CEI Teacher Resources
Proposal questions & sample responses
Best practices and characteristics of good assignments
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Contemporary Ethical Issues Focus
Best practices and characteristics of good assignments*
- Contemporary Ethical Issues (E) Focus rubric (Click here)
- Characteristics of good assignments
- In Fall 2012, a group of faculty members with experience teaching Contemporary Ethical Issues (E)
Focus classes generated a list of characteristics of good E
assignments. A good E assignment has one or more of these characteristics:
- Asks students to connect ethical issues or materials to personal values and experiences.
- Encourages students to discover commonalities and differences with their peers.
- Asks students to reflect on current, concrete, relevant ethical issues.
- Gives students alternative frameworks that allow them to talk about ethical issues. (e.g., students use both utilitarian and values approaches).
- Makes ethical reasoning relevant to studentsí future professional and personal lives.
- Makes a connection of the inter-dependence of individual and community.
- Makes a connection between short and long term consequences.
- Makes students grapple with the complexities and grey areas of an ethical issue.
- Makes it clear that students can disagree with each other and with the instructor as long as they appropriately apply an ethical reasoning framework.
- Asks students to explore the challenges in bridging the gap between moral reasoning and practice.
- Uses cases/scenarios.
- The faculty group also noted the following:
- Avoid assignments that have one pre-set correct answer [see #8 above];
- Establish ground rules of respect and privacy; and
- Protect studentsí right to limit personal disclosure (have a disclosure agreement/guidelines).
E Focus Student Learning Outcomes
Here is a collection of sample assignments that might guide you in developing your own assignments to help students achieve the learning outcomes effectively. The E Board thanks the following faculty members who have made the following assignments available and helped us with annotation: Victoria Anderson, Ho Leung Ng, Jenifer Winter, Brien Hallett, and Catherine Sophian.
identify ethical issues in a contemporary situation/professional setting;
deliberate responsibly on ethical issues using tools/processes/frameworks;
form sound ethical judgments.
*The E Board thanks Monica Stitt-Bergh for her help in arranging the materials on this page.