This teaching guide is a resource for lecturers   


Module adaptation and design guidelines


The University Modules on Integrity and Ethics have deliberately been designed to be adapted. Each Module provides an outline for a three-hour class but can be used for shorter or longer sessions. The following paragraphs provide examples of the kind of adaptation that can take place. It is not an exhaustive list and can be expanded where required.

To be able to support lecturers even further, UNODC would appreciate receiving any adapted versions of the E4J Modules (messages should be sent to UNODC will then share these with its network lecturers as examples of how the Modules can be adapted to different regions, contexts and disciplines.


Localizing the content

The lecturer can take the following steps to localize the content:

  • Determine if there is any content that might be deemed offensive in a local cultural context and remove or adapt that part
  • Provide a customized introduction that refers to relevant legal frameworks and case studies, perhaps recent examples that appeared in the local media
  • If required, replace or complement the existing readings, case studies and exercises with examples that reflect the local context
  • If appropriate, merge the E4J content with an existing module
  • If required, translate the content into a local language
  • Adapt content to better relate to a certain discipline, sector or industry

Integrating within an existing course

All the E4J Modules have been designed in a way that they could either be offered as a stand-alone module or integrated within an existing course. As mentioned before, the modular structure allows lecturers to select only those that are relevant within a specific context. Lecturers may also create a complete course on integrity and ethics by using all 14 Modules.

Lecturers have many options to use an E4J Module. As a stand-alone module, it could be offered as either a voluntary or mandatory addition to a course, e.g. as a workshop offered outside the normal scheduled sessions. It could also be offered as part of summer or interim sessions or as public sessions with broader participation than simply the registered students.

Integration within an existing course requires advanced planning, because a specific session would have to be scheduled in a course outline, which may have to go through internal approval processes. Lecturers often have substantial flexibility to introduce new, but related, content in a course outline. For example, in a media and communications studies course there is likely to be an existing focus on ethics. In such a case, the lecturer can either replace the existing content with the E4J Module or adapt / merge the existing content with the E4J content. If there is no existing ethics content, the lecturer will have to rearrange the current content to create space in the course outline for the E4J material.

It remains the responsibility of the lecturer to familiarize herself or himself with the academic requirements of the specific institutions. The process described above might not always be possible.


Changing the timeframe

The three-hour time slot is offered as a guideline. Depending on the lecturing style and the class size a typical E4J Module, with all exercises, could probably be offered in a timeframe that ranges between one and four hours. These requirements vary between institutions and programmes. Undergraduate contact sessions are usually shorter, and one E4J Module might have to be spread over two or more sessions. By contrast, postgraduate sessions could last two or three hours, which might be sufficient to cover the content of an entire Module. However, some lecturers may still wish to spread the Module over two sessions, as the break in between the two sessions could allow students to process and internalize the materials better. In some cases, lecturers might wish to introduce additional content to offer a half-day or even a full-day workshop.

There are no rigid guidelines in this regard and lecturers need to make adjustments to fit their circumstances.


Developing a stand-alone course

Each Module contains a separate section, "Guidelines to develop a stand-alone course", that is described as follows:

This Module provides an outline for a three-hour class, but there is potential to develop its topics further into a stand-alone course. The scope and structure of such a course will be determined by the specific needs of each context, but a possible structure is presented here as a suggestion.

The guidelines are very flexible and provide some high-level suggestions on the content and structure of a stand-alone course. They can also be used to provide ideas for adding content to longer sessions or workshops.


Module combinations

Lecturers might wish to deliver combinations of the available Modules. These could potentially be developed into courses that would meet requirements of systems such as the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), which forms part of the Bologna process. More information about the ECTS is available here. The table below provides suggestions on possible combinations that could be considered in different disciplines. These are offered as suggestions for courses that comprise seven sessions. If required, an eighth session can be scheduled for an examination. Each session in Table 1 can refer to a three-hour contact session, the proposed timeframe for an E4J Module, or it can cover a longer or shorter period that would fit the specific requirements. In the case of shorter contact sessions of one hour or less, an E4J Module could also be delivered over three separate sessions.

Table 1: possible combinations


Combinations will be determined by institutional or faculty requirements and informed by thematic priorities. Lecturers could also consider combinations involving E4J Modules in other areas. It is recalled in this context that E4J also offers university modules on the core crime mandates of UNODC, including anti-corruption, crime prevention and criminal justice, cybercrime, firearms, organized crime, trafficking in persons/smuggling of migrants and counter-terrorism. Given the availability of E4J Modules on a variety of subject areas, and in the context of the myriad of possibilities provided by different timeframes, the entire E4J module series is adaptable to many different environments.


Teaching large classes

Given their highly interactive nature, the exercises in the Modules are most appropriate for relatively small 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. In larger classes comprising a few hundred students, it is more challenging to have the same small group structure and the lecturer might wish to adapt the 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 close to them. Given time limitations, not all groups will be able to provide feedback in each exercise. It is recommended that the lecturer make random selections and try 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.

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