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1: SEP 1 - Course Introduction

  • Welcome - personal introduction and welcome. (Some student introductions.)
  • About the Course
  • Course Units
  • 1. Intro to Wisdom
  • 2. Intro to Happiness
  • 3. Some Wisdom Research Paradigms
  • 4. Some Happiness Research
  • 5. The Enlightenment, American Experience, Money and Happiness
  • 6. More Philosophical Paradigms for Happiness and Wisdom
  • 7. Gratitude and Savoring
  • 8. Some obstacles to Happiness
  • Course Websites: Wiki & (Some student introductions.)
  • Overview of Teaching Approach.
  • 1. Grading Schemes. You will be able to make choices about what you are graded on and the weight of different assignments. This is your "grading scheme." You can customize up to 30% of your grading scheme to suite your learning style or motivations in the course. Briefly show
  • 2. Transparency of student work and grades. In this course we use pseudonyms to allow sharing of grade information and student work - You will see most of the writing and scoring for required writing assignments, including my assessments of other student's work. This has many benefits.
  • 3. Approach to writing instruction.
  • a. Learning to assess writing. Writers improve when they acquire skills in evaluating their own writing. We will cultivate these skills directly and through peer review.
  • b. Building from small, short writing, to longer, more complex writing. The writing skills in this course are sequenced and early assignments give you performance information without affecting your grade much.
  • c. Looking at reading comprehension. We will do a few quizzes early on to give you some information about your reading skills. There are ways to compensate for this with good note taking, but we will also talking about active and critical reading and how to retain reading information. (Some student introductions.)
  • Succeeding in the Course:
  • There is no final exam in this course, so your success depends upon demonstrating the philosophical skills we build toward in required assignments.
  • Prep Cycle - view reading notes as you are reading, read, note, quiz, evaluate preparation. Hierarchy of skills and goals.
  • Reading - Keep track of the time you spend reading for the course. Mark a physical text. Contact me if your reading quiz scores are not what you expect. There are lots of ways to improve your reading skills.
  • Writing - Try to learn the rubric early on, read lots of other students' writing and compare scores, discuss your writing with me, especially during office hours. Because everything is transparent, you can compare your work to slightly higher and lower evaluated student work. This often leads to productive office hour discussions. (Some student introductions.)
  • Required Assignments and Default Grade Weights for your Grading Scheme
  • Points 35-65% default = 55%
  • Position Paper 1 15-25% default = 20%
  • Position Paper 2 20-30% default = 25%

  • First Day TO DO list
  • Make sure you can find the three course websites and that you understand what information and tools each provides.
  • Browse some links on the course wiki page, including old Happiness & Wisdom News!
  • Find reading for next class on wiki and pdfs from