Assessment

Be a sure you have read and understood the 'Policies' page for vital information on attendance, on-time submissions etc.

  • Important details and deadlines for assessed work are tabulated below.
  • These details should be read in conjunction with assignment info on the 'Timetable' page.
  • You are encouraged to work collaboratively in all aspects of this class, including assessed work (see assignment details for whether you must submit individually). Joint presentations and final papers are encouraged.

Grading Scheme

Letter Low
Border
Middle
A+ 96.7% 98.5%
A 93.3% 95.0%
A- 90.0% 91.7%
B+ 86.7% 88.4%
B 83.3% 85.0%
B- 80.0% 81.7%
C+ 76.7% 78.4%
C 73.3% 75.0%
C- 70.0% 71.7%
D+ 66.7% 68.4%
D 63.3% 65.0%
D- 60.0% 61.7%
F 0% 55.5%

Table of Assignments

?%

Extra Credit

  • Extra credit is not a routine element of grading and will not be offered just to help individuals hit target grades. Even so, opportunities for extra credit sometimes arise as the class progresses. Some opportunities may be announced but others will remain secret. I will, however, give you this clue: that my greatest inspiration for giving out extra credit is exemplary class citizenship.

15%

Class Participation

  • Main consideration: Did you help enrich the class experience for everyone?
  • There are two main ways to contribute - the best students will exemplify both:
    • Join the discussion in class:
      • Ask 'silly' questions and speak up when you don't understand.
      • Say what you think and (more importantly) why you think it.
      • Question and challenge class readings, your colleagues, and your professor.
    • Participate in online discussions using the class Topics set up inCanvas@UD Forums:
      • Post brief questions or comments on assigned readings, or respond to someone else's post.
      • Only contributions posted before the start of the corresponding class will count.
  • Mere attendance does not help your grade.

5%

Quiz Completion Credit

  • You get Quiz Completion Credit for every quiz you complete and fully submit by the deadline with at least a D-.
  • Though low scoring quizzes are dropped for calculation of overall quiz scores in this class, no quizzes are dropped in assessing Quiz Completion Credit.
  • So:
    • Quiz Completion Credit for all quizzes = 100% = a super-dooper A+. (That will boost your overall grade.)
    • Quiz Completion Credit for half the quizzes = 50% = F. (That can pull your overall grade down.)

Feb 26

12:15pm

5%

In Class Group Project 1: Abstract of 'The Survival Lottery'

  • A good abstract will state the main point of the paper and the core strategy the author uses in defending that point.
    • Pretend you are the author and that you have been asked for a very short overview of your piece for people browsing journal contents.
    • Write in the first person (again, as though you were the author) and do not waste space repeating the title etc. - abstracts always come with title and author information attached.
    • An abstract is pure exegesis: there should be no commentary, critique, or evaluative language - just the facts ma'am.
    • Hint - browse some philosophy journals on the web or in the library - it should not take you long to find some with abstracts.
    • Unlike writing papers, there's no need to cite sources or page numbers in an abstract. But, if you do use language from the text, make sure you put it in quotes.
  • Even if the assignment calls for individual submissions, you are encouraged to collaborate in thinking this through and drafting.
  • Word limits are strictly enforced (just as in real life) - even a word over will affect your grade.
  • Submit viaCanvas@UD.

 

Group Project Instructions

  • In-Class Group Assignment
    • The assignment is completed in class, working with your group.
    • Submit in class viaCanvas@UD, or by handing in a legible paper version.
    • One submission per group is acceptable. The submitted document should state the group number and the names of all authors who actually contributed.
    • It is the responsiblity of every group member to ensure that all participants are credited and that the submission goes through (make sure you see the confirmation page).
    • You are welcome to hail me if you have any questions during class.
  • If you are not in class, you will need to make an on-time, individual submission viaCanvas@UDor by email.
  • Before class
    • Please think about how to make an effective contribution to a group project.
    • Review the relevant instructions for the assignment on the assessment page.
    • Refresh your memory of relevant sources.
    • Do any additional background research that might help with the project.
    • Come prepared to contribute.
  • Peer evaluations
    • Please take note of each group member's contribution and be ready to submit an online peer evaluation as requested.

