Ethics In IPROs

The Center the for the Study of Ethics in the Professions is working with the Interprofessional Projects Office of IIT to help develop ways of integrating ethics instruction into the IPRO program. Below is a collection of resources for students and faculty advisors interested in exploring the unique ethical questions raised by their projects.

Quick Tip: Some IPRO teams have found it useful to appoint one or two students as the ethics leaders, and give them the task of working with CSEP to organize an activity for all the team members to participate in.

Ethics Exercises

This is a collection of exercises designed so faculty advisors can easily insert ethics instruction into their existing project syllabi. We welcome feedback on how these exercises can be improved from faculty and students.

In-Class Ethics Bowl

Dividing into groups, team members have the chance to compete in an hour-long competition where students debate questions about ethics case studies highlighting major ethical issues in their project. Excellent for introducing students to ethics. Feel free to use this Guide for Discussing Ethics Case Studies as the two teams discuss the cases in preparation for the competition.

Ethics Presentation & Case Discussions

Groups are students are asked to research and present on ethics topics related to their project, and to lead a case study discussion with their team. Excellent for introducing students to ethics.

Interview with a Professional

Used successfully for many years as part of an IIT undergraduate course taught by Dr. Vivian Weil, Phil 370: Engineering Ethics, this exercise asks students to interview a professional in the workplace about a simple case study, and ask their interviewee about how he/she would go about solving the ethical dilemma in the case. The aim of the interview is to elicit the interviewee’s analysis of the situation and especially the resources in his or her company (for example, a process or committee in the company) for resolving such a problem. Students are often surprised both that the professionals they interview are concerned about ethical issues, and that many resources exist to help individuals in the workplace solve these problems.

Newspaper Article Discussion

When working single-mindedly on a project like IPRO, it is easy to forget how what is being done at the bench level connects with the larger ethical issues that are being debated in society, such as issues of patenting, privacy, emerging technologies, health care and education. This exercise seeks to help students see these connections by having them participate in a guided discussion about a set of recent news articles that touch upon some of the larger social implications of their IPRO project.

Professional Codes of Ethics Discussion

In groups, students examine the similarities and differences between their own professional codes of ethics, and have the chance to reflect on how these codes can be used to solve a series of mini case studies and provide guidance for examining ethics issues inherent in their own project.

Case Study Writing Assignment

Students are asked to adapt or write an ethics case study highlighting an ethical issue faced in their own project, based on an existing case study, a recent news article, or an imaginary scenario.

Ethics Roundtable Discussion

Students develop a series of questions about the social and ethical questions raised by their project plan, and invite a panel of "experts" to come and discuss. Ideal for IPROs involved in service learning or community research, where students have a beginning understanding of ethics.

Role Play Scenarios

Role-playing can be a powerful learning experience and can, if used correctly, help stimulate lively discussion and debate among students. In this exercise, students are asks to take the part of a character in a case study that portrays a realistic, difficult ethical situation. The goal of this exercise is that student will recall what they have learned through participating in this role play scenario and be able to apply what they learned to ethical problems they may encounter in their professional careers

Student Resources

Visit the Ethics Center Library to begin your research on ethics issues related to your IPRO project, or check out these library guides and bibliographies. Please feel free to contact the CSEP Librarian for more help.

Ethics In IPROS Library Guide

An excellent place to begin your research. Includes electronic and print materials on animal and human research subjects, conflict of interest, intellectual property, privacy & confidentiality, workplace safety, product safety, service-learning and community research, and resources for writing ethics case studies.

Ethics Bibliographies

A large collection of bibliographies of recent books and articles covering everything from professional responsibility to issues of social justice.

Ethics Education Library

A huge database of articles, case studies, books and other materials on all aspects of practical and professional ethics.

Ethics Resource Guides

A collection of library guides focusing on academic ethics, business ethics, engineering ethics, ethics in scientific research, and ethics in psychology.

Online Codes of Ethics Collection

A collection of over 3,000 professional codes of ethics maintained by the Ethics Center Library.

Faculty Advisor Resources

Teaching Ethics Library Guide

A collection of resources on how to integrate ethics into your pre-existing course syllabi.

Ethics Education Library

A huge database of materials, much of which focuses on instructional methods and pedagogical materials on teaching ethics. Also includes a large ethics case study collection.

Ethics Terminology and the Seven-Step Method for Ethical Decision Making

Developed by Michael Davis of CSEP, this handout provides a list of terms and definitions commonly used to discuss ethics as well as a a structured format for decision making that can be used either to lead a class discussion about a case study or ethical issue, or as a tool for students.

For further assistance, please contact the Ethics Center Library.