6.1 Setting ground rules for ethical behaviour

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Figure 11 Students in a classroom

How should students behave in the classroom? Are they allowed to eat, to use electronic devices, what language can be used during class deliberations? How should you behave when dealing with class interruptions, when answering students' mails, when addressing questions during classes?

These are all routine questions that arise during each course in almost any country or field of education, and all of them involve ethical issues.

Examples of unethical student behaviour are well-known, and you will have experienced many of them yourself: arriving late for class, using mobile phones or computers for non-educational purposes in class, engaging in corrupt behaviour such as cheating in exams and plagiarizing the work of others.

Universities are constantly trying to address this behaviour through increased vigilance (e.g. plagiarism software) and disciplinary procedure, but while this might prevent some corrupt or unethical behaviour from occurring, it rarely has a lasting impact.

Activity 6.1 Ground rules

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Unit 6: Fostering ethical learning environments

6.2 Lecturers as ethical role models