Skip to Main Content

Ethics Resources for IPRO Teams: Teaching Resources

This is a resource guide for IPRO teams interested in looking at the ethical issues inherent in their project topics.

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.

Goals of Teaching Ethics

1.      Enhance students’ awareness of and sensitivity to ethical issues as they arise in the course of research.

2.      Students gain a basic understanding of relevant ethical topics in their IPRO project.

3.      Students get a basic idea of resources, people and policies they can turn to when ethical questions arise. 

4.      Students begin to appreciate the importance of ethics in research and practice.

Ideally, ethics is not the topic of just one exercise or discussion, our goal is to get students thinking and talking about ethics throughout the semester. The tips and exercises in this guide should be used as a starting point. 

Teaching Tips

Below are some ideas of how you can work ethics into your IPRO.  Feel free to contact the Ethcs Center for help in finding resources or cases or if you would like to have someone from the Center come and visit your IPRO.

Teaching Tools

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


Profile Photo
Kelly Laas
Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions
10 W. 35th Street
2nd Floor
Subjects: Ethics

Starting the Conversation....

Share your stories – Does a certain event in class remind you of a time when you faced a similar ethical question or issue? Share it with your students, including how you or a colleague came to a decision about what to do, and what the final outcome was.  

Bring current news events into the class – See an interesting article in the Chicago Tribune, the Economist, or on the news which links to an ethics issue in your class? Share it with your students, and/or ask your students to be on the lookout for articles.

Ask questions – In discussions with students, push them to think about both short and long-term effects of their decisions. Ethics is a key part of almost any design process. What stakeholders will be affected and how? This includes local residents, the environment, potential users of a product or process, etc.

Connect with students’ lives – The decisions we make in our everyday lives often have similarities with other, larger ethical decisions we sometimes face, and reflecting on these decisions can help us think about our own ethical values.  How do the choices students face in their life at school or work relate to the choices they may have to make as a professional in their future careers?

Our goal is to get students thinking about everyday ethics. Not every ethical situation ends in disaster. Many situations end with an individual making a decision that ends in a positive way, or a least a relatively neutral, way.  Ethical issues pop up everywhere in daily life and work. Our goal is to get students to begin recognizing ethical issues, thinking about downstream consequences, and hopefully help them develop some decision-making skills so they can effectively think through and act on their chosen solution to a problem.