University of Kansas, Fall 2004
Philosophy 160: Introduction to Ethics


Here are links to the quizzes:

General Information

Thirteen percent of your overall grade will be determined by your scores on thirteen short quizzes (one percentage point per quiz). Here is some information about these quizzes.

The Basics
  1. There is one quiz for each chapter that we are reading of The Elements of Moral Philosophy, except for chapters 3 and 4, for which there are not two quizzes, but three. (So there are thirteen quizzes for the twelve chapters we’re reading.)
  2. All the quizzes’ content will be on the course web site, not on Blackboard. But after you go through each quiz, writing down your answers, you’ll log in to Blackboard and enter your answers there in order to immediately get credit for the quiz in the online gradebook on Blackboard. You’ll also have the option of taking a short survey to give me some feedback about the quiz, the chapter it covers, and/or other things. Each quiz has to be taken by a certain time (details below).
  3. Each quiz is open-book (and, if you have taken notes on the chapter, open-note). So, for each quiz, you should read the chapter beforehand, possibly take notes on it, and then bring the book with you to the computer where you’ll be taking the quiz so that you can refer to it in order to answer the questions.
  4. These quizzes are designed to help you to notice, to understand, and to internalize the most important points made in each chapter. Most quizzes will have between 5 and 10 questions, and each quiz’s purpose is not to test your comprehension of the corresponding chapter but, rather, to enhance your comprehension of the chapter by (a) drawing your attention to important aspects of the chapter, (b) posing specific questions to get you to think about and analyze these important aspects of the chapter, and (c) providing answer-specific feedback for wrong answers so that you can understand the material better and figure out what the right answer is.
  5. The quizzes are set up so that you can go back and re-answer any questions that you have gotten wrong. So, there is no reason why you should not get a perfect score on every quiz. To have time to read each question carefully, look at your book, answer the question, and (possibly) re-answer it, you should probably set aside a substantial amount of time. This is the first semester I’ve used these quizzes, so it is hard to say how much time should be devoted to taking each one. But I would suggest devoting an hour per quiz, as an initial estimate.
  6. Each time you finish a quiz on Blackboard (which requires having done it on the course web site first), your score will automatically be entered into the online gradebook on Blackboard and another one percent of your overall course grade will have been determined.
Survey Questions
  1. Each quiz will be followed by a optional survey. Its first question will invite you to identify any of the quiz questions as ones you would like for me to talk about in class (because, for example, it was especially challenging, or you are not sure your got the point of it, or whatever). After each quiz and survey, I’ll look at Blackboard’s tally of all the responses and get a sense of the class’s overall level of interest in each question. What Blackboard will show me will look something like this:
Question 1 Multiple Answer

Are there any questions that you would like for the professor to talk about in class?
Answers Percent Answered
question 1 9.3%
question 2 6.1%
question 3 13.4%
question 4 34.1%
question 5 19.7%
Blackboard will also tell me the number of people who took the survey, so I’ll be able to convert the percentages into actual numbers of people.
  1. The second question on the survey will invite you to comment on any of the quiz questions. I’ll see all your comments in a list, like this:
Question 2 Essay

Would you like to comment on any of the quiz questions?
Given Answers
172 Unanswered Response(s)
I couldn’t understand why A was not the answer to number 5.
The wording of number 3 was confusing.
That question was a lot harder than the others!
. . .
[and so on, listing all the responses one by one]
First Blackboard indicates how many people did not offer a comment; then it just lists all the comments that were offered. Note that the comments are separated from the answers to the previous question, so if you make a comment, be sure it will be clear when read in isolation (unlike, say, the third comment in the example above).
  1. Occasionally I may also include additional survey questions to get feedback from you on other matters. As I said, the surveys are entirely optional; they will not be graded (nor will your responses even be identified with you personally), and will not affect your overall grade.
Deadlines and Missed Quizzes
  1. As I mentioned above, each quiz has to be taken by a certain time. For each quiz, the deadline is 8 a.m. on the day when we have the class before which the corresponding chapter is to have been read. So, the deadline for each quiz will be either a Tuesday at 8 a.m. or a Thursday at 8 a.m. Then the quiz will no longer be available to take on Blackboard, though the full content of the quiz will remain viewable on the course web site.
  2. Each quiz will become available on the course web site and on Blackboard at least 36 hours prior to the time when it has to be completed (i.e., by 8 p.m. two days before its due date).
  3. If you are unable to take a quiz by the time it is due, then your grade for that quiz will be determined by your grade on the test on that part of the course (either the test on meta-ethics or the test on normative ethics). If you miss any of the quizzes in the meta-ethics part of the course, then let your teaching assistant know soon after he or she has graded your test on meta-ethics (i.e., not more than a week or two after he or she returns your graded test to you). Then he or she will manually change your grade for that quiz from 0 to whatever you got on the meta-ethics test. And likewise if you miss any of the quizzes on the normative-ethics part of the course. There is no need to tell your teaching assistant (or me) at the time when you miss a quiz; just let your teaching assistant know after you have taken the corresponding test and it has been graded. Note that it is then your responsibility to inform your teaching assistant that you have a quiz grade that needs to be manually changed. Otherwise, that quiz grade will remain a 0.

Please remember that these quizzes are meant to help you learn the material better, not just test your initial comprehension of the chapter. (These are, after all, essentially free points added to your grade.) So please take full advantage of them by reading each chapter carefully first, and then allowing at least an hour to take each quiz.