Course Syllabus

Course Information
Course Expectations

Course Information

Course Description

A review of selected ethical theories, concepts, and principles with emphasis on their application in business, the professions, and the contemporary workplace. The course will introduce students to six key theories in traditional moral philosophy -- utilitarianism, pragmatism, deontological ethics (both Kantian and Rossian), virtue ethics, ethics of care, and contractarian ethics -  along with two prominent theories of modern business ethics - shareholder theory and stakeholder theory. Students will then be required to apply these theories to help resolve or at least clarify a range of ethical dilemmas that typically occur in the world of modern business and the professions - a dynamic and constantly shifting world in which new technologies, economic developments, and practices continue to generate new controversies along with new sets of social expectations, legal demands, and ethical standards. Among the moral issues that will be analyzed and discussed are: privacy, conflict of interest, confidentiality, whistle-blowing, breach of contract, organizational oversight, policy violations, fairness, fiduciary responsibility, and social responsibility.

Course Learning Goals

After completing this course, you will be able to:

Course Competencies

In this course, you will develop the following competencies:


Competence Statement and Criteria


Can apply theories and models of person perception, communication and group dynamics to analyzing and improving workplace relationships and groups.


Can analyze a problem using two different ethical systems.


Course Resources

In addition to the print, web, and film resources listed below, you will also be able to access and download a copy of the course Dictionary and Resource Guide from the course website. This Guide contains a more detailed list of resources as well as short bios of key figures and a lexicon of technical terms relating to business and professional ethics.

To buy your books, go to

Required Texts:

1. Timmons, Mark. Moral Theory: An Introduction. 2nd edition. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2013.

2. Snoeyenbos, Milton, Robert Almeder, and James Humber (eds.). Business Ethics. 3rd edition. Chapter 2. "Ethics and Organizations." New York, Prometheus Books, 2001. Available from DePaul University Library electronic reserves (ARes) system.

Recommended Texts

Rachels, James and Stuart Rachels (ed.). The Elements of Moral Philosophy. 7th Edition. Hightstown, NJ: McGraw Hill, 2011.

Rachels, James and Stuart Rachels (eds.). The Right Thing to Do: Basic Readings in Moral Philosophy. 4th Edition. Hightstown, NJ: McGraw Hill, 2007.

Singer, Peter, ed. Ethics (Oxford Readers). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Audi, Robert, ed. The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy. 2nd ed. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Blackburn, Simon, ed. Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Turkel, Susan Neiberg, ed. Encyclopedia of Ethics. New York: Facts on file, 1999.

Additional Print Resources

Aristotle. Nichomachean Ethics. New York: Penguin, 1976.

Attfield, Adam. Environmental Ethics: An Overview for the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge, UK: Blackwell Publishing, 2003.

Beccaria, Cesare. An Essay on Crimes and Punishments. Boston: International Pocket Library, 1983.

Bentham, Jeremy. Benthamiana, or, select extracts from the works of Jeremy Bentham: with an outline of his opinions on the principal subjects discussed in his works. Edited by John Hill Burton. Holmes Beach, FL.: Gaunt, 1998.

Binmore, K.G. Game Theory and the Social Contract: Playing Fair. MIT Press, 1994.

Cooper, David E., ed. Ethics: The Classic Readings. Blackwell Publishing.

Dewey, John and James Hayden Tufts. Ethics. New York: Holt and Company, 1909.

Donaldson, Thomas and Patricia Werhane. Ethical Issues in Business: A Philosophical Approach. (8th edition). Prentice Hall, 2007.

Gautier, David. Morals by Agreement. Oxford, UK: The Clarendon Press, 1986.

Gilligan, Carol. In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women's Development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982.

Goliszek, Andrew. In the Name of Science: A History of Secret Programs, Medical Research, and Human Experimentation. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2003.

Habermas, Jurgen. Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001.

Harman, Gilbert, et. al., ed. Moral Relativism and Moral Objectivity. Blackwell, 1996.

