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COMM 614

ETHICAL ISSUES
IN COMMUNICATION Fall 2010. Thursdays
To find out if classes will meet in bad weather, call 704-337-2567.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Instructor: Leanne Pupchek, Ph.D.

Office: 101 Dana

Office Hours: Monday 12 noon to 4 p.m.


Tues./Thursday 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Before class and by appointment.
Please reserve time by signing appointment sheet on my door.

Phone: (704) 337-2240 (office)


(704) 663-4861 (home)

Textbooks: Arnett et al. (2009). Communication ethics literacy: Dialogue and difference
Hugo, V., Les Miserables. (Suggested.)

Course Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

Course Description: Enron. Madoff. Blair. Napster. Adelphia. British Petroleum. The
individuals and organizations practicing “What not to do” with regard to
performing ethically often make the news, and their names linger as cultural
shorthand for dishonor. But how do people distinguish between the wrong
choices and the right ones? What standards can we hold up as “What to do” to
guide our decision-making case by case? How do we take focus such concepts
on our practice of communication? This course is designed to help you answer
such questions.
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Guided by the framework provided by our text, you and your classmates will
lead us all in discussions to explore ethical issues in communication. Each week
you will bring to class a response to the assigned material that analyzes and
evaluates it according to your experience.
Further, just as the text applies the theory to behavior and decision-making in
Victor Hugo’s story of Les Miserables, you will demonstrate your understanding
of the material by applying theory to scenes from a film. We will move on to
discuss examples from our own experience and current events. You will finish
by adding to your original response by responding to class activity.

Course Objectives: After successfully completing this class, you will be able to:
1. Identify at least five ethical issues in communication in class
discussions and reflection papers.
2. Identify at least five bases for ethical choices based on published
theoretical and philosophical thought in reflection papers.
3. Discuss at least five ethical concepts in depth in reflection papers.
4. Discuss ethical concepts thoroughly as they apply to one communication
issue in a 10- to 15-page paper.
5. Illustrate your understanding of ethical guidelines in professional or
personal contexts by applying them to your own experience and
observations in class discussions and reflection papers.
6. Demonstrate your ability to explore one ethics topic thoroughly in class
presentation and research paper.
7. Demonstrate understanding of ethics terminology in class discussions and
reflection papers.

COMM M.A. Students: Keep this syllabus and your completed assignments for your
Capstone portfolio.

Learning management system: Moodle


Students will submit course materials using the Learning Management
System Moodle. To be able to use this system, your computer equipment needs
to meet these specifications:
PC: Access: 56.6 Kbps modem or cable modem/DSL if available
Operating system: Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, ME, XP or Vista
Browser: Explorer 5.5 or later, Firefox
Mac: Access: 56.6 Kbps modem or cable modem/DSL if available
Operating system: OS 9 or OS X
Browser: Firefox
Students can get help with their technology needs by calling the QUEST help
desk at 704-337-2323. For Moodle training, contact williamsja@queens.edu.

Course Responsibilities:
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READING: This course requires reading about 60-100 pages a week.

ATTENDING: Please let me know by e-mail if you know something will keep
you out of class, and attach your reflection. You are responsible for the work you
miss. Call classmates to review class activity. Students who miss more than three
classes should meet with me to determine their likelihood of success. That being
said, we all want you to miss the class if you are sick. Really.

CONFORMING TO PROFESSIONAL WRITING STANDARDS: To meet my


expectations for the style of your formal written work, please ensure you:
1. Review and follow the honor code. Cutting and pasting anything from the web
without attribution is plagiarizing, even if you mix up the order of the words or
change them to synonyms. (You can always go to the writing center in the
basements of Sykes if you want to improve your prose.)
2. Submit all formal documents word-processed, double-spaced, in 11- or 12-
point type.
3. Conform to a standard academic reference and citation style. In the graduate
program, we prefer American Psychological Association (APA) style. The
library has quick reference guides, as do many websites.
4. Use standard print fonts (Arial, Times Roman, Helvetica).
5. Number each page of your document in the upper right-hand corner.
6. Attach a cover page that notes the title of your document, your name, course
number, and e-mail address.
7. Staple documents in the upper left-hand corner.

COMPLETING ASSIGNMENTS: Submit assignments electronically by


midnight the day before, or at the beginning of class on the due date.

