11 MDS 430: Ethics

Students who do well challenging MDS 430: Ethics often have jobs or responsibilities that ask them to make difficult decisions in which they must examine the ethical implications. These moments of ethical consideration give students a background in understanding their own ethics as well as the ethics of others. Successful challenges have a deep understanding of ethical systems and stances, and can understand how those are constructed even if they differ from the student’s own personal ethical system.

What this course is (and is not) about

MDS 430: Ethics is a study of Ethics that goes beyond a student’s personal views. It looks at ethics from many different disciplines and contexts, including universal standards and principles. Students in the course understand what makes up ethical stances and systems, beyond just a vague idea of “right and wrong.” Students should know and feel comfortable discussing different ethical stances and systems as models and frameworks.

The course is not about “being a good person.” One can be a helpful neighbor, a dedicated parent, or many other worthwhile things, but that doesn’t automatically equate to having college-level learning about Ethics from a wide perspective. The course goes beyond these personal attachments and viewpoints. To challenge this course successfully, students need a good understanding of the theoretical frameworks that make up a human being’s ethics, and be able to apply those frameworks to both themselves and to others whose frameworks are vastly different.

To do well in this challenge, students need to understand concepts of Ethics on a universal level. They need to know the specific names and definitions of ethical systems, and be able to give examples of how those systems are applied in the real world. Students should feel comfortable using empathy to explore an ethical system that is different from their own. They should be able to discuss Ethics both in terms of current events and personal experience, as well as at a more holistic level.

Course Description

MDS 430 examines universal ethics principles and standards practiced across various disciplines. Exploration of personal and professional conduct and social responsibility in the light of existing ethical, moral and social values across disciplines will also be discussed. Designed to enable students to form individual positions on ethical conduct and social responsibility, this course both identifies and applies ethical principles to real world situations.

Course Objectives

  • Assess different ethical stances and their efficacy in solving current moral and social problems.
  • Describe and defend an ethical system with a view to application in real-world situations.
  • Describe and defend a personal ethical system with a view to application in real-world situations.
  • Apply various ethical systems to moral and social problems.
  • Create and defend a solution to a current ethical or moral problem using an ethical system.
  • Evaluate and implement effective and respectful communication strategies using written, verbal, electronic, and other appropriate technologies.
  • Gather academically substantial information to support a specific point of view on an ethical topic or issue.
  • Practice writing assessment style responses to formative tests and questions.
  • Demonstrate grammatically correct and respectful writings to peers.
  • Produce academic-level written assignments.
  • Review peer submissions of written artifacts.
  • Interpret assigned material and correctly apply it.
  • Submit thoughtful written selections to instructors and peers.
  • Defend and critically evaluate ethical systems and ethical stances.
  • Interpret assigned material and correctly apply it.
  • Submit thoughtful written selections to instructors and peers.
  • Defend and critically evaluate ethical systems and ethical stances.

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