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ETHICAL ISSUES IN COMMUNICATION
Fall 2010. Thursdays To find out if classes will meet in bad weather, call 704-337-2567.
_____________________________________________________________________________ Instructor: Office: Leanne Pupchek, Ph.D. 101 Dana
Office Hours: Monday 1p.m. to 4 p.m. Tues./Thursday 10-11 a.m., noon – 1 p.m., 3 to 4:15 p.m. After class and by appointment. Phone: Textbooks: (704) 337-2240 (office) (704) 663-4861 (home before 6 p.m.) Arnett et al. (2009). Communication ethics literacy: Dialogue and difference Hugo, V., Les Miserables. (Suggested.)
Course Prerequisites: Graduate standing. Course Description: Enron. Madoff. Blair. Facebook. Adelphia. British Petroleum. The individuals and organizations practicing “What not to do” with regard to performing ethically often make the news, and their names linger as cultural shorthand for dishonor. But how do people distinguish between the wrong choices and the right ones? What standards can we hold up as “What to do” to guide our decision-making case by case? How do we take focus such concepts on our practice of communication? This course is designed to help you answer such questions. Guided by the dialogic framework provided by our text, that aspires to foster common ground in this historical moment when there seems to be none, you and your classmates will lead us all in discussions to explore ethical issues in
2 communication. Each week you will bring to class a response to the assigned material that analyzes and evaluates it according to your experience. Further, just as the text applies the theory to behavior and decision-making in contexts drawn from Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, you will demonstrate your understanding of the material by applying theory to scenes from a film. We will move on to discuss examples from our own experience and current events. You will finish each class adding to your original response by responding to our class activity. Course Objectives: After successfully completing this class, you will be able to: 1. Explain your understanding of the contributions of the concept of dialogue to communication ethics. 2. Explain why the authors contend that Learning is the first step in communication ethics. 3. Explain the ethical concept of “the Good.” 3. Explain the role of difference in identifying “the Good.” 4. Discuss at least five ethical concepts in depth in reflection papers. 5. Discuss ethical concepts thoroughly as they apply to one communication issue in a 10- to 15-page paper. 6. Illustrate your understanding of ethical guidelines in professional or personal contexts by applying them to your own experience and observations in class discussions and reflection papers. 7. Demonstrate appropriate use of ethics terminology in class discussions and reflection papers. COMM M.A. Students: Keep this syllabus and your completed assignments for your Capstone portfolio. Learning management system: Moodle Submit course assignments and other requested materials using the Learning Management System Moodle. To be able to use this system, your computer equipment needs to meet these specifications: PC: Access: 56.6 Kbps modem or cable modem/DSL if available Operating system: Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, ME, XP or Vista Browser: Explorer 5.5 or later, Firefox Mac: Access: 56.6 Kbps modem or cable modem/DSL if available Operating system: OS 9 or OS X Browser: Firefox You can get help with your technology needs by calling the QUEST help desk at 704-337-2323. For Moodle training, contact email@example.com.
3 Course Responsibilities: READING: This course requires reading about 60-100 pages a week. ATTENDING: Please let me know by e-mail and attach your reflection or submit it by Moodle if something will keep you out of class. You are responsible for the work you miss. Call classmates to review class activity. Students who miss more than three classes should meet with me to determine their likelihood of success. That being said, we all want you to miss the class if you are sick. Really. CONFORMING TO PROFESSIONAL WRITING STANDARDS: To meet my expectations for the style of your formal written work, please ensure you: 1. Review and follow the honor code. Cutting and pasting anything from the web without attribution is plagiarizing, even if you mix up the order of the words or change them to synonyms. (You can always go to the writing center in the basements of Sykes if you want to improve your prose.) 2. Submit all formal documents word-processed, double-spaced, in 11- or 12point type. 3. Conform to a standard academic reference and citation style. In the graduate program, we prefer American Psychological Association (APA) style. The library has quick reference guides, as do many websites. 4. Use standard print fonts (Arial, Times Roman, Helvetica). 5. Number each page of your document in the upper right-hand corner. 6. If you are submitting hard copies, attach a cover page that notes the title of your document, your name, course number, and e-mail address. Staple documents in the upper left-hand corner. COMPLETING ASSIGNMENTS: Submit assignments electronically by midnight the day before, or in hard copy at the beginning of class on the due date. Reflections Demonstrate your engagement with the reading by submitting weekly reflections that follow the prompts. Refer to your own experience or observations. Please submit reflections for nine (9) weeks. Due: Weekly Value: 45% (9@5%) Presentations: Ethics in contexts Lead the class discussion on the consideration of an ethical issue in communication in an interpersonal, intercultural, organizational or professional context. Illustrate the concept with a 15- to 30-second scene from a film. You may enhance the discussion by referring to additional
4 scholarly research and providing a short bibliography of additional materials. Due: Oct. 28, Nov. 4, Nov. 11 (One day of these three.) Value: 15% Paper Discuss an ethical issue in communication. Bring it to the last class for discussion. Topic Due: Sept. 30 Paper Due: Dec. 9 Value: 40% Grading scale: A B C F Superior work Good work. Could improve one of these areas: ideas, argument or grammar. Acceptable work. Needs to improve two of these areas: ideas, argument or grammar. Unacceptable work. Reflects unacceptable level of commitment or skill.
