JMU Libraries Partnered with Ethical Reasoning in Action to Move “It’s Complicated” Online

Posted on: August 1, 2023

By Kacey Damaty, Assistant Director, Ethical Reasoning in Action

JMU’s Ethical Reasoning in Action (ERiA) team is delivering “It’s Complicated” virtually to nearly 5,000 incoming JMU students beginning this fall.

Data from the past 10 years of facilitating “It’s Complicated” in person demonstrate that the program is an effective intervention in a student’s ability to reason ethically.

What effect will an online delivery have? Working with some of the instructional designers in JMU Libraries, ERiA is using this high-impact project to find answers to that question.

Over the past six months, JMU Libraries and ERiA worked together to:

  • develop the online course infrastructure,
  • re-design “It’s Complicated” content and assessments,
  • map online learning objectives to ERiA’s Student Learning Outcomes and
  • ensure that “It’s Complicated” remains engaging and effective.

JMU Libraries’ instructional design experts trained the ERiA team to effectively use tools in Canvas to help students reflect on the topic of the program—the ethics of providing care via artificial intelligence—in more accessible and engaging ways. This online delivery also provides asynchronous instruction that allows for longer thinking time for students. What better scenario to introduce in a new online format than one that asks: When should technology be used to support or supplement authentic human interactions?

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