Course conclusion and further reading

Engaging students in integrity and ethics debates.

The E4J Modules on anti-corruption [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] and integrity and ethics offer an innovative approach to global anti-corruption, integrity and ethics education, an area that is of critical importance to address some of the biggest challenges of our time. We hope that you, along with many educators working in universities around the world, will make use of this module series and that it adds value to new or existing course offerings, for both students and lecturers.

In this final video, Dr Nceku Nyathi, reflects on the value of engaging his students in integrity debates.

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So why is ethics and integrity education important for university students, would you say?
These modules are interesting in a number of ways in that they are built in such a way that they actually bring the classes alive through activities that enable students to bring their prior knowledge, their previous work experience, or examples of things that they've seen. So that enables them to actually participate rather than being talked to, so they become more interactive. It allows them, through the various diverse range of activities that challenge their perceptions: they're seeing things, they're understanding, which actually in some way, allows to bring those ideas of the philosophers to become much more relevant to today's activities, challenges and opportunities.
Right. So give me an example of something that's worked particularly well in your own teaching from the modules and some of the activities. What have you found really works, really fires your students up in relation to some of the teaching? You were talking to me about Module 7 and how you use this particular technique, and that you felt the students really responded to. I was quite interested in that.
Yeah, so that is one of the fascinating examples that really brought my classes alive. An example that enables students to bring themselves, and also bringing in prior knowledge, is a tale of two stories. So a tale of two stories allows students to actually examine situations where, one, they were not able to actually live their values. So they faced an ethical conflict, and they were not able to actually be ethical, or voice their values, or challenge it. So that's story one.
And then story two is an example of where they have been successful in actually voicing their values. Then the learning from there is that they're looking at strategies of what is it that makes someone to actually challenge? When is it possible to speak up, and when is it not possible to speak up? So what makes other people be able to challenge situations, or unethical things that might come about or arise within the workplace?
So I think the strength with that is that you're taking students' past experiences, and you're getting them to reflect on how they successfully dealt with an ethical situation, or how they might not have done, and to kind of compare those two events and see what is it they can learn about practising. I think you called it an 'ethical muscle memory', which I thought was a great phrase.
So is that really the way you found it effective for your students? They were practising that ability to stand up for what they perhaps would recognise to be an unethical situation, but might not really understand or appreciate the ways in which they can stand up to that? Is that right?
That's absolutely important, and I think you've touched on a very important point about the rehearsal and building muscle memory. Because on the one hand, we're wanting our students to go and practise, and actually be different when they finish these courses so that they're able to actually change and transform organisations. But if they haven't had practise and actually rehearsed this, they are not able to just bring this out of nowhere. It's like expecting someone to run a marathon or people playing in the Premier League to play well without actually training and practising.
What impact do you think it had, the exercise, on the actual quality of the reflection that the students had?
The quality of the reflection was absolutely amazing. I think it really has been one of the most enriching exercises, in terms of that it allowed the students to actually think much more deeply, one, about the organisation that they were in, what was happening and how they were able to script this and narrate it in such a way that it became part of a learning experience.
Obviously, [we] had to remind them not to be hard on themselves or punish themselves for decisions that had happened in the past, and that this was a learning experience, but the range of the things that they brought up to reflect on -- showing the disablers, things that stopped them from actually on their values and the enablers that actually enabled them to be able to practise and voice their values -- it was one of the most positive experiences that I've experienced so far in education.
I would encourage academics, lecturers out there, to consider taking these modules in order to help them in so many ways. For example, if you are wanting to stop your students from being objects of -- that come in, and just listen, and then off they go. You want students to actually listen, practise, reflect and think through, and have some exciting activities, and allow students to share interesting stories that you as the lecturer can also learn from, and make your classes much more interesting. You'll get a much more worthwhile experience working with students. I think it's -- I encourage it immensely.
End transcript
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