Philosophy by ashrafp



Learning Outcomes/Goals:
   1. To enable students to reason clearly, to distinguish good arguments from bad
   2. To enable students to navigate through a complex maze of questions confronting
      people in the modern world.
   3. To hone students’ intellectual skills needed in the clarification of concepts.
   4. To habitually use intelligence and logic, even in situations that lend themselves to
      over-reliance on emotion and that prompt prejudice.

Assessment Methods:
   1. Exit interviews: with senior majors. (The department is moving to regularize
      these interviews to include questions tailored to outcomes, is considering
      extending interviews to a selection of junior majors.)
   2. Extra-curricular: The Undergraduate Program Director is charged with
      monitoring undergraduate participation in philosophically related extra-curricular
      activities for evidence that the learning objectives are being met.
   3. Course-based Assessment: Standard forms of course-based assessment, heavily
      weighted toward significant writing assignments where student activity related to
      objectives 1-3 are clearly on view, are employed. Establishing a feedback loop
      between individual course outcomes and programmatic outcomes needs

Assessment Results:
   1. Senior majors were stimulated by their undergraduate philosophy experience and
      were basically positive about the extent to which the learning objectives were
   2. The level of undergraduate participation in extra-curricular activities such as
      weekly philosophy club meetings, field trips to conferences, and on campus
      colloquia is robust. The skills displayed by undergraduates participating in the
      above activities indicates that they have realized the learning outcomes.

Action Taken:
   1. Intensified extra –curricular dimension of the undergraduate philosophy
       experience in connection particularly with the department’s annual endowed
       lectureships, as well as with ad hoc opportunities (UN World Philosophy Day;
       Student Philosophy Society).
   2. The department has established greater thematic unity among the electives in the
       major in order to harmonize and facilitate the process of realizing the above
       learning objectives. Allowing students to focus on themes in philosophy enables
       them to deepen their understanding of the relevant concepts and focus their
       practice of the skills highlighted by the philosophical themes that interest them.
Results from Actions Taken:
   1. Departmental support for student involvement in extra-curricular activities has

Future Plans:
   1. The department is considering making the senior seminar a teaching responsibility
      of the Undergraduate Program Director in order to facilitate the use of the seminar
      as a means for assessing the above learning outcomes in its senior majors.
   2. The Director is also focusing on developing better ways of measuring outcome 4.

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