Reflections
Demonstrate your engagement with the reading by submitting weekly
reflections that discuss reading concepts according to your own
experience or observations. You have ten (10) opportunities to write
reflections. Please submit nine (9). The first reflection is ungraded but I
will comment on it. You may skip the week you lead the class.
Due: Weekly
Value: 36% (12@3%)

Ethics Presentation
Lead the class discussion on a concept or family of concepts from the
assigned chapter. Illustrate the concept with a 15- to 30-second scene
from a film. Lead a discussion of concepts from the text. Enhance the
discussion with additional scholarly research you have found: summarize
the additional readings and suggest others in an annotated Reading List.
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(Annotations supply a sentence or two identifying the conclusion or value


that justifies including the work.) See schedule for topics. Two students
will present in each class. Confer with each other to ensure you cover
different topics/chapters.
Value: 24%

Paper
Discuss an ethical issue in communication. This paper is your exam.
Bring it to the last class for discussion.
Due: Dec. 9
Value: 40%

Grading scale:
A Superior work
B Good work. Could improve one of these areas:
ideas, argument or grammar.
C Acceptable work. Needs to improve two of these
areas: ideas, argument or grammar.
F Unacceptable work. Reflects unacceptable
level of commitment or skill.
(No grad student should ever earn an F.)

Students with disabilities: If you are a student with a verified disability and you require
accommodations, please provide me with the memorandum from Student Disability Services.
If you have questions or need such verification, contact: Sandy Rogelberg, MA, LPC, NCC
Phone: 704-337-2508
Email: rogelbes@queens.edu

Proposed Schedule:
Please read the assigned chapters and print out a 1-3 paragraph response for each class. Write
your class reflection on the back of your reading response.

Sept. 9 Introduction. Film discussion model. Template.


Reading: Preface
Discuss possible research topics.
Choose a day to lead the class.
View: Les Miserables

15 Last day to add

16 The necessity of communication ethics, defining communication ethics


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Reading: Ch. 1, 2
Due: Reading Response and Reflection for Ch. 1 & 2
Last day to drop

23 The pragmatic good of theory


Reading: Ch. 3, 4
Due: Reading Response and Reflection for Ch. 3 & 4
Discuss research topics.

30 Dialogic ethics
Reading: Ch. 5
Presentation:
Due: Reading Response and Reflection for Ch. 5
Due: Research topics.

Oct. 1-2 Carolinas Communication Assoc. Conference, Conway-Myrtle Beach SC

Oct. 7 Public Discourse ethics


Reading: Ch. 6
Presentation:
Due: Reading Response and Reflection for Ch. 6

14 Fall Break. No class.

21 Interpersonal communication ethics


Reading: Ch. 7
Due: Reading Response and Reflection for Ch. 7

27 Last day to withdraw

28 Organizational communication ethics


Reading: Ch. 8
Due: Reading Response and Reflection for Ch. 8

Nov. 4 Intercultural communication ethics


Reading: Ch. 9
Due: Reading Responses and Reflections, Ch. 9

11 Professional communication ethics


Reading: Ch. 10 & 11
Due: Reading Response and Reflection for Ch. 10 & 11

18 Share drafts of your paper with peer reviewers. Professor away at conference.
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Due: 3-5 copies of your Research Paper Draft.

30 Thanksgiving Break

Dec. 2 Communication ethics literacy and difference


Reading: Ch. 12
Due: Reading Response and Reflection for Ch. 12

9 Research Paper Presentations, discussion


Due: Presentations
Due: Papers

16 Response and course reflection.


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COMM 614
Writing a reflection paper
The primary purpose for short reflection papers is to get you to digest your reading and class
discussions by applying the new concepts or perspectives you are learning to your personal
experience and observations. The reflection also gives you material to contribute to class
discussions by either serving as the basis for your contributions, or prompting you to continue
thinking and formulating a further response.

In about two pages:


1. Summarize the reading. Tell me about what you read. Make sure you tell me how you
felt about what you read. (I can go back to the original reading to review the content.)
2. Describe the theory that resonated particularly with you and how it applies to something
you have seen or experienced.
3. If appropriate, describe something in the reading that you struggled with, and explore
possible meanings for or applications of the concept on an additional page.

Evaluation:
3 + Excellent: Demonstrates insight into some of the material
Features one concept
Explores concept deeply rather than covering everything you read.

