SO220 Ethical Iss. in Social Sci.

for S1T 2010

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SO 220 Ethical Iss. in Social Sci.


S1T 2010 DLA


Cook-McDaniel, Kimberly


Sociology/Psychology Faculty Member


BBA Computer Informtaion Systems
MS Professional Counseling

Office Location


Office Hours



Semester Dates

11 January - 7 March 2010

Class Days


Class Time



An introductory social science class (i.e., SO141, PS101, CJ100, or SW205).

Credit Hours


ALL REQUIRED (the final six are tiny pocket guides at $4-6 each)

Israel & Hay  Research Ethics for Social Scientists, (2006). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.  ISBN-13:  9781412903905

Paul & Elder The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking: Concepts and Tools, 2004, Dillon Beach, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking.  ISBN:  0944583105

Paul & Elder The Miniature Guide to Analytic Thinking, 2003, Dillion Beach, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking.  ISBN: 0944583199

Paul & Elder The Miniature Guide to Scientific Thinking, 2003, Dillon Beach, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking.  ISBN:  0944583180

Paul & Elder The Thinker's Guide to Ethical Reasoning, 2003, Dillon Beach, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking.  ISBN:  0944583172

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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Course Description:
SO 220 Ethical Issues in Social Sciences: Considers the moral and ethical consequences of conducting social science research. Disseminating the results, and implementing practices and policies based on those findings. Critically examines those questions and choices rising at each stage of the research process, and the results of those choices on relevant parties. 3:0:3 Prerequisite: and introductory social science course (i.e., SO 141, PS101)

Educational Philosophy:

My philosophy incorporates scholarship and practice in the fields of technology, sociology and psychology. The basic tenet of my philosophy assumes that classroom facilitation, scholarship and professional activities are interrelated and impact the learning experience for adult learners. Teaching is continuously evolving rather than static. Teaching and learning are dynamic and progress with each term. I believe in connecting students’ learning with something they know or value, embracing adult learning theory and ensuring the class is learner-centered. With this being said my classes involve a variety of strategies like dialogic/socratic discussion, group and individual projects, and assessments designed to prepare students in their academic and professional careers. Relevancy, variety, enthusiasm, rapport and involvement between myself and my students are crucial elements in ensuring the classroom is a safe and successful environment.

Class Assessment:
Core Assessment:
Essay: (max. 2500 words, plus tables and figures) Students will be provided with two extended case studies and will write an essay comparing and critically evaluating their ethical challenges and the strategies used to minimize or guard against harmful results.  The essay must address the following issues:
1.    What ethical principles are at issue in each case?  Provide and justify specific examples.
2.    What strategies were used to insure the standards of ethical research?
3.    Were those strategies successful?  How and why?
4.    What alternate strategies might also have been used to achieve the same or better results?
5.    Which case study represents a better implementation of research ethics?  How and why?
Your essay will consist of a careful, point-by-point contrast of the two cases.  It should link the cases to commonly held standards of research ethics and discuss the extent to which those were followed.  You should discuss the ethical, practical, and political consequences of these cases for the researchers, participants, and the social groups represented therein.  And you should connect these cases to other examples of social research and implementation we have discussed.

Class Assessment:
Points    Assignment
200    Core Assessment (20%)
150    Comprehensive Final Examination (15%)
100    Complete Investigator Education Program (10%)

50    UA1: My Biases
50    UA2: Taking Sides
50    UA3: Literature Critique
50    UA4: Literature Search
50    UA5: Ethical Code Analysis
50    UA6: Ethical Issues Vignettes
50    UA7: Ethical Application
200    Participation (25 x 8)


 Point Range
 Letter Grade
 >= 900
 800 - 899
 700 - 799
 600 -699
 < 600

Late Submission of Course Materials:
The instructor must be notified and approve the request to submit the late work for medical or family emergencies prior to the project submission deadline. There are no late penalties for instructor approved late requests.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

For this class the APA writing style will be the standard. While formatting is often lost in postings to the class room still be sure to include your reference in your posting.

Please do not wait until the last minute to contact me when a situation presents itself that will interfere with class participation or timely assignment submission. I am flexible and open communication is a must.

Please be sure to check your e-mail and course area for announcements related to the course and / or Park University.

Responses to e-mails will occur within 48 hrs. Please ensure all e-mail correspondence contains your name and course number in the "Subject" line. If you would prefer me to call you please e-mail your information

A proctored final examination is to be taken in a proctored testing environment during the 8th week at one of the Park University sites around the country or at an alternative location.

You cannot pass the class without taking the final. There is no alternate assignment for the final exam.

It will be the responsibility of the student to arrange for a proctor by the 6th week of the term who is accepted and approved by the course instructor.

The final approval / disapproval regarding the proctor will lie with the course instructor.

I can be reached via e-mail. If you wish for me to contact you via telephone please send me an e-mail. Do not post your personal information or concerns in the courseroom area.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

 1  1A Ethical Thinking: Problems & Principles
 "Taking Charge" & "Critical Thinking"
 2  1B Ethical Thinking: Analysis & Critique
 "Analytical Thinking" & "Critical & Creative"
 3  2A Ethical Building: Responsible Science
 "Ethical Reasoning" & "Scientific Thinking"
 4  2B Ethical Building: Community of Science
 Israel & Hay, Ch. 1 & web resources
 5  3A Ethical Research: Principles & Codes
 Israel & Hay, Ch. 2-4 & web resources
 6  3B Ethical Research: Consent, Confidentiality & Harm
Israel & Hay, Ch. 5-7
 7  4A Ethical Communication
 Israel & Hay, Ch. 8 & 9
 8  4B Ethical Application
 web resources
 UA8, CA, Final

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.
ONLINE NOTE: An attendance report of "P" (present) will be recorded for students who have logged in to the Online classroom at least once during each week of the term. Recording of attendance is not equivalent to participation. Participation grades will be assigned by each instructor according to the criteria in the Grading Policy section of the syllabus.

Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:12/27/2009 5:55:27 PM