Mar 3

11:55pm

15%

Quiz 1

  • Complete on Canvas@UD.
    • Questions may cover anything covered in class or in the assigned readings so far.
    • Some questions may require independent research.
  • Get started on quizes as soon as they are available - they are challenging and will take longer than you think.
    • To avoid disaster, make sure you have at least an initial go at completing each quiz as soon as it is available.
    • Do not click 'submit' until you are sure you don't want to go back and change any answers.
    • If you never click 'submit', Canvas@UD will auto-submit any saved answers after the deadline.
    • Canvas@UD is quite good, but not perfect, at saving your work as you go along. It is up to you to make sure that Canvas@UD is saving as it should. (Possible sources of trouble include, but are not limited to, slow internet connections, hasty shutdowns / shutting the lid of your laptop before Canvas@UD canvas has finished updating...)
  • Your two lowest (curved) quiz scores will be dropped in calculating your overall quiz grade.
  • No quizzes will be dropped in awarding quiz participation credit.
  • No extensions, no do-overs, no makeup quizzes, no excuses:
    • Deadlines are strictly and automatically enforced by Canvas@UD, so make sure you do not miss them.
    • All quizzes are available for at least several days and you get to drop two of the six quizzes to cover snafus and genuine emergencies. If you miss (or royally mess up) early quizzes, it is imperative that you be especially diligent in completing those that remain.
    • There are no exceptions to this rule, not even for genuine emergencies or excused absences.
    • Unforeseen circumstances that force you to completely miss more than two quizzes are incompatible with substantive completion of the class and you should consider withdrawal. If the withdrawal deadline has passed, see UD policy on application for late withdrawal.
  • Raw quiz scores will be curved. Please note the strategic implications of this:
    • If a group collaboration is mutually helpful, all members benefit.
    • If you help somone without any useful help in return, then their higher score will make the curve tougher for you.

Mar 7

12:15pm

10%

In Class Group Project 2: Bad Argument Assignment

  • You know you can make them but can you spot them?
    • Identify a very bad and very short written argument on the internet. (Newspaper editorials, news items, and political blogs are excellent sources).
    • Joke arguments are fine but...
      • DO NOT use an argument that is presented and discussed as an example of a bad argument (such as those in this Book of Bad Arguments).
      • DO NOT target an argument for which the main problem is circularity / begging the question.
    • Give the URL to the original source.
    • Cut and paste the relevant text - ONLY the relevant text.
    • Set out the essential form of the argument, stripped of any rhetoric and padding. You know... list assumptions (don't forget hidden assumptions), logical moves, conclusion(s).
    • Explain, VERY concisely, why it is a bad argument.
    • Limit of 500 words for the whole assignment (including pasted text, your set out of the essence, and your critique).
  • Examples:
  • Some points to consider
    • Your best target will be a simple and clearly stated argument.
    • Make sure it's acutally an argument. (Don't be seduced by mere opinion or heaps of points without logical structure.)
    • Make sure it's really, utterly, indisputably bad. Not all mistakes are stupid mistakes - I'm looking for mindblowingly idiotic, the worse the better.
  • Submit viaCanvas@UD.

 

Group Project Instructions

  • In-Class Group Assignment
    • The assignment is completed in class, working with your group.
    • Submit in class viaCanvas@UD, or by handing in a legible paper version.
    • One submission per group is acceptable. The submitted document should state the group number and the names of all authors who actually contributed.
    • It is the responsiblity of every group member to ensure that all participants are credited and that the submission goes through (make sure you see the confirmation page).
    • You are welcome to hail me if you have any questions during class.
  • If you are not in class, you will need to make an on-time, individual submission viaCanvas@UDor by email.
  • Before class
    • Please think about how to make an effective contribution to a group project.
    • Review the relevant instructions for the assignment on the assessment page.
    • Refresh your memory of relevant sources.
    • Do any additional background research that might help with the project.
    • Come prepared to contribute.
  • Peer evaluations
    • Please take note of each group member's contribution and be ready to submit an online peer evaluation as requested.

