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Evaluating the Impact of Engaged Philosophy in the Online Classroom: Lessons Learned Public Deposited

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  • As an Oregon State Ecampus Research Fellow, I designed and initiated a research study that aimed to: 1) investigate tools and techniques for engaged, experiential online learning with undergraduate philosophy students and 2) propose disciplinespecific criteria for evaluating the impact of these pedagogical interventions. The study was designed to answer the following research question: Will an engaged, experiential learning intervention increase students’ understanding of and interest in core course concepts? I hoped to test my hypothesis that online teaching and learning enhances philosophical education by creating unique and valuable opportunities for community engagement and experiential learning. This hypothesis—based on my experience designing, teaching, and revising PHL 360: Philosophy and the Arts—runs counter to received disciplinary wisdom; because philosophical pedagogical practices rely heavily on real-time Socratic questioning and argument analysis, online courses are often considered to be a derivative replacement for on-campus courses. To prove otherwise, I would need a convincing evidencebased demonstration of the advantages of online learning and teaching. This paper will offer an experiential account of my project and address obstacles I faced as a philosopher, beginning research to evaluate the effectiveness of an online, experiential assignment.
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  • Jenkins, S. (2018). Evaluating the impact of engaged Philosophy in the online classroom: Lessons learned. White Paper. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Ecampus Research Unit.
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