This module is a resource for lecturers  


Possible class structure


This section contains recommendations for a teaching sequence and timing intended to achieve learning outcomes through a three-hour class. The lecturer may wish to disregard or shorten some of the segments below in order to give more time to other elements, including introduction, icebreakers, conclusion or short breaks. The structure could also be adapted for shorter or longer classes, given that the class durations vary across countries.

Society and ethics (35 minutes)

  • The students engage in Exercise 1: they are given five minutes for individual preparation - the task is to explore the front page of a newspaper or online headlines of a news site and to identify three to five stories with a clear ethical component. After five minutes small groups are formed to discuss and share examples (10 minutes). Each group is required to select one example to present to the class as a whole (15 minutes).

Presentation on the importance of ethics to society (30 minutes)

  • The lecturer presents on the definition of society as well as the main ethical theories.
  • Depending on whether the students have completed Module 1, this session could be shortened.
  • Exercise 2 is completed: Students are paired in groups of two and three to discuss the video and in particular the following questions: What is the relationship between ethics and society? What is the origin of our own ethical standards and the ethical standards of society?

Expedition to Mars exercise (90 minutes)

This exercise comprises a simulation of John Rawls' Veil of Ignorance thought experiment. It includes the following components (timing can be adjusted if required):

  • Initial information provided to students via presentation and handout (10 minutes)
  • Small groups discuss and come up with recommendations (20 minutes)
  • Presentations by small groups on recommendations (10 minutes)
  • Students vote on best recommendation (5 minutes)
  • Individual membership of roles revealed (5 minutes)
  • Students meet in groups defined by roles (20 minutes)
  • Presentations by five different roles (20 minutes)
  • Debrief by facilitator (10 minutes)

See more detailed guidelines in Exercise 3 of this Module.

Plenary discussion (25 minutes)

  • The lecturer facilitates a detailed Q&A session with students in which the main theoretical issues as well as practical applications are summarized.
  • Specific links to other modules of the E4J University Module Series on Integrity and Ethics should also pointed out.
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