Academic Ethics

Instructor teaching classClassroom modules

These modules were drafted by the staff of Western Michigan University's Center for the Study of Ethics in Society to be piloted in the First-Year Seminar in fall 2007. Each module consists of a short narrative, four to six discussion questions that relate the narrative to students' personal experiences and values, and two examples for further discussion.

The examples are taken from Creighton University's handbook, Learning in the Academy: An Introduction to the Culture of Scholarship. This handbook expands on the concepts covered in these modules and includes excellent commentaries about the examples that instructors may find useful for framing class discussions.

Instructors will find that the ethical issues in the modules overlap. Therefore, they may want to revisit some of the examples covered earlier in class, as appropriate.

Below is the suggested order for covering the modules in class. However, instructors can pick and choose which models to use and in which order.

Module topics

  1. Academic Ethics Policies: Why do we have rules in college?
  2. Cheating: Why is cheating wrong?
  3. Instructors as Partners in Learning: Do you understand your instructor’s expectations?
  4. Learning in an Academic Community: What do you want to get out of college?
  5. Working to Learn: Did you do the work?

Other resources