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(Short Term-Learning)

(Medium Term-Action)

(Long Term-Conditions)

Undergraduate Students


Faculty member responsible for initial course development: M. Wolf


Associate faculty who may contribute guest lectures or supervise lab experiences or workshops: G. Osborne, R. Bayline


Use of lectures, small group discussions, panel debates and presentations.


Students in the course will review selections from the current literature in philosophy, law and public policy related to biomedical ethics; develop a critical analysis of arguments therein and articulate their own responses to these.


Overview of prevailing accounts of ethical issues relating to bioinformatics, gene therapies, informed consent


Equipment and Supplies: No additional equipment is required for the bioethics course; the primary modes of instruction will be lecture and discussion, so existing resources are sufficient.


Approval of the course as a regular semester offering by the Philosophy Dept, the CPC, and the W&J faculty


The effectiveness of the course will be evaluated with end-of-semester student surveys and the use of a separate course survey prepared by M. Wolf


HHMI stipend to M. Wolf for course development




Have the Philosophy Dept, the CPC, and faculty review and approve the proposed course


M. Wolf will develop lectures, panel discussions and presentations given by students


Invite and encourage other faculty members to participate in the course with guest lectures or joining dedicated discussion sections on areas of their expertise.


Students will be encouraged to submit and present their work at undergraduate conferences.  This is a standing practice in the philosophy department, where we keep a current list of conferences and calls for papers.  (This may include the annual conference sponsored at W&J by Phi Sigma Tau, a national honors society in philosophy.)



Approval of the course by CPC and the W&J faculty


Analysis of student enrollment, with an eye towards variety and numbers of majors, interest in the health professions and post-graduation plans.


Evaluation of course objectives and goals using student surveys


Number and characteristics of faculty who contribute to the course through guest lectures, workshops, and lab exercises—including faculty at other institutions


Track student presentations and conference participation associated with the course


Students have a better understanding of the theory and application of the theory and principles of Biomedical Ethics


Students who complete the course will leave with a better-developed sense of the moral importance of health care and biotechnology professions and the contours of current public debates.





Students pursuing health care and biotechnology positions develop a greater sense of the impact and moral of the work they pursue and the conditions that support it.


Faculty at W&J have greater opportunities for interdisciplinary participation; additional HHMI support will not be essential for these goals to be met and a biomedical ethics course will become a regular offering at the College.


Possible openings and invitations for guest speakers (and thus, involvement with other institutions) that could expand and enhance the reputation of the College in the area of bioethics and its standing as a strong institution for pre-health and biotechnology students.



Students have a better grasp of their roles as moral agents in fields where there expertise both grants them a great deal of authority and social capital and far greater demands are placed on them as a consequence.


Faculty and instructors continue to revise and refine their approaches to interdisciplinary collaboration and the integration of traditionally disparate subjects to prepare students more fully for life after College.


Greater interdisciplinary cooperation between students and departments in the sciences and humanities, in keeping with the ideals of the liberal arts tradition.


Institutions support faculty in emerging areas of philosophy better suited to contemporary problems and institutions and support and reward better teaching and course/curriculum development in the process.





Evaluation Questions for OUTCOMES

Possible Indicators/Measures

Possible Data Collection Methods and Information Sources

Rank/Priority (include brief rationale)

  1. Did the course effectively present the principles and major theories of bioethics in ways that would help prepare students who were pursuing careers in health care and biotechnology industries?


  1. Did the course effectively demonstrate how these principles and methods are applied to multiple topics, such as bioinformatics, end-of-life decisions and policies regarding informed consent?


  1. Did the course focus on developing students’ argumentative writing and include useful feedback on this type of work?


  1. Did the course materials and group exercises (panel debates and presentations) encourage students to investigate numerous perspectives on each topic, rather than simply reaffirming their opinions?
  1. a) Students positive about new course

       b)  Students increased interest in applied ethics and interdisciplinary work

       c) Students learning more about applied ethics

       d) Students value applied ethics and interdisciplinary coursework

       e) Students continuing in bioethics related fields (NGO work, advisory positions), students in health professions applying this work (e.g. serving on IRBs)


  1. 2a)  Course continued/modified

       b) Course integrated into various related curricula in other depts

       c) Course enrollment increases

       d) Student majors increases (track not only Philosophy but other related disciplines)

       e) Effect on other courses/majors/departments

       f) Effect on P&T of involved faculty

       in teaching philosophy instruction

       g) Effect on course development and support in other departments


  1. a) Effect on other institution’s courses/majors/departments

b) Effect on philosophy pedagogy

c) Additional curriculum development grants and awards


  1. a) Pre-Post Tests

b)Exit Questionnaire

c Interview

d) Focus Group

e) Course/Classroom Observations

f) Course Surveys



  1. a) Data collection on course/curriculum changes (e.g.,


      b) Data collection on history of course offerings across related depts

      c) Interviews/reports from faculty and other involved faculty

      d) Focus Group of involved faculty

      e) Assessment of teaching on P&T

      f) Faculty CVs and portfolios


  1. a) Annual report of HHMI-funded activities and their


             b) Periodic plan and review of dissemination plan

             c) Grant funding information

d) Departmental and Institutional funding reports

All four of the Outcomes Questions can be examined in part through standard assessment methods (end-of-semester evaluations and questionnaires) implemented by departments, the College and in some cases, HHMI. 


Additional methods could also be developed for questions 1 and 4 in the form of post-graduate surveys and contact with alumni. (Some of these methods are already being developed by the Philosophy department for internal purposes, and these could be extended for purposes of the bioethics course.)