A Game-based Experiential Approach to Teaching Professional Ethics
An Experiential Pedagogy for Sustainability Ethics
Unlike the traditional approach to ethics education that involves reading, writing, and discussing moral reasoning in the abstract, our new pedagogy uses experiential games to position students in situations that require first-hand ethical decision-making. The games allow students to personally explore what factors prevent them from living up to their moral ideals, and what strategies are effective for coordinating groups to address collective-action problems, where personal incentives are at odds with the group’s best interests. Each game consists of complete and independent modules that can be combined to form undergraduate & graduate level courses in sustainability ethics. Furthermore, both the modules and the course are deliverable in a synchronous (or semi-synchronous) fashion at multiple Universities, wherein students at multiple campuses interact on-line through game play. The games can also be played entirely in-class, in blended learning environments (online and in-class), or completely online. This novel multi-campus form of instruction allows students to be mentored by multiple instructors from different disciplines.