A Meta-analytic Comparison of Face-to-Face and Online Delivery in Ethics Instruction: The Case for a Hybrid Approach

Science and Engineering Ethics 23 (6):1719-1754 (2017)
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Despite the growing body of literature on training in the responsible conduct of research, few studies have examined the effectiveness of delivery formats used in ethics courses. The present effort sought to address this gap in the literature through a meta-analytic review of 66 empirical studies, representing 106 ethics courses and 10,069 participants. The frequency and effectiveness of 67 instructional and process-based content areas were also assessed for each delivery format. Process-based contents were best delivered face-to-face, whereas contents delivered online were most effective when restricted to compliance-based instructional contents. Overall, hybrid courses were found to be most effective, suggesting that ethics courses are best delivered using a blend of formats and content areas. Implications and recommendations for future development of ethics education courses in the sciences are discussed.



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