Learning doesn't stop after graduation. In a new program called Alumni College, UW-Whitewater is offering people the chance to delve into fascinating subjects in philosophy, religion and history.
Courses will be taught over the summer using Second Life, an online virtual classroom. Second Life allows alumni from anywhere in the world to participate using an avatar - an on-screen representation of a person. You'll see and hear the professor, just like a regular classroom.
"You choose what you look like," said Chris Calvert-Minor, assistant professor of philosophy. "One of the advantages of Second Life is you can join the classroom anonymously." Calvert-Minor said students are often more comfortable participating and contributing to controversial discussions through an avatar.
It's up to students to decide how much they want to participate. Since the courses are free and no grades or credits will be given, there are no requirements.
"You can join as many sessions as you like. You can decide whether or not to do the assignments," said Calvert-Minor. "This is a chance for alumni to broaden their perspectives and realize the joy of lifelong learning. My advice is to at least try it. There's no commitment."
For more information, or to join Alumni College, contact one of the instructors listed to the right. They can also answer any technology questions.
History 102 - Introduction to American Indian Studies
An interdisciplinary introduction to the history, literature, art and religion of Native Americans designed for students seeking a basic understanding of American Indians. Emphasis will be given to the contemporary scene.
July 9 - 27, Monday and Wednesday 6 - 7 p.m.
Contact Tony Gulig at firstname.lastname@example.org
History 386 - Modern Japan
A discussion of Japan's emergence into the modern world, centering on the Japanese transformation from a secluded feudal nation to a powerful industrialized state.
May 29 - June 15, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 7 - 8:45 p.m.
Contact Rod Wilson at email@example.com
Philosophy 241 - Introduction to Philosophy
An introduction to philosophical thought. Representative philosophers and representative issues, such as the nature of ethical reasoning, rival theories of knowledge and the individual's relation to society are considered. Emphasis is on argument and analysis and on issues which are relevant to philosophical problems.
July 9 - August 17, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 5:30 - 6:50 p.m.
Contact Chris Calvert-Minor at firstname.lastname@example.org
Religious Studies 301 - Critical Issues in Modern Religion
An introduction to selected critical issues relating to contemporary academic concerns. Topics from religion to modern culture to intellectual problems will be analyzed and discussed.
May 29 - July 6, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 5:30 - 6:50 p.m.
Contact David Simmons at email@example.com