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Ethical Issues in Web-Based Learning

Ethical Issues in Web-Based Learning
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Author(s): Joan D. McMahon (Towson University, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 7
Source title: Handbook of Research on Technoethics
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Rocci Luppicini (University of Ottawa, Canada) and Rebecca Adell (University of Ottawa, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-022-6.ch047


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If you were to survey course syllabi on your campus, you would probably find the standard syllabi to include: • Course title and number • Instructor’s name and contact information • Course objectives • A list of required and recommended readings/ materials • A detailed outline of the topics for consideration • Detailed descriptions of assignments and due dates • Percentage of final grade • A schedule of topics by date You would also find a campus curriculum or departmental committee that initially approves such courses. Once the course is approved, it is not usually subject to review or scrutiny by the campus, unless the department requests a course change. Meanwhile, faculty who teach the course change the syllabus at will based on new material in their discipline, changes in textbooks, and so forth. This is encouraged so that the students get the most up-to-date information in the discipline. If faculty switch courses, retire, or resign, then their syllabus is passed on to the successor to revise, again at will. There seems to be little or no systematic accounting of the legitimacy of the course originally approved to the course now taught. Department chairs are supposed to do this. Many take their responsibility for quality control seriously; many others delegate this to their capable administrative assistant who may not know enough about the subtleties of the curriculum to have recognized that an inconsistency exists.

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