Held, Virginia. Justice and Care: Essential Readings in Feminist Ethics. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1995.

Jaggar, Alison M. and Iris Young, eds. A Companion to Feminist Philosophy. Oxford: Blackwell, 1998.

James, William. Pragmatism.

Kant. Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. Cambridge Univ. Press, 1988.

Marx, Karl. The Marx-Engels Reader. Robert C. Tucker, ed. W.W. Norton, 1978.

Mill, John Stuart. Utilitarianism. On Liberty. Considerations on Representative Government. New York: Everyman, 1913.

Moser, Paul, K. (ed.) Moral Relativism: A Reader. New York, Oxford University Press, 2000.

Noddings, Nel. Caring: A Feminine Approach to Ethics and Moral Education. 2nd edition. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.

Plato. The Last Days of Socrates : Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo. New York: Penguin.

-----. Protagoras and Meno. Penguin. New York: Penguin, 1974.

Putnam, Hilary. Ethics without Ontology. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004.

Rawls, John. Lectures on the History of Moral Philosophy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000.

-----. Justice as Fairness. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001.

Rorty, Richard. Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth. Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Scruton, Roger. Kant. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982.

Singer, Peter. Animal Liberation. Rev. ed. Avon/Hearst, 1991.

-----. Practical Ethics. Cambridge University Press, 1993.

-----. One World: The Ethics of Globalization. 2nd Ed. New Haven, CN: Yale University, 2004.

Thoreau, Henry David. Civil Disobedience. Solitude. Life without Principle. Prometheus Books, 1998.

Tronto, Joan. Moral Boundaries: A Political Argument for an Ethics of Care. New York: Routledge, 1994.


Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.


Columbia Encyclopedia Online.

Association for Practical and Professional Ethics:


Fiction and Drama

A list of classic literary works about ethical conflicts in business and professional life.

Camus, Albert. The Plague.
Dickens, Charles. Bleak House.
_____. A Christmas Carol.
_____. Hard Times.
_____. Little Dorrit.
_____. Nicholas Nickleby.
_____. Our Mutual Friend.
Dreiser, Theodore. An American Tragedy.
_____. The Financier.
_____. Sister Carrie.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby.
Ibsen, Henrik. An Enemy of the People.
Lewis, Sinclair. Main Street.
­­­­_____. Babbitt.
Mamet, David. Glengarry Glen Ross.
Melville, Herman. The Confidence Man.
_____. "Bartleby the Scrivener."
Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman.
Norris, Frank. The Octopus.
Rand, Ayn. Atlas Shrugged.
_____. The Fountainhead.
Shakespeare, William. The Merchant of Venice.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus.
Sinclair, Upton. The Jungle.
Twain, Mark. A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court.


Anxiety, intrigue, greed, disillusionment, and good vs. evil in business and the professional workplace as depicted on the silver screen:

Employee's Entrance (1933)
Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940)
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
Executive Suite (1954)
The Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying (1967)
Save the Tiger (1973)
Serpico (1973)
All the President's Men (1976)
Network (1976)
Coma (1978)
The China Syndrome (1979)
Nine to Five (1980)
Wall Street (1987)
Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988)
Working Girl (1988)
Other People's Money (1991)
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
The Firm (1993)
The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
Quiz Show (1994)
Extreme Measures (1996)
Jerry McGuire (1996)
The Rainmaker (1997)
The Spanish Prisoner (1997)
A Civil Action (1998)
The Insider (1999)
Boiler Room (2000)
Erin Brockovich (2000)
The Corporation (2004)
Michael Clayton (2007)
Up in the Air (2009)
The Informant (2009)
Wall Street II: Money Never Sleeps (2010)
Too Big to Fail (2011)
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

How the Outcome will be Addressed in this Course:

In this course, you will develop the following outcomes:


You will be able to define, explain, and illustrate key terms and concepts in ethical theory, including realism, relativism, consequentialism, and deontology.


