Effects of Alternative Outcome Scenarios and Structured Outcome Evaluation on Case-Based Ethics Instruction

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Case-based instruction has been regarded by many as a viable alternative to traditional lecture-based education and training. However, little is known about how case-based training techniques impact training effectiveness. This study examined the effects of two such techniques: (a) presentation of alternative outcome scenarios to a case, and (b) conducting a structured outcome evaluation. Consistent with the hypotheses, results indicate that presentation of alternative outcome scenarios reduced knowledge acquisition, reduced sense-making and ethical decision-making strategy use, and reduced decision ethicality. Conducting a structured outcome evaluation had no impact on these outcomes. Results indicate that those who use case-based instruction should take care to use clear, less complex cases with only a singular outcome if they are seeking these types of outcomes.


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Science and Engineering Ethics