Begin by viewing the “Start Here” videos. They introduce concepts that are basic to sustainability and CSR. Read through these videos’ teaching notes for details and related ethics concepts. Watch the “Related Videos” and/or read the related Case Study. “Additional Resources” offer further reading, a bibliography, and (sometimes) assignment suggestions.
The “Additional Videos” describe the way incentives affect economics, how the slippery slope leads to moral degradation, why “framing” matters to sustainability and CSR, and the hallmarks of fair and equal representation. Other videos introduce behavioral ethics biases that impact ethical decision-making, such as the tendency to switch values based on our role, and the importance of loss aversion in making moral choices.
Show a video in class, assign a video to watch outside of class, or embed a video in an online learning module such as Canvas. Then, prompt conversation in class to encourage peer-to-peer learning. Ask students to answer the video’s “Discussion Questions,” and to reflect on the ideas and issues raised by the students in the video. How do their experiences align? How do they differ? The videos also make good writing prompts. Ask students to watch a video and apply the ethics concept to course content.
Case studies are an effective way to introduce ethics topics, too, and for students to learn how to spot ethical issues. Read the recommended case studies to start class discussion on issues related to economic and environmental sustainability and social equity. The selected cases cover these topics across a wide range of disciplines and examine sustainability and CSR in terms of fair business practices, environmental policies, advertising, consumer goods, equal representation, and freedom of speech.
Ask students to answer the case study “Discussion Questions.” Then, ask students to reason through the ethical dimensions presented, and to sketch the ethical decision-making process outlined by the case. Then, challenge students to develop strategies to avoid these ethical pitfalls. Suggest students watch the case study’s “Related Videos” and “Related Terms” to further their understanding.
Ethics Unwrapped blogs are also useful prompts to engage students. Learning about ethics in the context of real-world (often current) events can enliven classroom discussion and make ethics relevant and concrete for students. Share a blog in class or post one to the class’s online learning module. To spur discussion, ask students to identify the ethical issues at hand and to name the ethics concepts related to the blog (or current event in the news). Dig more deeply into the topic using the Additional Resources listed at the end of the blog post.
Remember to review video, case study, and blogs’ relevant glossary terms. In this way, you will become familiar with all the ethics concepts contained in these material. Share this vocabulary with your students, and use it to expand and enrich ethics and leadership conversations in your classroom. To dive deeper in the glossary, watch “Related” glossary videos.
Many of the concepts covered in Ethics Unwrapped operate in tandem with each other. As you watch more videos, you will become more fluent in ethics and see the interrelatedness of ethics concepts more readily. You also will be able to spot ethical issues more easily – at least, that is the hope! As your students watch more videos, it will be easier for them to recognize and understand ethical issues, and to express their ideas and thoughts about what is and isn’t ethical and why. Hopefully, they will also come to realize the interconnectedness of ethics and leadership, and the essential role ethics plays in developing solid leadership skills that support sustainability and corporate social responsibility.