This is the "Basic Ethics Resources" page of the "Ethics Resources for IPRO Teams" guide.
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Ethics Resources for IPRO Teams  

This is a resource guide for IPRO teams interested in looking at the ethical issues inherent in their project topics.
Last Updated: Feb 5, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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What is Ethics?

It's hard to have a discussion about ethics if you are now sure what is meant by the term.  Here is a short list of deffinitions of terms commonly used when talking about ethics, as well as a copy of the "Seven Step Method for Ethical Decision-Making" - a helpful guide that takes you through the steps of thinking through a complex ethical question.


For Faculty Advisors

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

Ethics Discussion Exercises

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.  The exercises below are only suggestions. Please feel free to adapt them as you see fit, or contact Kelly Laas ( for more ideas and resources.

Ethics Exercises 

In-Class Ethics Bowl

Dividing into groups, team members have the chance to compete in an competition where students debate questions about ethics case studies highlighting major ethical issues in their project. Excellent for introducing students to ethics. The competition can be between one or more IPRO teams, and cover any ethics topic you wish. Feel free to use this Guide for Discussing Ethics Case Studies as the two teams discuss the cases in preperation 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 work on 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

Recommended Databases

Helpful databases for research in the area of professional and applied ethics. 

  • Academic Search Premier
    A good general database that covers all major discipline areas. Try including the words "ethics", "moral" or "morality" in your search.
  • Business Source Premier
    This database covers all disciplines of business, including marketing, management, MIS, POM, accounting, finance and economics. Covers journals such as Business Ethics Quarterly, and the Journal of Business Ethics.
    This web site, developed by the University of Minnesota Libraries, is an excellent source for finding ethics-related materials, especially in the area of bioethics. Includes a news feed, blog feed, and extensive database of materials.
  • Philosopher's Index
    Covering all fields of philosophy and practical ethics, search here for articles on the responsible conduct of research, bioethics, and teaching ethics. Articles tend to approach subject from a less discipline-specific perspective.
  • PubMed
    PubMed is the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature. A good resource for searching for discipline-specific ethics articles.
  • Web of Science
    Web of Science provides access to approximately 8,700 of the most prestigious research journals in the world. Enter your search terms, and limit your search to "ethics" or "philosophy" in the left side-bar to refine the results of your search.

Recommended Journals

There are literally hundreds of journals looking at practical and professional ethics.  Here are a few key journals, grouped by discipline. The print edition of many of these journals is available at the Ethics Center Library.

  • Business Ethics Quarterly
    Presents articles and reviews about the application of ethics to the business community, particularly global business and economic concerns.
  • Journal of Business Ethics
    Original articles and reviews concerning ethical issues related to business, and analyses of systems of production, consumption, marketing, advertising, social and economic accounting, public relations and organizational behavior from a moral viewpoint.
  • Accountability in Research: Policies & Quality Assurance
    Devoted to the critical analysis of systems for conducting research in the areas of business, science, and the social sciences.
  • Hastings Center Report
    Articles on ethical issues in medicine, the life sciences and the professions.
  • Journal of Medical Ethics
    A premier journal looking at ethical issues in medical practice and research.
  • Journal of Mass Media Ethics
    Peer reviewed articles about decision-making, reports, literature searches & reviews dealing with mass media content & the behavior of practitioners in journalism, broadcasting, public relations, advertising & other mass communications disciplines.
  • Science and Engineering Ethics
    This is one of the premier journals of engineering ethics. Includes articles relevant to professional practice, teaching ethics, and descriptions of class and institution-wide ethics education programs.
  • Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice
    A journal looking at ethical issues in engineering research and practice.

Visit the CSEP Library

Have more questions?  Feel free to stop by the Ethics Center library in Hermann Hall, room 205 for assistance in exploring ethical questions raised in your IPRO project.  IIT students and staff are welcome to check out books from the Ethics Center, stop by to talk with the librarian about where to find relevant books or articles, to use the Center as a meeting place for their IPRO team, or to make an appointment to talk with a member of the Center about their project.

 Please visit the Ethics Center homepage for more information about our location, hours and other resources.


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Ethics Librarian

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Kelly Laas
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Hermann Hall, Room 205
3241 S. Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616
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Paul V. Galvin Library   35 W. 33rd Street  Chicago, IL 60616
Phone: 312.567.3616   Fax: 312.567.5318   Email:


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