This module is a resource for lecturers   




This section contains suggestions for in-class and pre-class educational exercises, while a post-class assignment for assessing student understanding of the Module is suggested in a separate section.

The exercises in this section are most appropriate for classes of up to 50 students, where students can be easily organized into small groups in which they discuss cases or conduct activities before group representatives provide feedback to the entire class. Although it is possible to have the same small group structure in large classes comprising a few hundred students, it is more challenging, and the lecturer might wish to adapt facilitation techniques to ensure sufficient time for group discussions as well as providing feedback to the entire class. The easiest way to deal with the requirement for small group discussions in a large class is to ask students to discuss the issues with the four or five students sitting close to them. Given time limitations, not all groups will be able to provide feedback in each exercise. It is recommended that the lecturer makes random selections and tries to ensure that all groups get the opportunity to provide feedback at least once during the session. If time permits, the lecturer could facilitate a discussion in plenary after each group has provided feedback.

All exercises in this section are appropriate for both graduate and undergraduate students. However, as students' prior knowledge and exposure to these issues vary widely, decisions about appropriateness of exercises should be based on their educational and social context. The lecturer is encouraged to relate and connect each exercise to the Key issues section of the Module.

It is recommended that lecturers begin building a conducive and friendly environment at the start of class and before conducting the very first exercise. This can be done by breaking the ice in a supportive way, by respectfully examining students' starting orientations to corruption, and by demonstrating genuine interest in their perspectives. Once students come to see the lecturer as respectful, genuinely interested in their orientation to the material, and consistent in policing any snide or unsupportive comments by class members, that safe space will enable effective learning and development.   


Exercise 1: Class opening - "Minute Paper"

At the start of class, ask the students to write down their responses to three simple questions:

  • Identify all the possible ways they know (internal, law enforcement/regulator and outside) that are used to detect corruption.
  • Which one is the most difficult?
  • Which one is most effective?

Ask students to briefly present and explain their answers. For a variation of this exercise, if students are having difficulty answering question (a), the lecturer can brainstorm with students on question (a), and then ask students to write their answers to questions (b) and (c).

Lecturer Guidelines

This opening exercise is designed to sensitize students to their own perceptions of corruption and their current knowledge regarding how it is detected, opening the door for class teachings to challenge student preconceptions. If time permits, the lecturer can identify students with different views on one question and have students discuss their reasoning.


Exercise 2: How to report on corruption

Identify one or more instances of local corruption, and have students debate which mechanism, e.g. whistle-blower, media, internal audit, external oversight or police investigation, is possible or effective in their community for reporting corruption in those instances.

Lecturer Guidelines

Have students engage in open discussion of methods of reporting corruption. Lecturers can support student discussions by noting a possible drawback, concern or complexity regarding a reporting method that students did not think of. The lecturer should encourage students to think about what challenges there might be to reporting, and how they might be overcome by systemic change. Use each example to promote further student thinking and insight by having students weigh each method's effectiveness and risk.


Exercise 3: Anti-corruption blockchain brainstorm

Watch the TED Talk Blockchain Beyond Bitcoin by Valerie Hetherington (14 minutes).

Lecturer Guidelines

Assign students to watch the video before or during class. Then direct students to build an anti-corruption plan, using the blockchain. For optimal engagement, impose a short period timed exercise, for example five minutes, and a shout-out methodology, to encourage fast thinking, class collaboration, and excitement.


Exercise 4: How to uncover community corruption

Before or during class, assign students to read The Guardian's article Nine Ways to Use Technology to Reduce Corruption and watch France 24's video Tech24: Meet Rosie, the A.I. Bot helping to detect corruption in Brazil. Then put students into small groups to create a new use of technology to combat corruption in their community.

Lecturer Guidelines

Lecturers may wish to assign similar videos and articles from local media that might be more relevant and interesting to the students.

Students can be very creative, especially with new technologies and social media, and it is likely that they will see uses for new technology and systems that lecturers may not. Technology access will vary by region and country, but students all use text messaging, apps on smart phones, and Facebook, Instagram, or their equivalent. Use this exercise to foster the students' creativity and connect the issues of corruption to their online world. What some students will create may be surprising and interesting; lecturers choose whether to share all or some of the examples with the class. 


Exercise 5: Why is whistle-blowing so hard and yet so important?

Watch the Ted Talk How whistle-blowers shape history by Kelly Richmond Pope, (12 minutes).

Lecturer Guidelines

Have students discuss any whistle-blowers they have read about or heard of, and what changes if any that resulted from the whistle-blowing. This video and discussion are a good way to instil in students the important function that whistle-blowers fulfil, and stress how important it is to provide them with legal and social protection.

Teaching option: A teacher could use this exercise in a longer format, and possibly reduce the use of other exercises. Expand discussion to the issues raised in Exercise 5 by trying to distinguish between a whistle-blower and a leaker. Begin with the question, when does an individual reporting corruption become a whistle-blower? Only once he/she is subject to retaliation? If there is a positive outcome from the report of corruption, one that never reaches the media or widespread public attention because the whistle-blower reported, the matter was properly addressed, and the person was NOT retaliated against, is this whistle-blowing or not? Is making a protected disclosure something different from whistle-blowing? What is the ultimate aim of the relevant laws and measures? This will lead to lengthy discussions and debate within the class and possible lead to academic research.

See for instance, Open Society Foundations (2018) Whistleblowers for Change 14-15.


Exercise 6: Class wrap-up - "Minute Paper"

A few minutes before the end of class, ask the students to write down their responses to two simple questions:

  • What was the most important thing you learned today?
  • What question(s) remain(s) in your mind?

To conclude the session, ask students to briefly present their answers.

Lecturer Guidelines

If time limitations do not allow for such a discussion, lecturers can ask the students to hand in their responses on their way out of class, anonymously or with their name on top of the page.

Next: Possible class structure
Back to top