After completing Quest I students are required to take a Quest II course in their next semester. These courses are capped at fifty students, focus on Ethical Reasoning, carry one of three Signature Questions, and are co-requisite with Comm 111 or WBIS 188, whichever course the student did not take in the first semester.
To extend the first-year experience from Quest I to Quest II, students are provided opportunities to plan their future in college, work, & life. This is achieved through the following Quest II components:
- Exposure to student and academic organizations
- Opportunities in undergraduate research/creative activity
- Alumni class visits
- Career & Professional Development
- University engagement opportunities; e.g. Taste of UW Oshkosh, Student Leadership & Involvement Ceter (SLIC), Volunteer Fair, Study/Intern Abroad Fair, etc.
In addition to furthering the aims of a Liberal Education (like all courses in the USP), the Quest II course also begins to address the responsibility of “Ethical Reasoning” (with the “Ethical Action” component of the Essential Learning Outcome addressed more specifically in Quest III). Students gain awareness of central ethical issues experienced by practitioners in that discipline. Ethical reasoning can be broadly construed—from the deliberation of issues and claims to engagement with the driving or pressing questions within each academic field. The Quest II course exposes students to the process of reasoning within the stated focus of the course.
Quest II Course Design Resources
- Follow this link for the Quest II syllabus checklist.
- Follow this link for Quest II sample syllabi.
- Follow this link for Quest II syllabus sample language.
- Follow this link for a handout with tips & notes for students, which you can use to verify their attendance during academic open house week.
- Quest II courses are Explore Courses. Follow this link to find out more about Explore Courses.
- NOTE: the Alumni office and the Career & Prof. Dev. office will reach out to you to plan a visit. The USP office will let you know the dates of the Academic Open House Week, the Celebration of Scholarship & Creative Activity, and other pertinent events.
Ethical Reasoning and the Signature Question
“Ethical Reasoning is reasoning about right and wrong human conduct. It requires students to be able to assess their own ethical values and the social context of problems, recognize ethical issues in a variety of settings, think about how different ethical perspectives might be applied to ethical dilemmas and consider the ramifications of alternative actions. Students’ ethical self identity evolves as they practice ethical decision-making skills and learn how to describe and analyze positions on ethical issues.”- American Association of Colleges & Universities
A common approach to ethical reasoning is to have students consider their reactions to case studies in the discipline area of the course. Quest II should capitalize on your expertise in your discipline, but it can also take advantage of the lens provided by the Signature Question. To incorporate the signature question and the ethical reasoning component into your Quest II course, you might think in terms of “complementary” questions, that is, questions that are easily raised within the Signature Question itself. Consider these ethical questions that can be used for any of the three Signature Questions or disciplinary content:
- What are the problems confronting society?
- How do (my) values shape the recognition of these problems?
- To what extent am I obligated to help solve these problems?
- What are the costs associated with ignoring these problems?
- How can I be a force for change, if needed or desired?
Complementary Ethical Questions for Sustainability:
- To what extent should we care about the future?
- What should we sustain? How do we decide what to sustain?
- Does the fact that a practice is unsustainable make it morally wrong?
- How could someone with my values create a more sustainable world?
- How sustainable do we want the world to be?
- Which features of the world do we want to preserve?
- How should people create a more sustainable world?
- How important is it to create a more sustainable world?
- Why should we create a more sustainable world?
Complementary Ethical Questions for Civic Learning:
- How important is it to engage in community life?
- What is my community and what are my responsibilities to it?
- To what extent am I obligated to help those in need (hungry, homeless, injured)?
- How could someone with my values engage in community life?
- How engaged do we want people to be in the community?
- Which communities do we want to engage with?
- How should people engage in community life?
- How important is it to engage in community life?
Complementary Ethical Questions for Intercultural Knowledge:
- Why do other cultures matter (geographically, temporally)?
- To what extent should we care about other cultures?
- To what extent do we want people to bridge cultural differences?
- How should people bridge cultural differences?
- How important is it to bridge cultural differences?
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