Case-Based Ethics Instruction: The Influence of Contextual and Individual Factors in Case Content on Ethical Decision-Making
- 789 Downloads
Cases have been employed across multiple disciplines, including ethics education, as effective pedagogical tools. However, the benefit of case-based learning in the ethics domain varies across cases, suggesting that not all cases are equal in terms of pedagogical value. Indeed, case content appears to influence the extent to which cases promote learning and transfer. Consistent with this argument, the current study explored the influences of contextual and personal factors embedded in case content on ethical decision-making. Cases were manipulated to include a clear description of the social context and the goals of the characters involved. Results indicated that social context, specifically the description of an autonomy-supportive environment, facilitated execution of sensemaking processes and resulted in greater decision ethicality. Implications for designing optimal cases and case-based training programs are discussed.
KeywordsCase-based instruction Ethical decision-making Ethics cases Teaching ethics
This research was supported by grant # 0931539 from the National Science Foundation. The project tile is: “Case-Based Reasoning and Ethics Instruction: Content and Processing Exercises for Effective Education.”
- Herreid, C. F. (1998). What makes a good case? Some basic rules of good storytelling help teachers generate student excitement in the classroom. Journal of College Science Teaching, 27(3), 163–165.Google Scholar
- Lynn, L. (1999). Teaching and learning with cases: A guidebook. New York, NY: Chatham House.Google Scholar
- Nygren, T. E., Isen, A. M., Taylor, P. J., & Dulin, J. (1996). The influence of positive affect on the decision rule in risk situations: Focus on outcome (and especially avoidance of loss) rather than probability. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 66(1), 59–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Thiel, C. E., Connelly, S., Harkrider, L., Devenport, L. D., Bagdasarov, Z., Johnson, J. F., & Mumford, M. D. (2011). Case-based knowledge and ethics education: Improving learning and transfer through emotionally rich cases. Science and Engineering Ethics. Advanced online publication. doi: 10.1007/s11948-011-9318-7.
- Vansteenkiste, M., Simons, J., Lens, W., Soenens, B., & Matos, L. (2005). Examining the motivational impact of intrinsic versus extrinsic goal framing and autonomy-supportive versus internally controlling communication style on early adolescents’ academic achievement. Child Development, 76(2), 483–501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar