually, everyone will have an opportunity to sign up as an "author" on our site. Until then, post your questions, comments, links, etc. in the current "comments" section under the quiz. Or, post under a classmate's author account (click on "new post" in the upper right.)

Daily routine. Before coming to each class, read/watch/listen to the assigned material, post relevant questions, comments, & links, log and date the runs you intend to claim on the scorecard in your notebook, write your quiz answers on a separate sheet of paper.

When you get to class each day, look for two classmates to join in discussion (we'll always split into rotating discussion groups of three, with a different combination each class).

On nice (enough) days we'll quickly head outdoors for peripatetic discussions... we'll grade the quizzes and look ahead to what's next... and then we'll return to our classroom to begin posting brief reporters' summaries of our discussions and mark scorecards before dismissing. You can claim up to five certified runs per class.

Those who are physically restricted from participating in peripatetic discussions will receive alternative assignments.

Peripatetics. The original peripatetics were Aristotle's students at the Lyceum, back in the day. Legend has it that they didn't sit indoors in orderly rows like students nowadays, but instead roamed the grounds in small groups, walking-and-talking philosophy. I like their style, apocryphal or not. It’s a model we’ll emulate when the weather is nice enough, outdoors. They're also why I'm developing a Study Abroad course that will involve walking and talking in England beginning in the summer of '16. Stay tuned for more info on that.

"Solvitur ambulando"

Always designate a member of your group as MODERATOR to keep discussion relevant and flowing, another as SCOREKEEPER to certify, tally, and post runs totals, and the third as REPORTER to post a brief account of your conversation - including group participants' names & topic(s) discussed, etc. Take turns playing all these positions.

PERSONAL LOG. Set aside a section of your notebook for a personal log in which you will record, by date, all the runs you claim on the scorecard, & how you earned them (by taking/acing the quiz, posting a question, comment, or link, etc.) Your group's scorekeeper should certify & initial your log at the end of each class (and one of you should do the same for him/her). Turn in your personal log on each exam date.

Daily Quiz. We'll do daily non-punitive quizzes consisting of six questions, posted before class on our site by me and supplemented (in the comments section) by you. The three semester exams will be drawn from the quizzes. Ace a quiz with six non-redundant right answers (to questions other than your own) and score a run. Swap quizzes with a classmate when we go over them, and certify & initial the "aces" before returning them.

Why a daily quiz? Because philosophy is all about the questions, and because "frequent quizzes can deepen learning" (see "How to Study" below).

And note: "One reason scientists suspect that studying in pairs or groups can be helpful is that students are forced to talk to one another about the material-or better yet, argue about it... [this] deepens learning more than passively rereading or reviewing the material" alone. Hence, the rationale for our quiz-and-collaboration course format.

Besides, it's fun.

FACTUAL QUESTIONS, DISCUSSION QUESTIONS. An example of a FQ: “Was it Plato or Aristotle who presented the Allegory of the Cave in his book The Republic?” [Plato]. A DQ might be: “Who do you think had a better understanding of reality (as applied to issues in medical practice) and how we can discover it, Plato or Aristotle? Why?”

LINKS. An example of a posted link that would get you home to score: “Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is helpfully explained in a cartoon I found on YouTube athttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EPz5z1pUag”... OR, “I found a helpful article about Aristotle in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy at http://www.iep.utm.edu/aristotl/” etc.

MODERATOR. Each group selects a moderator each class to keep the conversation relevant and flowing.

SCOREKEEPER. Each group picks a scorekeeper each class to certify, tally, update, and post each group member's current runs total.

REPORTER. Each group selects a reporter each class to post a brief summary of their conversation.

Everyone should play each of these positions in turn.
Bonus Exemption. If you're one of the top three run-scorers of the semester, as determined on the penultimate class date, you’re EXEMPT from the 1,000-word final report blog series. 
JPO's blogs & podcasts (we're not using D2L): JPO blogs at CoPhilosophy, Up@dawn and Delight Springs, podcasts here and on Soundcloud (More day to dawn, at iTunes), and tweets @osopher. "You don't need to follow me..."

but if a blog or podcast link is included with the daily quiz you'll probably want to read or listen.

Don't forget to take the quiz before each class (and add your own questions, for the quiz and for discussion, in the comments section). If you come to class and ace the quiz (with six correct & non-redundant answers) you score a run.

Lottery scholarship statement. Do you have a lottery scholarship? To retain the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship eligibility, you must earn a cumulative TELS GPA of 2.75 after 24 and 48 attempted hours and a cumulative TELS GPA of 3.0 thereafter. A grade of C, D, F, FA, or I in this class may negatively impact TELS eligibility. If you drop this class, withdraw, or if you stop attending this class you may lose eligibility for your lottery scholarship, and you will not be able to regain eligibility at a later time. For additional Lottery rules, please refer to your Lottery Statement of Understanding form (http://www.mtsu.edu/financial-aid/forms/LOTFEV.pdf) or contact your MT One Stop Enrollment Coordinator (http://www.mtsu.edu/one-stop/counselor.php).