TEACHING

This page summarizes my teaching experience.

A full teaching portfolio is available upon request.

DALHOUSIE UNIVERSITY

Social, Ethical, and Professional Issues in Computer Science (Fall 2019)

Assistant Professor (Limited-Term).

     Course Description: Computers enable people to do things that our present laws and policies were not formulated to cover (hacking, sharing files on the internet, and companies sharing data). In such cases, people need to be able to decide for themselves the best course of action, and defend such decisions. This course aims at developing the ethical reasoning skills and sensitivities that computer professionals will need to make good decisions and to justify them. The course includes a general introduction to ethical theories and their use in making and justifying decisions. We then consider various issues and case studies, illustrating the kinds of problems that can arise from the use and misuse of computers and technology: the responsibilities of computing professionals; ethics on the internet (hacking, computer crime, netiquette); privacy and information; intellectual property; social and political issues (digital divide, computers and work, the internet as a democratic technology). Offered jointly as an elective in Philosophy and as a required course for Computer Science and Applied Computer Science majors.

     Teaching Method: Team-Based Learning. Each major unit of the course consisted of three class sessions: (1) An introduction to the topic for the unit through a 20–30 minute lecture, followed by a quiz on the reading. (2) A 20-minute lecture expanding on a specific aspect of the unit's topic, followed by a group exercise applying course concepts to a specific case. (3) A 20-minute lecture on another aspect of the unit's topic, followed by a group exercise to outline a philosophical argument on the ethics of a specific case.

     Team-based learning is founded on four principles: strategically formed, permanent teams; student accountability for completing preparatory readings and in-class work; team exercises that are designed to move from understanding the material to applying it to significant real-life problems; and frequent feedback on submitted work.

UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD

Philosophical Projects 2: Epistemic Injustice (Spring 2017)

Instructor.

     Course Description:  These are optional inquiry-based learning modules. Each semester a variety of topics are set. For each topic, a short list of key readings is provided. Having chosen a topic, students are expected to master the readings, and to supplement them with at least two others pieces of relevant literature that they have used the available library and web resources to uncover. Then, having agreed an essay plan and title with the tutor assigned to them for the module, they write an extended essay that identifies the central issue (or issues) under discussion, relates the various responses to that issue found in the literature, evaluates those contributions, and goes some way to identifying a satisfactory resolution of the issue.

     Teaching Method: Directed study. I assigned a reading list on epistemic injustice, facilitated discussion of the readings, assisted students in defining their research projects, and provided feedback on outlines and draft papers.

Matters of Life and Death (Fall 2016)

Co-Lecturer.

     Course Description:  What is so bad about death? Is life always as good? Is it always wrong for someone to take their own life? Would it be wrong to help someone to die painlessly who was already dying of a painful illness? Is abortion ever, or always, morally permissible? Do animals have rights which we infringe by killing them or making them suffer? What, if anything, do we owe to the starving of the world? This course is designed to encourage students to think carefully and constructively about range of life-and-death moral dilemmas, developing skills of analysis and critical reasoning. Topics discussed will include: death; suicide; euthanasia; abortion; animals; and famine relief. Arguments for and against various positions on these questions will be looked at; and some use will be made of moral theory to illuminate the issues.

     Teaching Method: Lectures supplemented by weekly tutorial seminars. As co-lecturer, I wrote and delivered two weeks of lectures (on the ethics of capital punishment, killing in self-defence, and killing in war).

History of Philosophy (Spring 2016)

Graduate Teaching Assistant.

     Course Description:  This is an inquiry-led module aimed at providing you with a general overview of the history of Western philosophy and a more detailed picture of some part of that history. You will be working collaboratively in groups of five or six, randomly assigned, to produce an encyclopedia article that explains some period or movement in philosophy, and will also be required to read and assess such articles written by other students. Most of the group work will take place through online discussion boards, though you will also have a series of meetings with your group. Your inquiry will involve both internet and library research, and the module will involve some training to improve the skills you need for this.

     Teaching Method: Inquiry-based learning. Taught by a team of postgraduate students. As the Lead TA, I co-ordinated meetings between TAs and students and moderated the students' peer evaluations. I and the other TAs met with the students' groups throughout the term to discuss their projects, teach research and library skills, offer feedback on outlines and drafts, and assist with teamwork difficulties.

History of Ethics (Spring 2016)

Graduate Teaching Assistant.

     Course Description: This module offers a critical introduction to the history of ethical thought in the West, examining some of the key ideas of Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Bentham, Mill, Nietzsche, Rawls and Gilligan. It thus provides a textual introduction to some of the main types of ethical theory: the ethics of flourishing and virtue; deontology; utilitarianism; contractualism. The close interconnections between ethics and other branches of philosophy (e.g. metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics) will be highlighted, as will the connections between ethics and other disciplines (e.g. psychology, anthropology).

     Teaching Method: Lectures supplemented by biweekly tutorial seminars. As a TA, I designed activities for and facilitated discussion in the seminars.

Matters of Life and Death (Fall 2015)

Graduate Teaching Assistant.

     Course Description: See above.

     Teaching Method: Lectures supplemented by weekly tutorial seminars. As a TA, I designed activities for and facilitated discussion in the seminars.

Knowledge, Justification, and Doubt (Fall 2015)

Graduate Teaching Assistant.

     Course Description: An introduction to the basic questions of epistemology, which is the philosophical study of knowledge. Centrally, what is it to know something? Do we know anything? And how is it that we know what we do?

     Teaching Method: Lectures supplemented by biweekly tutorial seminars. As a TA, I designed activities for and facilitated discussion in the seminars.

Key Arguments (Spring 2015)

Graduate Teaching Assistant.

     Course Description: This is an inquiry-led module, aimed at helping you to isolate and assess a key argument from a text. You will work collaboratively in groups of five or six, randomly assigned, to produce two presentations. In the first, delivered half way through the semester, you will explain the work and significance of a particular figure from the history of Western philosophy and identify an argument central to their thought. In the second, at the end of the semester, you will analyse that argument and provide a detailed reasoned assessment of it. You will also be required to assess such presentations given by other students. Most of the group work will take place through online discussion boards, though you will also have a series of meetings with your group. Your inquiry will involve both internet and library research, and the module will involve some training to improve the skills you need for this.

     Teaching Method: Inquiry-based learning. Taught by a team of postgraduate students. As a TA, met with the students' groups throughout the term to discuss their projects, teach research and library skills, offer feedback on outlines and drafts, and assist with teamwork difficulties.

©2019–2020 by Trystan S. Goetze.
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