Presenters and Projects
I flipped my Social Ethics course in the summer of 2013. It’s a sophomore level, general education ethics course. In the summer, it typically has 10-15 students, so that seemed like a good time to test out a new approach. Plus, since summer courses meet for several hours a day, I wanted to do something that would really engage students during that long class time (and I didn’t want to lecture for 3 hours a day).
Several faculty in our department who teach the course use Michael Sandel’s “Justice” reader as the textbook for the course. It includes important ethics readings from Aristotle, Plato, Locke, Kant, Rousseau, etc. as well as interesting contemporary court cases and other policy documents. It happens that Sandel, who teaches at Harvard, had recently posted all his lectures online at: http://www.justiceharvard.org/. The website includes 12 one hour episodes, which are actually broken down into 24 half-hour class lectures. I assigned readings from the Sandel reader in connection with his lecture on the topic. Each morning before class, the students had to complete a 10 question Blackboard quiz, which was half on the lecture and half on the reading. We then worked through cases during class, which gave the students a chance to try out the different philosophies and discover their strengths and weaknesses on their own. It created a stimulating classroom and a much more exciting inductive approach to philosophy.
Scott Ingram, Criminal Justice
The general idea is to present the material to students outside of class through various methods. In some instances they viewed a Prezi which is an online presentation program. In others, they listened to a Spreaker, an app that allows one to make audio presentations. A third method involved ShowMe, a virtual whiteboard that allows the instructor to record voice while writing on the virtual whiteboard. These presentations were designed to supplement assigned readings. To ensure that the students did the work, they were required to take a five-question multiple answer quiz prior to each class.
Jenny Fuselier, Adam Graham-Squire, Karen O’Hara, and Laurie Zack, Department of Mathematics
Using a Think Big grant, the faculty members used Camtasia and OneNote to record lectures that students watched before class. They also used WebAssign for assign questions and problem sets.