3  Good: Connects ideas from other courses, work, current events etc.
Provides acceptable application of the material

3 - Incomplete
Needs focus
Needs application
Needs organization
Needs vocabulary/spelling/grammar review
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Name: _____________________________

COMM 614
Contact information
and Honor Code Pledge

Address: ________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________

Phone number: _________________________________________________

E-mail: _________________________________________________________

Honor Code:
As a member of the Queens Community, I will endeavor to create a spirit
of integrity and honor for its own sake at Queens University of Charlotte.

I pledge truthfulness and absolute honesty in the performance of all


academic work.

I pledge to be truthful at all times, to treat others with respect, to respect


the property of others and to adhere to University policies.

Accepting both the privileges and responsibilities of living by this code


of honor, I resolve to uphold this code and not to tolerate any violations
of its spirit or principles.

Signed: ___________________________________________Date: ______


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1. The Pragmatic Necessity of Communication Ethics Student Application: Contending Goods


The Good Historical Moment: Mapping Communication Ethics Postmodernity Learning
Communication Ethics: Reflection and Action Engaging Communication Ethics Through
Literature: Les Miserables
2. Defining Communication Ethics Student Application: Finding Narrative Ground Multiplicity
of Communication Ethics Philosophy of Communication Applied Communication Narrative
Communication Ethics: Reflection and Action Engaging Communication Ethics Through
Literature: Les Miserables
3. Approaches to Communication Ethics: The Pragmatic Good of Theory Student Application:
Choice Making Democratic Communication Ethics Universal-Humanitarian Communication
Ethics Codes, Procedures, and Standards in Communication Ethics Contextual Communication
Ethics Narrative Communication Ethics Dialogic Communication Ethics The College Campus:
Communication Ethics Perspectives Communication Ethics: Reflection and Action Engaging
Communication Ethics Through Literature: Les Miserables
4. Communication Ethics: In the Eye(s) of the Theory of the Beholder Student Application:
Common Sense and Contention Common Sense Learning Theory Communication Ethics:
Reflection and Action Engaging Communication Ethics Through Literature: Les Miserables
5. Dialogic Ethics: Meeting Differing Grounds of the "Good" Student Application: Negotiating
Difference Dialogue and Difference Dialogic Theory Dialogic Coordinates: Without Demand A
Dialogic Learning Model of Communication Ethics Engaging Communication Ethics Through
Literature: Les Miserables
6. Public Discourse Ethics: Public and Private Accountability Student Application: What Is
Public and Private Space? Public Discourse: The Public "Good" Public Decision Making: The
Good of Public Accountability Differentiation of Public and Private Space Communication
Ethics: Reflection and Action Engaging Communication Ethics Through Literature: Les
Miserables
7. Interpersonal Communication Ethics: The Relationship Matters Student Application:
Relational Responsibility Interpersonal Communication Distance Interpersonal Responsibility
Communication Ethics: Reflection and Action Engaging Communication Ethics Through
Literature: Les Miserables
8. Organizational Communication Ethics: Community of Memory and Dwelling Student
Application: Finding a Dwelling Place Organizational Communication Dwelling Place
Organizations and Institutions Community of Memory Within Organizations Communication
Ethics: Reflection and Action Engaging Communication Ethics Through Literature: Les
Miserables
9. Intercultural Communication Ethics: Before the Conversation Begins Student Application:
The Unfamiliar Intercultural Communication Culture Culture Shock The Inarticulate
Communication Ethics: Reflection and Action Engaging Communication Ethics Through
Literature: Les Miserables
10. Business and Professional Communication Ethics Student Application: Finding Direction
Business and Professional Communication The Dialectic of Direction and Change Public
Testing Pointing to a Dialogic Ethic in Business and Professional Communication
Communication Ethics: Reflection and Action Engaging Communication Ethics Through
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Literature: Les Miserables


11. Health Care Communication Ethics Student Application: Responding to the Other Health
Care Communication Health Responsiveness Care Communication Ethics: Reflection and
Action Engaging Communication Ethics Through Literature: Les Miserables
12. Communication Ethics Literacy and Difference: Dialogic Learning Student Application:
Understanding the Other Pragmatic Crisis Communication Communication Ethics Literacy The
Pragmatics of Dialogic Ethics Communication Ethics: Reflection and Action Engaging
Communication Ethics Through Literature: Les Miserables