You will be able to identify and explain the basic principles of 10 different moral theories (including utilitarianism, pragmatism, Kantian ethics, duties ethics, virtue theory, ethics of care, social contract theory, justice theory, shareholder theory, and stakeholder theory) and apply each theory to help resolve or clarify a moral dilemma in business or the modern workplace.


You will be able to analyze and evaluate competing perspectives on a range of important issues in contemporary business and professional life (including whistle-blowing, privacy, confidentiality, fiduciary responsibility, employee rights and responsibilities, oversight, and ethical issues relating to sales and marketing).


You will be able to compare and assess the theories and arguments of a selection of leading moral philosophers and economic theorists (including Bentham, Mill, Peirce, James, Singer, Kant, WD Ross, Aristotle, Noddings, Hobbes, Rawls, Adam Smith, and Milton Friedman).

Course Structure

This course consists of a series of ten modules (many of which are sub-divided into smaller sections called units). It is organized into two main parts. The first part (modules 1-6) is mostly introductory. Its purpose is to provide the basic resources, knowledge, and technical information - including historical background and critical terminology - that you will need in order to demonstrate a satisfactory level of philosophical literacy. Obviously, this doesn't mean that after completing the first six modules you'll be able to hire yourself out as an expert in moral philosophy or write learned treatises in metaphysics or theology. What it does mean is that you'll have achieved a very adequate grasp of several important philosophical theories and principles and will be able to apply them to some of the more controversial and vexing issues in modern business and professional life.

So the first part of the course is mainly introductory - a training period or preparation for the second part, which is mostly about practical application and demonstration. The second part (modules 7-10) is largely concerned with applying the theories, principles, vocabulary, and philosophical insights introduced in modules 1-6 to a range of ethical problems typically encountered in the contemporary workplace - from whistle-blowing and conflicts of interest to violations of confidentiality and privacy.

It is assumed that no student in the course will have had much, if any, previous experience studying philosophy. Which means that many of you may find the first six course modules (in which you will be introduced to strange words like deontology and consequentialism and to technical concepts and theories like categorical imperative, communicative action and neo-pragmatism) slow-going and perhaps even a little intimidating. Unfortunately, this is largely unavoidable, since even introductory philosophy involves material that can be rugged and difficult. Nevertheless, the hope here is that the modules will present this material in a way that you will find lively, stimulating, and relatively painless.

Hopefully, you will find the second part of the course (modules 7-10) less technical and less of a grind. It should help that the emphasis in these modules shifts from theory to practice - that is, from acquiring a base of abstract knowledge and technical information to applying that knowledge to real-life moral issues. Presumably, you already have your own views on many of these issues (e.g., employee rights, fairness and tax policy) and, armed with new philosophical insights, should enjoy presenting those views in written form and debating them with fellow class members.

Week,  Module # and Title



Week 1, Module 1:

Introduction to Ethical Theory: Basic Concepts and Definitions


















Timmons, Chapters 1 and 3
Look up the terms "Relativism," "Moral Realism," "Consequentialism," and "Deontology" in the Course Dictionary and Resource Guide
Read articles on "Relativism," "Moral Realism," and "Consequentialism" in the IEP
Read article on Deontological Ethics in the SEP

Note: The Extraordinary Chemistry of Ordinary Things textbook is frequently updated; thus the chapter numbers may be different. Look for the chapter titles instead of chapter and page numbers. Thus far the publisher has not made major changes in the substance of each chapter.]

Study tip for all textbook readings You may find that instead of reading the chapter from beginning to end in one sitting, it might be more effective to skim through and read only the section headings and all the pictures, diagrams, tables, and graphs the first time. Once you have an idea about the material, go and read it thoroughly from beginning to end. Some people like to look at the questions at the end before reading through a chapter. You will soon learn what is the best approach for you. This may take some practice especially if you are new to material relating to the physical sciences.


