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Featured class: Phil 105 collaborative

A course offered next semester takes the next step forward in studio-based education at Georgetown by introducing cross-course collaboration.

Offered as stage two of a pilot project in the KIE’s EthicsLab, the Phil 105-04 class, like its Fall 2014 predecessor, will be co-taught by a philosopher and a designer. This semester, class structure will expand to involve intermittent in-studio collaboration with two other courses, Introduction to Rhetoric (Engl 286-01) with Matt Pavesich, and Shaping National Science Policy (Biol 262) with Francis Slakey. Collaboration will be facilitated by a custom-built online platform, funded by one of this year’s sought-after ITEL grants.

“In studio courses, students are encouraged to fail publicly, and fail fast,” explains designer Arjun Dhillon, who will be co-delivering the Phil 105 course with KIE Director Maggie Little.

It’s a model of learning that can be challenging to the ego, but deeply rewarding, according to students.

One participant in the Fall 2014 class put it this way: “Rather than only learning the material, this course encourages full engagement with the material. … Questions that currently plague the field are the same questions we try to answer in the course.”

“[The Fall 2014 class] has been challenging and rewarding in ways I would have never expected at Georgetown,” says another. “I constantly felt compelled to do better than before in this course.”

“The course collaborative scheduled for this semester represents an important next step in scaling up the studio model at Georgetown,” adds Kelly Heuer, a member of the EthicsLab founding team. “We are so excited to broaden and deepen the resources available in studio as we invite even more students into this challenging learning environment.”

The course was not part of Georgetown’s pre-registration process, so enrollment is still open and spots are still available.

View class website »

From the Georgetown Registrar:

Philosophy 105-04: Introduction to Bioethics
Spring 2015

Instructors: Margaret Little and Arjun Dhillon
201B Healy Hall
Thursday, 1-3:30 pm

This course will introduce students to the world of bioethics in EthicsLab, a new innovation studio in Healy Hall that combines the reflection of ethics with the creativity of design thinking. We will explore issues about autonomy and the vulnerability of illness; questions in the ethics of clinical research; and the promise—and pandora’s box—of personal genomics. In addition, the course will be collaboratively linked with two other courses: Introduction to Rhetoric with Prof. Matt Pavesich, and Science and National Policy with Prof. Francis Slakey. In addition to their regular class meeting, students across the three courses will form cohorts of 12-18 students to work on student-driven projects, which will be presented at the end of term.

Assignments will include traditional writing and collaborative team projects. No background in design methods required or assumed. This course satisfies the Gen Ed Ethics requirement.

Prerequisite: prior enrollment in Introduction to Philosophy or Introduction to Ethics.

Credits: 3

Register online »