Ram Neta – “Teaching Writing as a Second Language”

Date: April 5, 2017
Time: 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Location: Ahmadieh Family Lecture Hall - C105, Bay 4, Smith Warehouse

Please join us for a lecture by Ram Neta, Professor of Philosophy at UNC-Chapel Hill, on the potential of (digital) technology in assessing student writing, particularly in philosophy courses. Part of the Humanities Futures FHI-NCCU Digital Humanities Initiative.

Abstract: Anyone who teaches undergraduate students today is painfully aware that many of them are ineffective writers. How to help them improve? Proposals fall into one or both of two broad categories. The first category includes proposals to train students to comply with general rules (of spelling, grammar, organization, etc.) The second category includes proposals to train students to reflect carefully on the activity of writing. But proposals in both categories face a serious resources challenge: without the highly skilled person-hours necessary to provide students with timely, individualized feedback on their own work, how can they be trained either to comply with general rules or to reflect carefully on their own writing? In this presentation, Prof. Neta offers an answer to this question, and performs a demonstration of its effectiveness.

About the Speaker: Ram Neta specializes in epistemology and is currently at work on a book on the nature of knowledge. In particular, he is trying to understand what knowledge is by examining the various ways in which knowing some things depends upon knowing other things. He regularly teaches seminars in epistemology, occasionally teaches seminars in the philosophy of mind or the history of analytic philosophy, and also regularly teaches introductory courses in philosophy. Together with Walter Sinnott-Armstrong of Duke University, he teaches a Coursera course on reasoning to hundreds of thousands of students.