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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jessica S. Robles
COM 375
Seattle Campus

Communication Ethics

Ethical problems in interpersonal and public speech communication. Alternative ways of evaluating and responding to moral problems in a variety of communication situations.

Class description

This class is about communication troubles and challenges—from the littlest white lie to the most intractable conflict. What is the role of communication in making and unmaking problems in everyday life? In this class we will explore philosophical and practical dimensions of the communicative construction of “good and evil” in relational, cultural, organizational, and institutional contexts.

Student learning goals

To explain how morality and ethics can be defined and interpreted from different perspectives

To apply moral and ethical concepts to real examples using communication methods

To reflect on ways of addressing communication problems in a variety of contexts

To write an in-depth essay that makes an argument about a moral issue of your choice

General method of instruction

The course is divided into three units. The first unit introduces definitions, topics, theories, and methods related to communication and ethics. The second unit reviews examples of research across the communication field which relate to communication ethics. The third unit focuses on research in applied communication, and completing the final essay. Class time will focus on working with examples, completing activities, and discussing these in relation to readings. These will be interspersed with small lectures and the occasional in-class assignment or quiz. Out of class, you will be expected to read, write, think, and submit homework related to course concepts.

Recommended preparation

You should have an interest in ethical or moral issues and how they might be communicated or addressed through communication. You should prepare yourself to do a lot of reading and writing.

Class assignments and grading

Assignments include reading, writing, activities, and quizzes. The main assignment is a course project which includes many little assignments across the class. Many of these build on each other, and are preparation for the midterm and final essays.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Jessica S. Robles
Date: 09/06/2013