1.1 Realism vs. Relativism

1.2 Consequentialism vs. Deontology

1.3 Introduction Discussion

Week 2, Module 2:

Consequentialist Ethics







Timmons, Chapters 5 and 6
Entries for Bentham, Mill, Singer, Utilitarianism, Dewey, James, Pierce, and Pragmatism in the Course Dictionary and Resource Guide
William James, "What Pragmatism Means"
Hugh LaFollette, "Pragmatic Ethics"

Recommended Readings:

Peter Singer's NYT article on donating to charity to relieve world poverty

2.1 Utilitarianism

2.2 Pragmatism

2.3 Utilitarianism vs. Pragmatism Discussion

Week 3, Module 3:

Deontological Ethics










Timmons, Chapters 8 and 9
Entries on Kant, the Categorical Imperative, the Universality Test, Ross, Deontology, Duty, and Role Theory in the course Dictionary and Resource Guide

Recommended Readings:

Article on Ross in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Or the article in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

3.1 Kantian Ethics

3.2 Ross and Prima Facie Duties

3.3 An Emergency Room Dilemma- Kant vs. Ross Discussion

Week 4, Module 4:

Contractarian Ethics









Rachels, The Elements of Moral Philosophy, Chapter 6 (available from DePaul Libraries electronic reserve)
Articles on Social Contract Theory and John Rawls in the IEP
Entries on Hobbes, Social Contract Theory and Rational Choice Theory, the Prisoner's Dilemma, the Diner's Dilemma, Tragedy of the Commons, Rawls, Fairness, the Equal Liberty Principle, the Fair Equality of Opportunity Principle, and the Difference Principle in the course Dictionary and Resource Guide

4.1 Contractarian Ethics

4.2 Rawls' Theory of Justice

4.3 Rational Choice Ethics, Fairness, Moral Hazard, and the Healthcare Debate Discussion

Week 5, Module 5:

Virtue Ethics and Ethics of Care








Timmons, Chapter 10
Entries on Aristotle, the Doctrine of the Mean, Virtue Theory, Gilligan, Noddings, Tronto, and Held in the course Dictionary and Resource Guide
Article on "Feminist Ethics" (especially the portion on Ethics of Care) in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Recommended Reading:

Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, Book I, chapter 13; Book II, chapters 5-9; Book III, chapters 6-11; and Book IV

5.1 Virtue Ethics

5.2 Care Ethics

5.3 Care Ethics in the Workplace Discussion

Week 6, Module 6:

Shareholder Theory and Stakeholder Theory






Snoeyenbos, pp. 72-93 and 101-126
Entries on Shareholder Theory, Adam Smith, Social Responsibility, and Stakeholder Theory in the Course Dictionary and Resource Guide


Video: R. Edward Freeman and Stakeholder Theory


6.1 Shareholder Theory

6.2 Stakeholder Theory

6.3 Goldilocks Discussion

Week 7, Module 7:

Ethical Problems and Controversies I: Whistle-blowing





Review the sample Whistle-blower protection policy for a non-profit organization

Recommended Films:

Serpico (1973)
The Insider (1999)
Erin Brockovich (2000)
The Informant (2009)

7.1 Whistle-blowing

7.2 The Whistle-blower: Hero or Snitch? Discussion

Week 8, Module 8:

Ethical Problems and Controversies II: Confidentiality and Privacy





Entry on Privacy in Course Dictionary and Resource Guide


Review a recent article and documentary about electronic-age privacy by Scientific American and NPR:

8.1 Privacy and Confidentiality

8.2 Wikileaks: Public servant or a fence for stolen information? Discussion

Week 9, Module 9:

Ethical Problems and Controversies III: Fiduciary Responsibility and Oversight




  • Entries on Fiduciary and Fiduciary trust in Course Dictionary and Resource Guide

9.1 Fiduciary Responsibility

9.2 "Who shall oversee the overseers themselves?" Discussion

eek 10, Module 10:

Ethical Problems and Controversies IV: Employee Rights and Responsibilities; Ethical Issues in Sales, Advertising, and Marketing




10.1 Employee Rights and Responsibilities

10.2 Assessment and Review Discussion


Course Modules and Units

Module One: Introduction to Ethical Theory. Basic Concepts and Definitions.

