Additional Teaching Resources
Writing a philosophy or history essay for the first (or 50th) time can be an intimidating experience. I believe that providing students with a breakdown of elements of a quality essay can help to make the writing experience more accessible and more pleasurable, as well as making my own evaluation process more transparent and rational. So I offer rubrics to my students when they receive essay assignments. These rubrics are my key teaching tools in helping students to understand what I expect of their essay assignments and why.
I have been fortunate to lead a seminar in philosophical writing for a few semesters now, which introduces SFSU MA students to the particular and strange art of writing philosophical papers in the analytic style. Our students come from diverse philosophical (and personal) backgrounds, so I use the handouts below as reference resources for my students, to get everyone on the same page in the classroom. Plus, they're just fun to make and share.
Leading Small-Group Discussions
I believe strongly in the value of structured small-group discussions as a teaching and learning tool, and I use group discussions in all of my classes. The handout below offers suggestions on both the design of small-group discussion assignments and the implementation of these assignments in the classroom.
Asking students to create podcasts explaining a theme from philosophy or a historical story is an alternative to essay-writing that challenges them to develop spoken communication skills, outline narratives, and use technology in creative ways. My experience with these assignments has been very positive, and you can see examples of the work my students have created on my Student Projects page.
If you're interested in creating a podcast assignment of your own, you may find the assignment materials below useful. I am also happy to answer further questions by email.