I will be a guest instructor online at LibertasU.com during its March-April 2014 and May-June 2014 semesters. LibertasU is a new “independent and nonsectarian private institution, devoted to making high quality, liberal arts courses available to as many people as possible” through a unique, virtual-reality educational environment that supports highly-interactive, real-time Socratic Method seminars — for participants situated anywhere in the world.
During each seven-week semester I will be teaching lifelong learning Socratic Method seminar courses, one of which will focus on a single text in two-hour class sessions and the other of which will compare several texts in three-hour class sessions.
In the seven-week March-April 2014 semester I will be teaching:
- On Human Excellence: Plato’s Meno as “Philosophical Drama” [2-Hour Classes]
- Apologies of Socrates and Gospels of Jesus [3-Hour Classes]
In the seven-week May-June 2014 semester I will be teaching:
- On Human Excellence:
Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics as “Practical Wisdom” [2-Hour Classes]
- “The Holy Trible”: Coordinated Readings
from the Hebrew Bible, New Testament and Qur’an [3-Hour Classes]
To give prospective students an opportunity to sample an online Socratic Method seminar for themselves, I will also be teaching two instances of a free one-hour seminar before each semester. In February:
- God’s Gadfly: A Socratic Method Seminar on Socrates [Free 1-Hour Class]
The first instance will occur Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 7:00-8:00pm CST.
The second instance will occur Saturday, 22 February 2014 at 10:00-11:00am CST.
- Virtue as Moderation: An Introduction to Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics
[Free 1-Hour Class]
The first instance will occur Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 7:00-8:00pm CDT.
The second instance will occur Saturday, 10 May 2014 at 10:00-11:00am CDT.
Registration for all LibertasU seminars and courses is open to everyone. Participation requires an Internet-connected computer (PC or Mac) with a microphone-equipped headset. Details available at LibertasU.com.
About My Online Lifelong Learning Socratic Method Seminars
Although my online lifelong learning Socratic Method seminars take place in a virtual environment, they operate in essentially the same manner as my real-world lifelong learning Socratic Method seminars. That is to say: that my online courses are run as true Socratic Method seminars structured to facilitate students’ critical, collaborative, first-hand engagement with one or more “Great Books”, through which students develop a deeper understanding both of the focal text(s) and of themselves — as well as of the world of which the focal text(s) and they are a part. Or, in still other words: that my online lifelong learning Socratic Method seminars are simply modern “high tech” manifestations of an ancient “high touch” endeavor.
Homework for my lifelong learning Socratic Method seminars consists of assigned readings of the focal text(s) which serve as the basis for classroom discussion. No papers are ever required and no exams are ever given. Unless specifically noted in the course description, no prior knowledge or experience is required for any of them.
LibertasU was founded in 2011 with the goal of making quality higher education available at an affordable price to anyone with a computer and Internet connection. After two years of development, the first regular classes were begun in January 2014. The LibertasU “platform” features:
[M]ulti-user, 3D virtual environments in which students and teachers are represented by human looking avatars. The avatars can walk around, sit, stand and even gesture. Everyone sees and can speak to the other avatars present in the same space, so that lively discussions take place in real time.
(As Ma Bell’s long distance telephone ads used to say: “It’s the next best thing to being there.” )
More information about LibertasU, including about courses by other instructors, is available at the school’s website as well as on its Facebook page and on its YouTube channel (where you can watch recorded snippets of previous classes).