Unit One: Realism and Relativism.

Unit Two: Consequentialism and Deontology

Module Two: Consequentialist ethics.

Unit One: Utilitarianism.

Unit Two: Pragmatism.

Module Three: Deontological Ethics.

Unit One: Kant and the Categorical Imperative.

Unit Two: Ross and Prima Facie Duties.

Module Four: Contractarian Ethics.

Unit One: Social Contract Theory and Rational Choice Theory.

Unit Two: Rawls and Fairness.

Module Five: Virtue Ethics and Ethics of Care.

Unit One: Aristotle and Virtue Theory.

Unit Two: Ethics of Care.

Module Six: Shareholder Theory and Stakeholder Theory.

Unit One: Shareholder Theory.

Unit Two: Stakeholder Theory.

Module Seven: Problems and Controversies I: Whistle-blowing.

Module Eight: Problems and Controversies II: Confidentiality and Privacy.

Module Nine: Problems and Controversies III: Fiduciary Responsibility; Oversight.

Module Ten: Problems and Controversies IV: Employee rights and responsibilities; Ethical issues in sales, advertising, and marketing.

Course Map

The following table provides a rough estimate of the time it will probably take you to complete each of the required learning activities, assignments, or forum posts. Obviously, it may take you a little less time if you're a fast worker; a bit longer if you tend to read or write at a slower pace. Overall, the total time you're likely to need to devote to your coursework is somewhere between 60 and 85 hours.

As you review the table and begin planning your own work schedule, please note the following policies:


Module, Unit, Assignment #, or Forum #

Estimated Completion Time

Week 1

Module 1

3 hours

(6-8 hrs.)

Assignment 1.1 (6 points)

1-2 hours


Assignment 1.2 (6 points)

1-2 hours


Discussion 1.3 (2 points)

1 hour

Week 2

Module 2, Unit 1

2 hours

(7 hrs.)

Assignment 2.1 (6 points)

1 hour


Module 2, Unit 2

2 hours


Assignment 2.2 (6 points)

1 hour


Discussion 2.3 (3 points)

1 hour

Week 3

Module 3, Unit 1

2 hours

(7 hrs.)

Assignment 3.1 (6 points)

1 hour


Module 3, Unit 2

2 hours


Assignment 3.2 (6 points)

1 hour


Discussion 3.3 (3 points)

1 hour

Week 4

Module 4, Unit 1

2 hours

(7-8 hours)

Assignment 4.1 (6 points)

1 hour


Module 4, Unit 2

2 hours


Assignment 4.2 (8 points)

1-2 hours


Discussion 4.3 (3 points)

1 hour

Week 5

Module 5, Unit 1

2 hours

(7-8 hrs.)

Assignment 5.1 (6 points)

1 hour


Module 5, Unit 2

2 hours


Assignment 5.2 (7 points)

1-2 hours


Forum Discussion 5.3 (3 points)

1 hour

Week 6

Module 6, Unit 1

2 hours

(7-8 hrs.)

Assignment 6.1 (7 points)

1 hour


Module 6, Unit 2

2 hours


Assignment 6.2 (6 points)

1 hour


Forum Discussion 6.3 (2 points)

1 hour

Week 7

Module 7

2 hours

(5-6 hrs.)

Assignment 7.1 (10 points)

2-3 hours


Forum Discussion 7.2 (3 points)

1 hour

Week 8

Module 8

2 hours

(5-6 hrs.)

Assignment 8.1 (10 points)

2-3 hours


Forum Discussion 8.2 (2 points)

1 hour

Week 9

Module 9

2 hours

(5-6 hrs.)

Assignment 9.1 (8 points)

2 hours


Forum Discussion 9.2 (4 points)

1-2 hours

Week 10

Module 10, Unit 1

2 hours

(5 hrs.)

