HOW TO ENGAGE STUDENTS IN ETHICS AND CSR? EVIDENCE FROM BLENDED LEARNING

A. Hunnes, T.S. Olsen

University of Agder (NORWAY)
All students attending a Norwegian Business School that follows the National Guidelines for a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration are required to take a course in Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The guidelines for the course is coordinated by the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions. At the University of Agder, School of Business and Law, students fulfil the requirement by completing the course SE-109 Introduction to Economic Thought and Ethics. Every year about 400 students follow the course. While the content of the course is described by the National Guidelines, the mode of teaching, how the course is organized, and exam type are discretionary. This paper describes the transition from a traditional mode of teaching (lectures) to a course design applying videos, group work, student presentations and seminars (blended learning). The primary motivational factor was to engage the students in critical reflection over ethical dilemmas in the business community. Further to this we wanted to move the students’ attention from memorizing basic theory in ethics and CSR, to understanding through application of the theories. In order to achieve this, we involved the students in case discussions in groups and seminars. The paper elaborates on the setup and organization of the course, experiences and challenges from the two-year pilot.