Mar 17

11:55pm

15%

Quiz 2

  • Complete on Canvas@UD.
    • Questions may cover anything covered in class or in the assigned readings so far.
    • Some questions may require independent research.
  • Get started on quizes as soon as they are available - they are challenging and will take longer than you think.
    • To avoid disaster, make sure you have at least an initial go at completing each quiz as soon as it is available.
    • Do not click 'submit' until you are sure you don't want to go back and change any answers.
    • If you never click 'submit', Canvas@UD will auto-submit any saved answers after the deadline.
    • Canvas@UD is quite good, but not perfect, at saving your work as you go along. It is up to you to make sure that Canvas@UD is saving as it should. (Possible sources of trouble include, but are not limited to, slow internet connections, hasty shutdowns / shutting the lid of your laptop before Canvas@UD canvas has finished updating...)
  • Your two lowest (curved) quiz scores will be dropped in calculating your overall quiz grade.
  • No quizzes will be dropped in awarding quiz participation credit.
  • No extensions, no do-overs, no makeup quizzes, no excuses:
    • Deadlines are strictly and automatically enforced by Canvas@UD, so make sure you do not miss them.
    • All quizzes are available for at least several days and you get to drop two of the six quizzes to cover snafus and genuine emergencies. If you miss (or royally mess up) early quizzes, it is imperative that you be especially diligent in completing those that remain.
    • There are no exceptions to this rule, not even for genuine emergencies or excused absences.
    • Unforeseen circumstances that force you to completely miss more than two quizzes are incompatible with substantive completion of the class and you should consider withdrawal. If the withdrawal deadline has passed, see UD policy on application for late withdrawal.
  • Raw quiz scores will be curved. Please note the strategic implications of this:
    • If a group collaboration is mutually helpful, all members benefit.
    • If you help somone without any useful help in return, then their higher score will make the curve tougher for you.

Mar 31

11:55pm

15%

Quiz 3

  • Complete on Canvas@UD.
    • Questions may cover anything covered in class or in the assigned readings so far.
    • Some questions may require independent research.
  • Get started on quizes as soon as they are available - they are challenging and will take longer than you think.
    • To avoid disaster, make sure you have at least an initial go at completing each quiz as soon as it is available.
    • Do not click 'submit' until you are sure you don't want to go back and change any answers.
    • If you never click 'submit', Canvas@UD will auto-submit any saved answers after the deadline.
    • Canvas@UD is quite good, but not perfect, at saving your work as you go along. It is up to you to make sure that Canvas@UD is saving as it should. (Possible sources of trouble include, but are not limited to, slow internet connections, hasty shutdowns / shutting the lid of your laptop before Canvas@UD canvas has finished updating...)
  • Your two lowest (curved) quiz scores will be dropped in calculating your overall quiz grade.
  • No quizzes will be dropped in awarding quiz participation credit.
  • No extensions, no do-overs, no makeup quizzes, no excuses:
    • Deadlines are strictly and automatically enforced by Canvas@UD, so make sure you do not miss them.
    • All quizzes are available for at least several days and you get to drop two of the six quizzes to cover snafus and genuine emergencies. If you miss (or royally mess up) early quizzes, it is imperative that you be especially diligent in completing those that remain.
    • There are no exceptions to this rule, not even for genuine emergencies or excused absences.
    • Unforeseen circumstances that force you to completely miss more than two quizzes are incompatible with substantive completion of the class and you should consider withdrawal. If the withdrawal deadline has passed, see UD policy on application for late withdrawal.
  • Raw quiz scores will be curved. Please note the strategic implications of this:
    • If a group collaboration is mutually helpful, all members benefit.
    • If you help somone without any useful help in return, then their higher score will make the curve tougher for you.