Assignment 10.1 (10 points)

2 hours


Forum 10.2 (3 points)

1 hour



Total: 60-85 hours

Assessment of Learning

Course Grading Criteria and General Assessment Criteria for All Writing Assignments

Assignments will be graded mostly on content - which is to say, primarily on accuracy of information and depth and persuasiveness of argument. Please try to keep your answers clear and concise and, where appropriate, provide illustrative examples.

In addition to these criteria, assignments will also be evaluated on the basis of overall correctness (including spelling, punctuation, and grammar), clarity, succinctness, and force of expression, and grace and readability of style.

Assessment Criteria for Discussion Participation

Participation in discussions is a course requirement and an integral part of your online learning experience. However, to reduce performance pressure and to promote an active, yet comfortable discussion environment, your posts will not be assessed with the same rigor or formally graded in the same way as your weekly assignments. Instead, you can earn the maximum number of points for each weekly discussion (which will vary in value from 2 to 4 points) as long as you make a timely and substantive contribution. ("Substantive" here means that you are expected to submit posts that represent your seriously considered thoughts and opinions on the topic and which don't simply say something like "I agree" or "me too." "Timely" means that you mustn't wait until the last minute to post your contribution to a particular forum. A post, no matter how intelligent or informative, is practically useless if nobody has a chance to learn from or respond to it.)

Please note: you can earn bonus points for introducing or contributing to productive new topics or by furnishing posts that are judged to be of particularly high quality. In general, exemplary posts will accomplish at least one of the following:

  1. Provide new ideas or links to useful resources.
  2. Raise challenging or pertinent questions.
  3. Provide supporting arguments or explanations for a view.
  4. Reflect on and re-evaluate an important idea relating to the discussion topic or course module.
  5. Offer a polite critique, challenging, dissenting from, or expanding on the ideas of others.
  6. Provide helpful interpretations, definitions, and meanings.
  7. Succinctly summarize previous contributions and offer a new insight or raise a new question.

Course Grading Scale

The point total for all course assignments and discussions is 144. Plus you have an opportunity to earn up to 6 bonus points. The grading scale is as follows:

130 points = A
115 points = B
101 points = C
86 points = D

Note: Students wishing to declare a Pass/Fail option must do so before the end of the 3rd week of the quarter. Once made, this decision is not subject to re-negotiation.

Discussion Forums

Discussion Forums are an important component of your online experience. This course contains discussion forums related to the topics you are studying each week. For requirements on your participation in the Discussion Forums, please see "Course Expectations" in the syllabus.

A Course Q & A discussion forum has also been established to manage necessary, ongoing social and administrative activities. This is where the management and administrative tasks of the course are conducted, and where you can ask 'process' questions and receive answers throughout the course. Please feel free to answer any question if you feel you know the answer; this sharing of information is valuable to other students.

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Course Expectations

Time Management and Attendance

SNL's online courses are not self-paced and require a regular time commitment EACH week throughout the quarter.

You are required to log in to your course at least four times a week so that you can participate in the ongoing course discussions.

Online courses are no less time consuming than "face to face" courses. You will have to dedicate some time every day or at least every second day to your studies. A typical four credit hour "face to face" course at SNL involves three hours of classroom meeting per week, plus at least three to six hours of study and homework per week.

This course will require at least the same time commitment, but your learning activities will be spread out through the week. If you have any problems with your technology, or if you need to improve your reading or writing skills, it may take even longer.

The instructor should be notified if your life events do not allow you to participate in the course and the online discussions for more than one week. This is particularly important when there are group discussions or you are working as part of a team.

If you find yourself getting behind, please contact the instructor immediately.

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Your Instructor's Role

Your instructor's role in this course is that of a discussion facilitator and learning advisor. It is not their responsibility to make sure you log in regularly and submit your assignments. As instructor, s/he will read all postings to the general discussion forums on a daily basis but may not choose to respond to each posting. You will receive feedback to assignments.

