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Ethics Perspective


OUR PURPOSE is twofold: (1) We are to assist anyone who wishes to develop a course that would meet either of the two categories of general education credit, and (2) We will review all courses submitted for GE ethics credit before the course goes to the General Education Council. Our charge, and intention, is to be inclusive while working toward having a group of courses ready for the incoming freshman class of September 2005.



        Ethics is a component of the perspectives area of the new General Education plan. From the Ohio University General Education document (pages 3 and 4):


Students are expected to take a minimum of three learning units from each of four perspectives: Aesthetics, Culture, Ethics, and Science and Technology. Learning units may be earned in both dedicated and enriched courses.



All graduates, no matter what careers they choose, will face personal and professional decisions that require ethical judgment. Often ,common senseŠ is not a sufficient guide in making such decisions. Experience analyzing problems from an ethical perspective in an academic setting can be of value in preparing an individual to understand and resolve ethical questions in life.


Criteria for dedicated courses (two learning units): Dedicated courses lead students, as the central focus and main work of the course, to engage in such activities or topics as : (a) the definition and evaluation of different types of problems from an ethical perspective; (b) the understanding and appreciation of the historical development of ethics and ethical concepts.


Criteria for enriched courses ( one learning unit): Enriched courses will lead students to engage in the same sorts of activities or topics indicated for dedicated courses in Ethics, but not as the central focus and main work of the course. The quality of instruction and assignments in Ethics are more important than quantity; however, as an approximate measure, engagement with the study of ethics related topics may involve a quarter of the work for a four-credit hour course.


Course approval process: Courses are reviewed by an advisory committee of faculty with relevant expertise, who are designated by and who report recommendations to the General Education Council, which reports to the University Curriculum Council.



The Advisory Committee‰s Pondering


As we have discussed our role and the guidelines we would use as we assist and recommend we have come up with some evolving distinctions between ,dedicatedŠ and ,enriched.Š Remember these are evolving.




1. Close to 100% of the content of the course         


1. Approximately 25% of the content

2. Any complete description of the course makes it clear that ethics is the subject.

2. Clear link to underlying discipline

3. Includes broad outlines of the theories        

3. Distinguishes between ethical

thought and other forms of thought.

4. Documentation of expertise in staffing constraints involved in staffing, and how department will assure those standards are met.

4. Ethics in this course means. . .


5. Provides students with resources to make explicit the link between the history of ethical thought and the material in this




RESOURCES we have found


Web sites


From the December 2003 Ethics Workshop


1.     Ethics Update ---

A great resource site with information on ethical theories and ethical theorists ‹ text, PowerPoint presentations, and streaming lectures. Also includes a lot of short case studies for discussion.


2.     Moral Reasoning Strategy --- http://www/

Site also includes some good basic information on ethical theory, ethics and technology, and business ethics.


3.     End Game ---

A very good interactive case from PBS. Uses video. This site loads very slowly. It has taken as long as 4 to 5 minutes, but it is worth the wait.


4.     Disparate Treatment at Southern State ---

        A good multipart case on an ethical dilemma facing a faculty member.


5.     Business Ethics ---

For business types, a number of cases, some interactive, including an interesting focus on Enron and ethics.


6.     Learning to Teach with Technology Studio ---

        A good course on how to do a Web Quest.


7.     On-line questionnaires:

        National Ethics Survey


        Environics Survey


Advisory Committee Contact Information


Chair: Kathleen Rose-Grippa

Department: Nursing
Grover Center E352



Scott Carson                         
Department: Philosophy


Warren Galbreath     

Department: Social Work: Eastern Campus


Will Lamb   

Department: Management Systems           


David Matolak

Department: Electrical Engineering        


Mike Rowe   

Department: BIOS                           




University College
Chubb Hall 140
Athens, Ohio 45701
(740) 593-1935

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