You may find it helpful to understand some of our thinking behind the assignments in this course. The points below also include tips for what to attend to as you read through each course assignment.
The assignments are designed to assess both the disciplinary and the transdisciplinary outcomes for this course. You may want to review these in the Course Introduction.
We have tried to create assignments that will be meaningful to you both in terms of attaining the course learning outcomes and also as a foundation for functions, roles, or tasks you will be expected to engage as professional counsellors. Our intent is to bring about authentic assessment, in which learning is made worthwhile and significant by connecting it to real life.
As you have likely gathered by now, we have a strong commitment to professional writing in this program. You are, therefore, encouraged to continue to build upon writing skills learned and honed through your coursework thus far. Be sure to review relevant sections of Professional Writing in the Health Disciplines (Collins, 2016), especially those areas of writing where you have historically struggled.
We expect all students to demonstrate intellectual honesty and scholarly integrity. Please attend carefully to these expectations to avoid losing marks or perhaps being subject to more severe penalties.
These course assignments are an essential part of the learning process. We hope that you enjoy this process of building your competencies as a professional counsellor.
Eligible for the Mastery Learning Process
A key ongoing professional and ethical obligation involves critical awareness and reflection of our personal morals and values. As emphasized throughout this course, such reflection helps ensure that we are cognizant and responsive to how they influence our ethical practice generally, and our ethical decision making specifically.
The purpose of this assignment is for you to reflect on how your personal life experiences, cultural identities (e.g., ethnicity, religion, gender), and previous ethics training (if applicable) have shaped your moral beliefs and values thus far.
For this assignment you are required to reflect on and answer the following questions. Each response should be between 250-300 words. The total length of your assignment should not exceed 10 double-spaced pages, not including your title page. No references are required for this paper.
What are some of your most strongly held personal beliefs regarding right and wrong?
As a child and young adult, who or what, was most influential in shaping your beliefs regarding right and wrong?
As a child and young adult, to whom did you go to seek advice about good choices? Why did you choose these individuals?
In what ways have your central cultural identities influenced your beliefs regarding right and wrong?
What major life experiences (or world events) have shaped the values that inform how you live your life?
What are your three most important values and how do these align or conflict with Canadian ethics codes and professional standards? You can choose either or both of the two codes to answer this question.
How might the alignment or conflict (identified in #6) influence your work with clients or colleagues?
Have you ever felt ethically mistreated by a professional? If so, indicate how this has influenced your professional values. If not, indicate three or more personal values that you think will help decrease the possibility that you will ethically mistreat a client.
Conclude with a summary that indicates what you have learned through your reflections on these questions, and how you think these learnings will help foster your current and ongoing commitment to ethical practice.
Weight (15 marks)
Adherence to APA formatting
Personal reflection on beliefs and values
Identifies personal beliefs and values regarding right and wrong relevant to professional ethics
Tracks beliefs and values to personal experiences and if applicable, world events
Analyzes critically the influence of cultural identity on personal beliefs and values
Articulates consonance and dissonance between personal beliefs and values, and ethical principles and standards
Reflects critically on how personal beliefs and values might influence professional ethical practice
Summarizes personal learning with reference to key discoveries, insights, and reflections
Articulates how insights and learnings from this assignment will help promote future ethical practice
Not eligible for the Mastery Learning Process
Becoming an ethical professional is an extremely personal pursuit. You come to this course with myriad life experiences that cultivated beliefs about what is right and wrong, how people ought to be treated, and what it means to be an ethical person. Inevitably, most everything you come across in this course will bring forth both intellectual and emotional reactions, the latter of which can sometimes be very strong, profound, and impactful.
While the intent of your Ethics Autobiography was to reflect upon how previous life experiences have shaped your moral beliefs and values, the intent of Assignment 2 is to track your ongoing intellectual and emotional reactions to the course content on a weekly basis through use of a personal Edublog (an Edublog is simply a blog used for educational purposes).
Beginning in the first week of the course, and ending in the last week of the course, each week you are to document in your Edublog your intellectual and emotional reactions to the week's lesson, with emphasis on the emotional. All aspects of the lesson can be reflected on, including the readings, forum discussions, and assignments.
Total number of required words for the week is between 200-300. You can attain this through a series of short entries or through one long entry. Either way, your weekly entry(ies) must be made by the last day of each lesson. You cannot go back at a later date to fill in missed weeks.
From time to time your instructor will review your Edublog entries but will not make comments unless you expressly ask the instructor to do so. This is because the Edublog assignment is designed primarily to facilitate your reflective process rather than promote back-and-forth exchange with your instructor.
Your Edublog does not need to be APA formatted, though it does need to be clearly written with attention to spelling and grammar.
Your final entry for the course will provide a summary (400-600 words) of your key learning points attained throughout the entirety of the Edublog process. This assignment requires no submission on your part. Your Instructor will grade your Edublog and return a grading form in the designated drop-box.
IMPORTANT: Your Edublog is set to publish so that other students cannot read your posts, only your instructor. Also, while making entries in your Edublog please ensure that the "Allow Comments" field is set to "Yes.”
How to Add an EduBlog
It's up to you to create your own Edublog entries in Moodle. Each entry into the Edublog is composed as a message (blog), as it is in the discussion forums. It can be accessed through the Moodle activities (in the Weekly EduBlog Section under Assignment Drop Boxes).
To add a new entry, click on the EduBlog posts link, then click the “New blog post” button. You will be taken to the standard screen for entering information. Click on the “Add blog post” button at the bottom to save your changes.
