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Proposal

The Madison Collaborative: Ethical Reasoning in Action

Cover of the QEP proposal document Click to download the full proposal (PDF)

Summary

The purpose of the JMU QEP is to teach ethical decision making skills that students will be able to apply across many personal, professional and civic situations from people close at hand (friends, neighbors, co-workers) to people at a distance (other Americans, global communities).  The ability to evaluate ethically the implications of different courses of action for ourselves, others and the community is at the core of JMU's Mission Statement, "preparing students to be educated and enlightened citizens."

Mission Statement

The Madison Collaborative prepares enlightened citizens who apply ethical reasoning in their personal, professional, and civic lives.

Vision Statement

The Madison Collaborative will transform JMU into a community recognized for producing contemplative, engaged citizens who apply ethical reasoning to confront the challenges of the world.

Values Statement

 In the application of ethical reasoning to our personal, professional, and civic lives, we value
  • challenging unexamined thought patterns and behaviors to evaluate complex issues and diverse perspectives;
  • engaging individuals and groups in intellectual inquiry, respectful dialogue and meaningful action;
  • fostering community through collaboration; and
  • positively transforming ourselves, our communities, and our world.

The Eight Key Questions (KQs)

What are the key questions used to evaluate the ethical dimensions of a problem?

  • Outcomes - what are the short-term and long-term outcomes of possible actions?
  • Fairness - how can I act equitably and balance all interests?
  • Authority - what do legitimate authorities (e.g., experts, law, my god[s]) expect of me?
  • Liberty - what principles of freedom and personal autonomy apply?
  • Rights - what rights (e.g., innate, legal, social) apply?
  • Responsibilities - what duties and obligations apply?
  • Empathy - how would I respond if I cared deeply about those involved?
  • Character - what actions will help me become my ideal self?

Student Learning Outcomes

As a result of the Madison Collaborative programming, JMU students will be able to do the following:

Cognitive Objectives

1. State, from memory, all eight KQs.  Alternate assessment: From a list of ways of conceptualizing issues, students will correctly identify the eight KQs.
2. When given a specific decision and rationale on an ethical issue or dilemma, students will correctly identify the KQ most consistent with the decision and rationale.
3. Given a specific scenario, students will identify appropriate considerations for each of the eight KQs. Alternate approach: Students will be able to provide the specific considerations raised or rationale implied when applying every KQ to an ethical situation or dilemma.
4. For a specific ethical situation or dilemma, evaluate courses of action by applying (weighing and, if necessary, balancing) the considerations raised by key questions.
5. Students will apply SLO 4 to their own personal, professional, and civic ethical cases. NOTE: Implied within this SLO is the students' ability to identify an ethical situation, believing the process of ethical reasoning increases discriminatory capacities. This will be addressed via the assessment rubric.

Attitudinal Objectives

6. Students will report that they view ethical reasoning skills as important.
7. Students will report increased confidence in their ability to use the ethical reasoning process.