Robyn Davidson | The University of Adelaide | firstname.lastname@example.org
Simulator: Ethics LX
Class Size: 200+
Assessment: Pre-lecture quizzes (10%), research project (25%), Ethics-LX simulation (5%), examination (60%)
Pedagogy: Semester unit 12 x 2 hour lectures, 12 x 2 hour tutorials
Embedded as a ‘one-off’ component in a postgraduate accounting course, Ethics-LX was implemented to fill the gap in ethical decision making capabilities. Robyn implemented the simulation in 2011 after finding teaching ethics in a more traditional sense was not effective.
Business needs to be both responsible and financially successful to create lasting value for stakeholders. Ethics-LX online learning solutions combine cutting edge academic content with real-world based scenarios that develop core business skills integrated seamlessly with ethics.
The simulation is conducted online during week 5 of the course. Being a stand-alone component, students individually make decisions and respond to the outcomes that the simulation suggests based on previous decisions.
As this is only one component of the overall subject, Robyn explains the goal is: ‘Really making them [students] aware of different situations they could find themselves in and going through the decision making process and thinking about the consequences of their decisions’. Although only a small part of the course, there is no right or wrong answer, student reflection is most important.
The course is operated over a traditional 12 week semester.
12 x 2 hour lectures: lectures are used for the dissemination of information that extends students' knowledge of corporate external financial reporting. It focuses on corporate disclosure and measurement issues and practices in a regulated environment.
12 x 2 hour tutorials: the tutorials build on the content discussed in the lecture the week prior. Students are expected to prepare for each tutorial to gain the maximum benefit in group discussions and activities.
The ethics component consists of in-lecture activities in week 4 and the completion of the on-line Ethics-LX simulation. Week 4 is not a traditional lecture. Students are asked to consider ethical situations and give their views, both individually and/or in groups. These activities are not something students can study for as there is no one ‘correct’ answer. The purpose of the simulation is to get students thinking about a variety of ethical situations and how their actions can have consequences on others.
Students are able to receive feedback through weekly tasks including pre-lecture quizzes and weekly activities. Students should be able to establish if more study is required based on the results. The Ethics-LX simulation in week 4 is designed to assist students in analysing their decisions.
The software is hosted in America and costs $25.00 for the students to obtain a unique code to log into the simulation. The access code can also be packaged and sold with the text book used in the course. Students can do it in their own time, in any location as long as they have access to the internet. The simulation will take three to four hours to complete and does not have to be done in one sitting. Students can log in and out as many times as they wish and each time they log out their work is saved. While they can review their previous work they cannot change it. There is no additional requirement for on-site technical or library support. However, if simulation access becomes an issue, there is a dedicated email address for technical support in America to assist.
Ethics-LX simulation is different to many other business simulations in that profit is not the main driving force, nor is being in a team or competitive environment. Robyn explains: ‘I don’t want them making the decisions based on what will make the most profit or get the best score, or thinking what would Robyn do in this situation? It’s about what you would do, and then you have to justify why you did that as well’.