The instructor may choose to designate "office hours" when s/he will be online and available and will immediately respond to questions. Depending on the instructor, this response may be by e-mail, instant messenger or telephone. Otherwise, you will generally receive a response to emailed or posted queries within 48 hours.

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Your Role as a Student

As an online student, you will be taking a proactive approach to your learning. As the course instructor's role is that of a learning guide, your role is that of the leader in your own learning.

You will be managing your own time so that you can complete the readings, activities and assignments for the course, and you will also be expected to take a more active role in peer learning.

Please also note that this is a course offered by DePaul University's School for New Learning (SNL), a college for undergraduate and graduate degree-seeking students 24 years and older. SNL welcomes the perspectives and encourages the participation of all DePaul students, and students who take this course should respect and be mindful of SNL's mission in supporting a diverse and inclusive environment. More information about SNL can be found here.

View this brief demo Taking SNL Online courses in D2L to learn how to navigate through your course.

If you’re new to SNL Online see additional resources on the course home page under Student Resources/Getting Started.

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Course Netiquette

Online discussions are an important part of your course experience. To ensure a positive learning environment, please follow the following minimum expectations. Use your common sense, as not all situations can be covered:

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Academic Integrity

DePaul University is a learning community that fosters the pursuit of knowledge and the transmission of ideas within a context that emphasizes a sense of responsibility for oneself, for others and for society at large. Violations of academic integrity, in any of their forms, are, therefore, detrimental to the values of DePaul, to the students' own development as responsible members of society, and to the pursuit of knowledge and the transmission of ideas.

Violations include but are not limited to the following categories: cheating; plagiarism; fabrication; falsification or sabotage of research data; destruction or misuse of the university's academic resources; alteration or falsification of academic records; and academic misconduct. Conduct that is punishable under the Academic Integrity Policy could result in additional disciplinary actions by other university officials and possible civil or criminal prosecution. Please refer to your Student Handbook for further details.

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Plagiarism is a major form of academic dishonesty involving the presentation of the work of another as one's own. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to the following:

Plagiarism, like other forms of academic dishonesty, is always a serious matter. If an instructor finds that a student has plagiarized, the appropriate penalty is at the instructor's discretion.

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DePaul University Incomplete Policy

The intent of the Incomplete grade is to allow students extra time to complete their final assignments. This need arises because, in the closing weeks of the course, they have an event of significant magnitude that adversely affects their ability to complete the course, e.g. serious illness, death in the family, overseas deployment, or natural disaster.

You must request an incomplete grade in writing two weeks before the end of the quarter. Incomplete grades will be considered only after you have satisfactorily completed at least 75 percent of the coursework, and you have such an unexpected, uncontrollable event that prevents you from completing your course. Do not assume that you will qualify for an incomplete. Students who are failing the course at the point where they request an incomplete will not receive one, nor will they be granted after the end of the quarter. Incomplete grades are given at the discretion of the instructor.

If you do receive permission from the instructor to take an incomplete in the course, you will be required to complete a contract with the instructor, specifying how you will finish the missing work within the next two quarters (excluding summer). See the Incomplete Grade Contract Form.

Undergraduate and graduate students will have up to two quarters to complete an incomplete. At the end of the second quarter (excluding summer) following the term in which the incomplete grade was assigned, remaining incompletes will automatically convert to "F" grades. Ordinarily no incomplete grade may be completed after the grace period has expired. Instructors may not change incomplete grades after the end of the grace period without the permission of a college-based Exceptions Committee. This policy applies to undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. NOTE: In the case of a student who has applied for graduation and who has been approved for an Incomplete in his or her final term, the incomplete must be resolved within the four-week grace period before final degree certification.

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Description of Pass/Fail Grading Options

Students have the option of taking all SNL undergraduate courses as Pass/Fail even if a class is initially structured for a letter grade assessment. In these cases a Pass is awarded when competence is demonstrated at a level that would otherwise earn a grade of C- or higher.

