Responses to research ethics dilemmas require quick analysis of the situation, moving through a problem solving strategy to decide on a course of action. To effectively develop these problem solving skills, learners need to be actively engaged in practicing these skills – to make them habits which reduce the cognitive load needed for dealing with new situations. Two active learning strategies that can be used for developing problem-solving skills for research ethics dilemmas are role-playing scenarios and two-minute challenges.
Pioneered by NCPRE, two-minute challenges (2MCs) are a form of micro-teaching designed to present realistic dilemmas in research ethics, along with a structured decision-making framework for responding. The 2MCs provide an opportunity, in a safe educational setting, to work through each challenge so learners are prepared to face similar situations in their everyday life. This approach incorporates elements shown to provide evidence-based effective ethics education.
Role-playing scenarios are a form of teaching designed to develop problem solving skills by casting the learners as characters in a realistic research ethics dilemmas. Learners must apply knowledge and problem solving skills to navigate through the interaction with the other character in the scenario. Learners receive feedback on their problem-solving approach as well as their communication behaviors in a safe, controlled setting.
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