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Integrity and Ethical Communication

When it comes to ethics, the desire is that everyone knows, understands, and follows “the rules.” However, most professions and organizations find it necessary to establish a written code of ethics. By having the code in written form, everyone can be clear about expectations for themselves and others. You may be familiar with such codes at your workplace, and as you move into courses for your program of study you may learn about the ethics code of your profession.

In the academic world, there is also an important code of ethics, mainly focused around mutual respect and cooperation through what is called “Academic Integrity.” Academic Integrity means, among other things, that each person produces his or her own work. When a communicator bases his or her work on the work of others, credit is given to show respect for the original author and to make it clear to the reader that the writer is not claiming the works of others as his or her own.  To this end, Walden University has developed a Code of Conduct that spells out the expectations for academic integrity. Walden University takes its code of conduct and expectations of student behavior quite seriously. As a Walden student, you will want to as well.

In this Discussion, you examine the code of conduct at Walden University and what it means to communicate with integrity, both in school and in the professional world.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Read the following resources that focus on communicating ethically:
    • Communicating in a Changing World Chapters 1, 2, 5, 6—e nd-of-chapter sections on “Communicating Responsibly”
    • NCA Credo for Ethical Communication. The link can be found in the Week 3 Resources.
  • Read the following documents in this week’s Learning Resources that focus on academic integrity:
    • Walden University: Code of Conduct (scroll down to Section 4 to read about academic integrity)
  • Review the document “Week 3 Discussion Rubric.” This will help you make sure you have included all requirements in your discussion assignment.
  • Review the document slideshow “How to Apply Terms, Module 2.”< /li>

With these thoughts in mind, your assignment is to:

By Day 3, submit a 200- to 300 word discussion post. In this post you should:

  1. Choose one of the following terms from the “Communicating Responsibly” sections in the Communication in a Changing World textbook:

    • civility • appropriateness • self-monitoring • perspective taking •

    • confirmation • inclusive language • cultural sensitivity •

    Once you have choosen your term, please:

    • Provide a definition for the term as found in your textbook. (Be sure to give credit to your textbook, reference the “How to Apply Terms, Module 2” document if you need help.)
    • Provide a real-life example of a situation in which the term was clearly violated. (Meaning that the person did NOT show civility, appropriateness, etc.) You may choose a situation from your own life, one you have heard of happening, or one you witnessed happening.
    • Explain what could have been done to avoid committing the violation.
  2. Referring to the types of plagiarism and cheating described in the Walden Code of Conduct under Academic Integrity Violations (sections 4 & 5), then:
    • Provide an example of a time you witnessed or experienced one of those types of violations in your own life (it should be different from the example you used in number 1). This easily could include events at any level of your schooling, but could also be an event at church, work, in your community, or other areas of your life.
    • Be sure to explain why it is an example of plagiarism or cheating and why it was unethical behavior.
    • Be sure to give credit to the Walden Code of Conduct in your explanation. If you quote the conduct exactly, remember that you should put the quoted material in quotation marks.
  3. Be sure to use civil and academically appropriate language as you write your discussion post and responses this week (and in all future discussions and assignments please).

Be sure to support your ideas by connecting them to the week’s Learning Resources and something you have read, heard, seen, or experienced.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

Respond by Day 5 to at least two of your colleagues’ postings in two or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings.
  • Offer and support an opinion.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Make a suggestion.
  • Expand on your colleagues’ postings.

Note: A good response usually has at least 50 words and does more than just compliment a fellow student on his or her post.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.

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