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 discussion in a large class is to ask students to discuss the issues with the four or five students sitting closest 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 by building a conducive and sympathetic 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 environment will enable effective learning and development.

Exercise 1: How can citizens participate in fighting corruption?

Before coming to class, have students read Corruption and Collective Action and watch the TED Talk Fighting Corruption in the Developing World. In class, students should be divided into groups of five to eight and take ten minutes to brainstorm and exchange ideas on how technology can be used by citizens to fight corruption. Ideas could be directed at addressing corruption in specific sectors that are vulnerable to corruption. At the end of the ten minutes, the ideas should be put on a board and the top five ideas selected and discussed.

Lecturer guidelines

The aim of this exercise is to give a practical overview of how citizens can participate in the fight against corruption, with a focus on electoral corruption in developing democracies. It could take up to 45 minutes.


Exercise 2: How can investigative journalism fight corruption?

Before coming to class, have students watch the TED Talk How the Panama Papers journalists broke the biggest leak in history or the TED Talk How I named, shamed and jailed. After watching the videos, the class should be divided into five groups. Each group should look at one of the following websites:

and report to the other groups on:

  • The approaches taken by these groups to fight corruption
  • The synergies between these groups
  • Which approach appears to be the most useful to fight corruption considering the local context.

Lecturer guidelines

This exercise provides an insight into how investigative journalism works in different jurisdictions. The exercise should give students an understanding of how important the media is in the fight against corruption and the effort that goes into investigative journalism around the world. The exercise should also confront students with the ethical and other implications of investigative journalism in the form of Wikileaks. Is there a duty on investigative journalists to be responsible, and to whom do they owe this duty? The lecturer may refer to the E4J University Module Series on Integrity and Ethics and particularly to Module 10 (Media Integrity and Ethics) of that series.

This exercise assumes that the students have read the following materials (referred to in the Core reading section):


Exercise 3: Citizen journalism

Ask the students to check this website before they go to the class. The website collates a number of collaborative journalism platforms, where citizens can submit news. During the class, have the students watch the TED Talk Citizen journalism by Paul Lewis or the TED Talk Citizen journalism by Brian Conley. After watching the videos, the students should be divided into groups of five and each group should go to the immediate environment (outside the class, in the halls, as appropriate) and use their smartphones to create a news story. This can be done by dramatizing a criminal act (such as bribery or embezzlement) or using whatever is available in the immediate environment to create a story. This exercise should highlight how easy (or difficult) it is to be a citizen journalist and how easy it is for citizens to create fake news.

The students should then discuss the following issues:

  • What are the ethical issues around citizen journalism?
  • How has citizen journalism affected mainstream journalism?
  • How can citizen journalism be used in the fight against corruption?

Lecturer guidelines

The aim of this exercise is to provide students with an understanding of the effectiveness and the limitations of citizen journalism. It provides students with an opportunity to test out their own ability to be citizen journalists, but also to see the ease by which "fake news" can be created, and the impact that this can have. The exercise should get students to think about how the ethical issues around citizen journalism could be managed.

This exercise assumes that the students have read or watched in advance the following materials (see full reference in the Core reading and the Additional teaching tools sections of this Module):


Exercise 4: Game changers in anti-corruption: key activists and media persons who drive anti‐corruption actions

Have the students watch one (or more) of the following TED Talks: When you fight corruption it fights back, My battle to expose government corruption or How to Expose the Corrupt. After watching the videos, students should consider and discuss the impact that these activists and organizations have had on corruption locally and internationally.

Students should consider the commitment and effort these activists put into this fight and the personal cost to them.

Lecturer guidelines

This exercise should provide students with an understanding of the personal and professional costs of fighting corruption by individuals in different jurisdictions. Anti-corruption activists must realize that corrupt interests fight back when they are threatened and this should be known and understood by students.


Exercise 5: The impact of civil society

Have the students watch the video Kony 2012. After watching the documentary, the class should discuss the various tools that the NGO Invisible Children used to push public opinion and "force" government intervention. This could take about 15 minutes.

Lecturer guidelines

The aim of this exercise is to highlight what can be achieved when civil society is organized and determined and makes use of various channels to advance an agenda. The documentary to be screened in this exercise highlights the impact that civil society can have when it mobilizes around an emotional issue. In this case, the issue was children caught up in the conflict in central Africa spearheaded by Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army. Whilst the issue is not about corruption but conflict, it shows the power that civil society and ordinary people can have to effect change.

This exercise assumes that the students have read the following materials (referred to in the Core reading section):


Exercise 6: Using technology in the fight against corruption: blockchain and big data

Ask the students to read the materials listed below before they go to the class. During the class, students should be divided into small groups and discuss the potential applications for blockchain and big data in the following sectors:

  • Public procurement
  • Elections
  • Land registration

Pre-exercise reading list :


Lecturer guidelines

The aim of this exercise is to present the concept of blockchain and understand its implications for fighting corruption. For this exercise, students must have done the related reading and should be prepared to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a blockchain platform in several public domains.

Next: Possible class structure
Back to top