Apr 17

11:55pm

15%

Quiz 4

  • Complete on Canvas@UD.
    • Questions may cover anything covered in class or in the assigned readings so far.
    • Some questions may require independent research.
  • Get started on quizes as soon as they are available - they are challenging and will take longer than you think.
    • To avoid disaster, make sure you have at least an initial go at completing each quiz as soon as it is available.
    • Do not click 'submit' until you are sure you don't want to go back and change any answers.
    • If you never click 'submit', Canvas@UD will auto-submit any saved answers after the deadline.
    • Canvas@UD is quite good, but not perfect, at saving your work as you go along. It is up to you to make sure that Canvas@UD is saving as it should. (Possible sources of trouble include, but are not limited to, slow internet connections, hasty shutdowns / shutting the lid of your laptop before Canvas@UD canvas has finished updating...)
  • Your two lowest (curved) quiz scores will be dropped in calculating your overall quiz grade.
  • No quizzes will be dropped in awarding quiz participation credit.
  • No extensions, no do-overs, no makeup quizzes, no excuses:
    • Deadlines are strictly and automatically enforced by Canvas@UD, so make sure you do not miss them.
    • All quizzes are available for at least several days and you get to drop two of the six quizzes to cover snafus and genuine emergencies. If you miss (or royally mess up) early quizzes, it is imperative that you be especially diligent in completing those that remain.
    • There are no exceptions to this rule, not even for genuine emergencies or excused absences.
    • Unforeseen circumstances that force you to completely miss more than two quizzes are incompatible with substantive completion of the class and you should consider withdrawal. If the withdrawal deadline has passed, see UD policy on application for late withdrawal.
  • Raw quiz scores will be curved. Please note the strategic implications of this:
    • If a group collaboration is mutually helpful, all members benefit.
    • If you help somone without any useful help in return, then their higher score will make the curve tougher for you.

Apr 28

11:55pm

15%

Quiz 5

  • Complete on Canvas@UD.
    • Questions may cover anything covered in class or in the assigned readings so far.
    • Some questions may require independent research.
  • Get started on quizes as soon as they are available - they are challenging and will take longer than you think.
    • To avoid disaster, make sure you have at least an initial go at completing each quiz as soon as it is available.
    • Do not click 'submit' until you are sure you don't want to go back and change any answers.
    • If you never click 'submit', Canvas@UD will auto-submit any saved answers after the deadline.
    • Canvas@UD is quite good, but not perfect, at saving your work as you go along. It is up to you to make sure that Canvas@UD is saving as it should. (Possible sources of trouble include, but are not limited to, slow internet connections, hasty shutdowns / shutting the lid of your laptop before Canvas@UD canvas has finished updating...)
  • Your two lowest (curved) quiz scores will be dropped in calculating your overall quiz grade.
  • No quizzes will be dropped in awarding quiz participation credit.
  • No extensions, no do-overs, no makeup quizzes, no excuses:
    • Deadlines are strictly and automatically enforced by Canvas@UD, so make sure you do not miss them.
    • All quizzes are available for at least several days and you get to drop two of the six quizzes to cover snafus and genuine emergencies. If you miss (or royally mess up) early quizzes, it is imperative that you be especially diligent in completing those that remain.
    • There are no exceptions to this rule, not even for genuine emergencies or excused absences.
    • Unforeseen circumstances that force you to completely miss more than two quizzes are incompatible with substantive completion of the class and you should consider withdrawal. If the withdrawal deadline has passed, see UD policy on application for late withdrawal.
  • Raw quiz scores will be curved. Please note the strategic implications of this:
    • If a group collaboration is mutually helpful, all members benefit.
    • If you help somone without any useful help in return, then their higher score will make the curve tougher for you.