In deciding to select Pass/Fail grading students should be aware that competencies assessed in a course as Pass will earn credit hours toward degree completion but will not be included in computing grade point averages. Attempted competence demonstration assessed within a class as Fail will not only be recorded as credit hours attempted but will also be included in computing a student's grade point average.

For SNL students, competencies awarded for Independent Learning Pursuits and in the Lifelong Learning Domain do not count toward the university's specification that only twenty credit hours may be earned through the Pass/Fail assessment option.

Please note:There are three SNL courses within the BA curriculum that are always assessed on a Pass/Fail basis: Foundations of Adult Learning (course number LL 250; competences L-2 and F-1), Advanced Project (course number FA 303; competences F-11 and F-12) and Summit Seminar (course number LL 390; competence L-12). These classes may not be taken for a letter grade assessment. Therefore, work that might otherwise be assessed at grades A through C- will earn a Pass in these classes.

There are an additional five SNL courses within the Lifelong Learning Area of the BA curriculum for which instructors regularly use a Pass/Fail grading system that may instead be taken for a letter grade assessment if this is a student's preference. These classes are: Independent Learning Seminar (course number LL 103; competence L1); Writing for Competence (course number LL 260; competence L-4), Critical Thinking (course number LL 270; competence L-5), Research Seminar (course number LL 300; competences L-8 and L-9), and Externship (course number LL 302; competences L-10 and L-11). In addition, SNL's undergraduate Writing Workshop (course number LL 140; competence H-3-J) regularly uses Pass/Fail, although students may request a letter grade assessment. In these instances SNL offers undergraduate students the opportunity to request a letter grade assessment from their instructor. Students who need a letter grade for tuition reimbursement may wish to consider this option, as well as those who wish to raise their GPA. Students planning to attend graduate school may also prefer letter grades to Pass/Fail assessments.

If a student wants to switch the method of assessment, either to or from the Pass/Fail option, this must be requested from the instructor in writing by the beginning of the third week of the quarter. For courses that meet fewer than ten weeks of the quarter, this request must be made by the beginning of the third week of the course. The grading basis may not be changed after these deadlines, with no exceptions.

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For Students Who Need Accommodations Based on the Impact of a Disability

Students seeking disability-related accommodations are required to register with DePaul's Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) enabling you to access accommodations and support services to assist your success. There are two office locations:

Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD)
Loop Campus: Lewis Center 1420. (312) 362-8002
Lincoln Park Campus: Student Center 370. (773) 325-1677

Students are also invited to contact their instructor privately to discuss your challenges and how the instructor may assist in facilitating the accommodations you will use in this course. This is best done early in the term and the conversation will remain confidential.

Dean of Students Office

The Dean of Students Office (DOS) helps students in navigating the university, particularly during difficult situations, such as personal, financial, medical, and/or family crises. Absence Notifications to faculty, Late Withdrawals, and Community Resource Referrals, support students both in and outside of the classroom. Additionally we have resources and programs to support health and wellness, violence prevention, substance abuse and drug prevention, and LGBTQ student services. We are committed to your success as a DePaul student. Please feel free to contact us.

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Protection of Human Subjects

For more information see:

Demonstrating the acquisition of competencies in this course can involve "interactions"—interviewing and or observing other people—discussing those interviews or observations with other class members and writing them up in one or more final report(s). As such, these activities qualify as "research" with "human subjects" and are subject to University and Federal guidelines. Because it takes place in the context of this course, your research is exempt from approval by the School for New Learning's Local Review Board only under the following conditions:

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Copyright and Student Privacy

In accordance with DePaul’s Acceptable Use Policy, commentary and materials within SNL Online classes shall not be copied, reproduced or published elsewhere without the express written consent of individuals involved.

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This course was designed and produced by faculty and staff at SNL Online of the School for New Learning of DePaul University.

©2011 School for New Learning, DePaul University. All Rights Reserved by SNL DCM.

Printed in the USA.

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