Students with disabilities: If you are a student with a verified disability and you require accommodations, please provide me with the memorandum from Student Disability Services. If you have questions or need such verification, contact: Sandy Rogelberg, MA, LPC, NCC Phone: 704-337-2508 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please read the assigned chapters and print out a 1-3 paragraph response for each class. Write your class reflection on the back of your reading response. Sept. 9 Introduction. Film discussion model. Template. Choose a day to lead the class. View: Les Miserables Write reflections according to Moodle prompts. Last day to add The necessity of communication ethics Reading: Preface, Ch. 1 Due: Reflections for Preface, Ch. 1
5 Presentations: The Good Historical Moment Postmodernity Learning Other questions and answers Discuss research topics. Last day to drop 23 Defining communication ethics NO CLASS MEETING: Chat on Moodle 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. Continue discussion on Moodle wiki Reading: Ch. 2 Due: Reflections for Ch. 2 Presentations: Philosophy of Communication Applied Communication Rhetorical function of Narrative Competing Narratives (Presenters, please post presentation and link to YouTube where you will find many materials to use as illustrations. I will review the wiki postings and use the announcements function of our Moodle site.) The pragmatic good of theory Reading: Ch. 3 Due: Reflections for Ch. 3 Presentations: Democratic communication ethics Universal – humanitarian Codes, procedures and standards Contextual Narrative Dialogic Due: Research topics. Carolinas Communication Assoc. Conference, Conway-Myrtle Beach SC
6 Oct. 7 Common Sense and Dialogue Reading: Ch.4, 5 Presentations: Common Sense Learning Theories Dialogue Buber Gadamer Freire Arendt Due: Reflections for Ch. 4, 5 Fall Break. No class. Public discourse ethics Reading: Ch. 6 Presentations: Public Good Accountability/eclipsing the ethical Public v. private space Due: Reflections for Ch. 6 Last day to withdraw CONTEXTS: Interpersonal and Intercultural communication ethics Reading: Ch. 7, 9 Due: Reflections for Ch.7 CONTEXTS: Organizational and professional Reading: Ch. 8, 10, 11 Due: Reflections for Ch. 8, 10, 11 Communication ethics literacy and difference Reading: Ch. 12 Due: Reflections for Ch. 12 Share drafts of your paper with peer reviewers. Professor away at conference. Due: 3-5 copies of your Research Paper Draft. Thanksgiving Break
7 Dec. 2 Research Paper Presentations, discussion Due: Presentations Research Paper Presentations, discussion Due: Presentations Due: Papers
Writing a reflection paper
The primary purpose for short reflection papers is to get you to digest your reading and class discussions by applying the new concepts or perspectives you are learning to your personal experience and observations. The reflection also gives you material to contribute to class discussions by either serving as the basis for your contributions, or prompting you to continue thinking and formulating a further response. In about two pages: 1. Summarize the reading. Tell me about what you read. Make sure you tell me how you felt about what you read. (I can go back to the original reading to review the content.) 2. Describe the theory that resonated particularly with you and how it applies to something you have seen or experienced. 3. If appropriate, describe something in the reading that you struggled with, and explore possible meanings for or applications of the concept on an additional page.
Excellent: Demonstrates insight into some of the material Features one concept Explores concept deeply rather than covering everything you read. Good: Connects ideas from other courses, work, current events etc. Provides acceptable application of the material
Incomplete Needs focus Needs application Needs organization Needs vocabulary/spelling/grammar review
9 Name: _____________________________
Contact information and Honor Code Pledge
Address: ________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ Phone number: _________________________________________________ E-mail: _________________________________________________________ Honor Code: As a member of the Queens Community, I will endeavor to create a spirit of integrity and honor for its own sake at Queens University of Charlotte. I pledge truthfulness and absolute honesty in the performance of all academic work. I pledge to be truthful at all times, to treat others with respect, to respect the property of others and to adhere to University policies. Accepting both the privileges and responsibilities of living by this code of honor, I resolve to uphold this code and not to tolerate any violations of its spirit or principles.
Signed: ___________________________________________Date: ___________