SO220 Ethical Iss. in Social Sci.

for S1T 2011

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SO 220 Ethical Iss. in Social Sci.


S1T 2011 DLC


Jolicoeur, Jason R.


Online Adjunct Sociology Faculty


Ph.D. Education
M.A. Criminal Justice
B.S. Criminal Justice

Office Location

N/A-Fully Online Course

Office Hours

N/A-Fully Online Course


Semester Dates


Class Days

N/A-Fully Online Course

Class Time

N/A-Fully Online Course


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:


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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)

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 Discussion Assignments)



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

Late Submission of Course Materials:
It is the general policy of the instructor not to accept late assignments. Students should remember that they will always have ample time to complete class assignments and that they should not wait until the last minute to begin working on them.  However, the instructor recognizes that emergencies do sometimes occur and that students may occasionally need some additional time to complete an assignment.  In instances of a legitimate emergency, the instructor may extend a brief extension to allow for the late submission of class assignments.  The decision to provide an extension rests solely with the instructor and may require the student in question to provide verification of the emergency circumstances in question.  Under no circumstances will students be provided with more than one extension per assignment or more than two extensions for all work assigned during the course of a semester.  In addition, any late assignments, regardless of circumstance, will automatically be subject to a late submission grading penalty worth one letter grade. 

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Classroom discussions:

This class is intended to be an open forum for the expression, discussion, and evaluation of a wide variety of topics related to ethical issues in social science research. Some of the issues that we discuss are likely to be of a somewhat controversial nature. As a result, strong opinions from a wide variety of philosophical and moral perspectives and backgrounds are likely to be expressed. I strive to provide a classroom environment that is conducive to the open and frank expression of many different, and frequently opposing, viewpoints and opinions. I have found that this can greatly enhance the individual learning process and can improve critical thinking skills by exposing individuals to ideas that they may have previously failed to consider. However, in order for related class activities and discussions to work as intended, everyone must be willing to participate. In addition, everyone must be willing to respect the right of others in the class to participate in the process as well.  Rude remarks or personal attacks towards others have no place in the classroom and they will not be tolerated.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:





1A Ethical Thinking:
Problems & Principles

 "Taking Charge" & "Critical Thinking" Discussion #1
Assignment #1
 2 1B Ethical Thinking:
Analysis & Critique
"Analytical Thinking" & "Critical & Creative"

Discussion #2
Assignment #2

 3 2A Ethical Building:
Responsible Science
"Ethical Reasoning" & "Scientific Thinking" Discussion #3
Assignment #3
 4 2B Ethical Building:
Community of Science
Israel & Hay, Ch. 1 & web resources Discussion #4
Assignment #4 
 5 3A Ethical Research:
Principles & Codes
Israel & Hay, Ch. 2-4 & web resources Discussion #5
Assignment #5
 6 3B Ethical Research:
Consent, Confidentiality, Harm
Israel & Hay, Ch. 5-7 Discussion #6
Assignment #6
 7 4A Ethical Communication  Israel & Hay, Ch. 8 & 9 Discussion #7
Assignment #7
 8 4B Ethical Application  web resources Discussion #8
Core Assessment
Final Exam

*The investigator education course can be submitted at any time during the course of the class, but must be submitted by the end of week eight in order for credit to be given.

**This course includes a proctored final exam that must be taken.  A failure to take the final proctored exam will result in an automatic failing grade for the course.

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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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. from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92-93

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 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

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:1/3/2011 3:29:02 PM