pugilistjd wrote:Wow. As a philosophy major, I am amazed at how easy your 400-level courses seem compared to mine. In bioethics, for example, my professor never lectured. Instead, he had all the students give awkward, ill-prepared lectures on every single reading for the class, while he waited patiently for the opportunity to publicly humiliate them. So, unless you understood the material well on your own, you essentially had no chance of doing well on the mid-term/final. In other words, your attendance grade was essentially worthless. Also, pop quizzes and extra credit were reserved for low-level/required courses.
In my 400-level political philosophy class, the students did teach everyday (and they were graded on it). When you taught you had to know your subject very well. Every week, students were required to write a text analyses in which we had to explain one of the readings and make connections to other stuff. There were six essays required altogether for mid-terms and finals. There was also a final research paper due. There was no points given for attendance or participation. In my 400-level ethics class, we did some teaching but not as much--it mainly focused around a final paper, a mid-term, a final, and one presentation for each student on a topic of his or her choice. I wrote my final paper on the ethics of jury nullification and it turned out to be 32 pages long. I probably wrote well over 50 but after editing and cutting stuff that's what I got.
The Ancient philosophy class I discussed was a 200-level class and that is where I got the extra point for never missing a class and where class participation counted as 5% of the grade. The exams were very hard for that class (they were essay exams too that you had to write in class without book or notes--just like law school) and most of the grade rested on three exams (one cumulative final), several pop quizzes, and a final paper. My classes were not easy nor extremely hard. They were appropriately hard and demanding.