|Bruce Umbaugh at Webster.edu|
|Philosophy on the Web|
By Bruce Umbaugh
Monday, January 07, 2002
Philosophical Problems in Technology
An Internet course
New information technologies have been hailed as the most important development for humankind since the harnessing of fire and condemned as escapist and alienating.
This course seeks the truth about computer-mediated communication, virtual realities, cryptography, and the like.
This is an Internet course--students should have full Internet access and be familiar with the use of e-mail and the World Wide Web. Our interaction and conversation will be mediated by e-mail and by a Web-based conferencing system established for the course. (More information on the conferencing system is available from this link.)
- regular participation
- writing a book review
- leading discussion
- and an exam.
Our aims include, on one hand, learning about and understanding some problems raised by new technologies and technological change. On the other hand, we hope to learn about and understand pedagogy for some forms of Internet-based learning, as well.
Readings for the course will, in the main, be materials available on the World Wide Web and others that we furnish one another. In addition, each student will read, review, and lead discussion on some book relevant to the issues of the course.
Grades will be determined according to the following scheme:
- 40% regular participation
- 20% book review
- 20% leading discussion
- 20% exam
Attendance? Well, we won't meet face to face. We won't even all use the conferencing system at once, in all likelihood. So, there is no attendance requirement in the usual sense. Your active participation in the conferencing system is another matter. You would be foolish to blow it off, since it is so much of what the course is, and because it accounts for 40% of your grade. Further, you are responsible for knowing whatever is announced in the class conference. Engaging other participants intellectually within the conferencing system is each student's paramount obligation in this class.
In addition, each student will be expected to review a relevant book, according to instructions that will be posted in the class conference, and lead discussion in a topic devoted to it. Each student will be responsible for researching and leading discussion on a relevant text. Each student will take a final exam that reviews material covered in the course.
You are adults, attending a university. I expect you to behave responsibly. Students in this class are expected to do their own work and not to rely on the work of others. Students are welcome to work with one another to understand the material, but any student plagiarizing, cheating on an exam, aiding another student to cheat, or committing any other act of academic dishonesty will be referred for appropriate disciplinary action. Please consult with me if you have questions in this regard, either about your own work or that of another person.
- Instructor Information
- Course Description and Aims
- Grading and Other Policies
RL office: Pearson House basement
phone: 968-7172 (office) or 968-7170 (PHIL office)