Apr 30

12:15am

5%

In Class Group Project 3: Consent Form Assignment

 

Group Project Instructions

  • In-Class Group Assignment
    • The assignment is completed in class, working with your group.
    • Submit in class viaCanvas@UD, or by handing in a legible paper version.
    • One submission per group is acceptable. The submitted document should state the group number and the names of all authors who actually contributed.
    • It is the responsiblity of every group member to ensure that all participants are credited and that the submission goes through (make sure you see the confirmation page).
    • You are welcome to hail me if you have any questions during class.
  • If you are not in class, you will need to make an on-time, individual submission viaCanvas@UDor by email.
  • Before class
    • Please think about how to make an effective contribution to a group project.
    • Review the relevant instructions for the assignment on the assessment page.
    • Refresh your memory of relevant sources.
    • Do any additional background research that might help with the project.
    • Come prepared to contribute.
  • Peer evaluations
    • Please take note of each group member's contribution and be ready to submit an online peer evaluation as requested.

May 8

11:55pm

10%

Optional: Bad Argument Assignment Redux

  • You know you can make them but can you spot them?
    • Identify a very bad and very short written argument on the internet. (Newspaper editorials, news items, and political blogs are excellent sources).
    • Joke arguments are fine but...
      • DO NOT use an argument that is presented and discussed as an example of a bad argument (such as those in this Book of Bad Arguments).
      • DO NOT target an argument for which the main problem is circularity / begging the question.
    • Give the URL to the original source.
    • Cut and paste the relevant text - ONLY the relevant text.
    • Set out the essential form of the argument, stripped of any rhetoric and padding. You know... list assumptions (don't forget hidden assumptions), logical moves, conclusion(s).
    • Explain, VERY concisely, why it is a bad argument.
    • Limit of 500 words for the whole assignment (including pasted text, your set out of the essence, and your critique).
  • Examples:
  • Some points to consider
    • Your best target will be a simple and clearly stated argument.
    • Make sure it's acutally an argument. (Don't be seduced by mere opinion or heaps of points without logical structure.)
    • Make sure it's really, utterly, indisputably bad. Not all mistakes are stupid mistakes - I'm looking for mindblowingly idiotic, the worse the better.
  • Submit viaCanvas@UD.

May 19

11:55pm

15%

Quiz 6

  • Complete on Canvas@UD.
    • Questions may cover anything covered in class or in the assigned readings so far.
    • Some questions may require independent research.
  • Get started on quizes as soon as they are available - they are challenging and will take longer than you think.
    • To avoid disaster, make sure you have at least an initial go at completing each quiz as soon as it is available.
    • Do not click 'submit' until you are sure you don't want to go back and change any answers.
    • If you never click 'submit', Canvas@UD will auto-submit any saved answers after the deadline.
    • Canvas@UD is quite good, but not perfect, at saving your work as you go along. It is up to you to make sure that Canvas@UD is saving as it should. (Possible sources of trouble include, but are not limited to, slow internet connections, hasty shutdowns / shutting the lid of your laptop before Canvas@UD canvas has finished updating...)
  • Your two lowest (curved) quiz scores will be dropped in calculating your overall quiz grade.
  • No quizzes will be dropped in awarding quiz participation credit.
  • No extensions, no do-overs, no makeup quizzes, no excuses:
    • Deadlines are strictly and automatically enforced by Canvas@UD, so make sure you do not miss them.
    • All quizzes are available for at least several days and you get to drop two of the six quizzes to cover snafus and genuine emergencies. If you miss (or royally mess up) early quizzes, it is imperative that you be especially diligent in completing those that remain.
    • There are no exceptions to this rule, not even for genuine emergencies or excused absences.
    • Unforeseen circumstances that force you to completely miss more than two quizzes are incompatible with substantive completion of the class and you should consider withdrawal. If the withdrawal deadline has passed, see UD policy on application for late withdrawal.
  • Raw quiz scores will be curved. Please note the strategic implications of this:
    • If a group collaboration is mutually helpful, all members benefit.
    • If you help somone without any useful help in return, then their higher score will make the curve tougher for you.