Introduction to Applied Ethics is an extremely interesting course that also takes on a relatively convenient format. It is a predominantly online course but every week, the students are required to attend a tutorial on campus. Attendance is not part of your grade, but if you fail to attend, you are most likely going to have an extremely difficult time completing the course. However, if you do attend tutorials and do the work, you will see that it discusses some extremely interesting topics and gets good discussions going during tutorial! As such, below is a list of five things you should consider before signing up for the course.
1. There is a lot of writing!
There’s no doubt that there are different types of students; some students enjoy classes that are more math or formula-based and that therefore require more memorization. In contrast, there are also some students that despise these classes and much prefer ones in which the majority of their mark comes from writing. If you are in the latter group, this is the class for you! Aside from the in-class debate, essentially all your other marks come from reading responses and essays.
2. One of the assessments is a debate
One of the reasons the organization of this class is a bit different is because part of your mark comes from an in-class debate that you must prepare for and take part in with approximately three or four other group members. The debate is quite casual, but if you are not somebody who things particularly quickly on their feet, you may want to re-think taking this class!
3. You need to work in groups
At York, a lot of the classes have over a hundred students; it is therefore relatively rare to find a class in which group work is included. This is one of those classes. The aforementioned debate is a group assignment, which can be a good or bad thing depending on who your group members are. If you enjoy working in groups, you will most likely find this to be an interesting and relatively painless assignment. However, if you are the kind of person who abhors group work, be warned that it is a significant aspect of the class!
4. There is a lot of reading – and the articles are not easy!
Philosophy can get REALLY confusing – and that’s before you even start having to read the twenty-page long academic articles. In this class, students are assigned a good amount of articles to read and are required to write reading responses to demonstrate their understanding of the articles. As such, if you are not one for reading articles that can be convoluted and that may require the use of an online dictionary every five seconds, take caution!
5. All that reading? You need to memorize the contents for the exam!
Let us say you decide that reading the long and confusing articles is not a deal-breaker for you; something you then need to take into consideration is whether you are willing to memorize all the main arguments of all the articles you were assigned. The only exam is simply questions asking you to write mini-essays describing the main arguments of whatever articles they decide to ask you about. And because it is university, they of course only ask you about three or four articles even though you were assigned and memorized ten.
So, there you have it. The class is certainly more for those who are writing-inclined, but there is really no harm in giving it a shot. The class focuses on a lot of issues that are extremely prevalent in society, so if you pay attention and participate, it may even open your eyes to problems you never even knew existed!