If you wish to view the entries you have created, choose your name from the drop box in “Visible individual” field. You can edit or delete your Edublog using the buttons on the lower right corner of the blog entry area.
Tags are short words or phrases that help identify the content included in an online post, similar to the subject line of an email. Every blog entry can have one or more tags applied to it (optional). We recommend you enter a tag, which indicates the section of your course, in all of your entries (GCAP632F19 for example). If you wish, add additional tags to it.
User-defined tags allow you to make up your own tags. A tag you create can be used by any student in the course, but only you can edit or delete your user-defined tag.
Weight (15 marks)
Clarity of writing throughout your Edublog
Meets length requirements (200-300 words each week)
Demonstrates personal awareness through reflecting on intellectual and emotional reactions to the content of each lesson
Summary of key personal and professional learning points (final summative blog entry)
Not eligible for the Mastery Learning Process
The emphasis in grading will be on how you integrate reference materials, your decision-making process, and your ability to develop a defensible ethical position based on your case example. Your essay should demonstrate an integration of your knowledge of the chosen topic and your awareness of personal issues. Please follow APA format (7th edition).
Length: 2 pages maximum
Choose an ethical issue, possibly a controversial one, of special interest to you that you would like to explore in more depth. Listed below are example topics. You are free to choose one of these topics or one of your own. If you are unsure of your topic, consult with your instructor.
Limits to confidentiality when working with minors
Dual relationships when working in small or rural communities
The legal and moral rights of vulnerable populations
Informed consent when working with dependent adults
Ethical issues associated with technology and counselling
Counselling and recovered memories
The use of touch in psychotherapy
Ethical issues associated with the use of psychotropic medications
Addressing unethical behaviour of colleagues
Counselling children of separated or divorced parents
Ethical issues involved when counselling cultural minorities
Ethical issues involved when providing services to Indigenous clients/communities
Present a case scenario involving an ethical dilemma related to your chosen topic. Note: By definition a dilemma must involve a difficult choice involving at least two ethically defensible yet conflicting courses of action. To help ensure that you have created an actual dilemma, email your case scenario to your instructor prior to completing your assignment. Your instructor will provide relevant and timely feedback.
Discuss the ethical concerns or issues important to your topic based on current and relevant literature. Be sure to include areas of controversy and dispute. Demonstrate your knowledge of the ethical principles, standards, and guidelines that are relevant to your topic.
Demonstrate how you would resolve your dilemma through applying the decision-making process from either the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Code of Ethics or The Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists. If you choose to use the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists, you are only required to include steps 1-6 of the decision-making process. Note that for this task you have an option to use a table format, to demonstrate your thinking about part of the decision-making process (see here for an example and instructions). Whether or not you choose to use a table (suggested), you must still show a sound reasoning process that ends in a defendable position.
Describe how your personal beliefs and values interface with the professional values and whether this presents any dissonance or personal conflict for you. What changes in the dilemma described could have made it easier, or more difficult, for you personally?
In GCAP 631 Models of Counselling and Client Change, one of your assignments required you to create a professional website where you articulated key components of your approach to conceptualizing and using counselling models. You will now be asked to add ethical content to this website.
Many professional practice websites have a page dedicated to ethical practice. This inclusion pre-emptively addresses uncertainty or confusion regarding the importance and nature of ethical practice. This assignment involves adding relevant clarifying content to your pre-existing website. The intention behind this assignment is to have you translate your knowledge of professional ethics into a vernacular that will be accessible, meaningful, and understood by your clients.
For this assignment you are required to add a new page to your professional website titled “Ethics FAQ.” Within this page you will pose, and answer, any 5 of the following 10 questions. It is hoped that you will choose questions most relevant to your current or imagined future practice. Draw upon principles, standards, guidelines, laws, and relevant scholarship to support your responses.
Will you tell my parents what we talk about in therapy?
Are my sessions with you completely confidential?
Will other people working in this agency be able to view my confidential information (e.g., administration staff, supervisor, manager)?
What will you do if we happen to meet in public?
What if you and I hold very different beliefs regarding religion or politics?
Will you meet me at my home if I don’t feel up to coming in to see you?
I am in the midst of separating from my spouse. Will you write a letter supporting my bid for sole custody?
If I share that I am having an affair, will you inform my partner?
It is okay if we do some of our sessions using Skype or a related technology?
If I admit to a serious crime, will you inform the police?
Please submit a document that contains a link to your website to the Assignment dropbox. Your instructor will return this document along with your grade and written feedback.
Weight (5 marks)
FAQs are written in a style that facilitates lay person understanding.
You are required to complete a multiple choice exam that covers all material covered in the course. The exam is to be completed online through the Multiple Choice Exam link. You can access the exam during the dates specified in the course schedule. The exam is timed and the results will be emailed directly to your course instructor. You will have one hour to complete the exam. Detailed instructions for taking the exam can be found here.
As with all other components of the course, you are expected to obtain a grade of 70% or higher on the exam. If your grade is less than 74% (a B-), you may take the exam a second time. This means that you don't want to leave the exam until the last day to complete or you may run out of time for your second attempt.
Please carefully review the links below to ensure that you are clear about the expectations for participation in the class discussions.
You are required to fully participate in the discussion forums for all weeks except one. If you choose to miss a week in this course, it must be one of the following Weeks 2, 3, 4, 5. If you do choose to take a week off you are still responsible for the learning outcomes. Mastery of these outcomes will help prepare you for the multiple choice exam.
Note: If you do not participate in the weekly discussion forums, during the posted time frame for each forum, you will be considered as not showing up for the course and will be required to withdraw and to register to take the course later.