This course provides an overview of major works of social thought from the beginning of the modern era through the 1920s. Attention is paid to social and intellectual contexts, conceptual frameworks and methods, and contributions to contemporary social analysis. Writers include Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Adam Smith, Marx, Weber, and Durkheim.
Type of Material:
This Yale Online Course is designed for a wide range of people around the world, among them self-directed and life-long learners, educators, and high school and college students. The integrated, highly flexible web interface allows users, in effect, to audit Yale undergraduate courses if they wish to. It also gives the user a wide variety of other options for structuring the learning process, for example downloading, redistributing, and remixing course materials.
Mostly undergraduates but a useful refresher for graduate students - especially those who are weak on some early theorists.
High Speed Internet. Ability to use a browser and to download material as needed. Flash is also required.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
1.Attain an overview of major works of social thought from the beginning of the modern era through the 1920s.
2. Become acquainted with social and intellectual contexts, conceptual frameworks and methods, and contributions to contemporary social analysis.
3. Recognize the writings of key pioneers in the field such as Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Adam Smith, Marx, Weber, and Durkheim.
Target Student Population:
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Ability to use the internet and download materials. The course material does not appear to have per-requisite knowledge needed.
- Lectures in video by an eminent scholar at Yale.
- Visual, audio, and some interactive media.
- Broken down in manageable chapters and each chapter is further broken down into segments.
- The exams provide a student evaluation of learning.
- Ease of access and free.
- Engaging style - brings in "real world" examples and shows how the early theorists are still viable today.
Some awkward phrasing (e.g., who wears the hat in the family) could be troublesome for some. Also some examples seem quite out of date.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Good summary of a large array of authors.
Cumbersome formatting in transcript. Flash is less and less available as a medium to view content. Could use more built-in interaction with professor or assistants (this might be supplied by an instructor who adopts parts of this course).
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
- Intuitively laid out. All resources for each chapter are available on a single page.
- There is a horizontal menu that will take you to the syllabus and overview of the course
- The chapter lecture is broken down to segments which can be jumped to with a click of the hotlink in the lower right hand corner.
- Transcripts are available in Word format.
Formatting and Flash player.
Other Issues and Comments:
Instructors are free to use portions for their course. It could be used in either face-to-face or online courses.
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