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    EESE Project Summary: University of Oklahoma

    The University of Oklahoma requires all graduate students receiving a university stipend to attend a two day, in-class ethics education program. The program, presented by senior, trained doctoral students, teaches students to rely on ethical research guidelines, identify situational constraints in ethical decision-making, reflect on personal biases, and apply various ethical decision-making strategies.


    Proposal Plan and Activities

    Through this project, the University of Oklahoma will build on its current assessments of ethics education for graduate students by conducting a study of international students compared to students from North America. The project will identify whether differential effects on ethical decision-making are observed, whether international students employ different strategies in ethical decision-making, and whether international students benefit from particular types of instructional exercises.


    The cross-cultural analysis will specifically seek to identify potential international differences in six areas:

    1. Ethical decision-making prior to instruction.
    2. Data management, study conduct, professional practices, or business practices prior to instruction.
    3. Sensemaking strategies employed in ethical decision-making and errors made in ethical decision-making prior to instruction.
    4. Improvements in ethical decision-making, dimensions of ethical decision-making, or ethical decision-making errors as a result of training.
    5. Values or depth of ethical analysis following training.
    6. Reactions to the various exercises used in the instructional program.


    The findings obtained will be used to develop an additional two-hour instructional block in the existing ethics program to examine cross-cultural differences in ethical decision-making. A new set of survey evaluation questions will be developed to measure the effectiveness of this additional block of instruction.


    The study will allow the University of Oklahoma to assess the differential effectiveness of a valid ethics education program for international students while providing evidence bearing on the effectiveness of various instructional interventions for different cultural groups. Publication of the results is anticipated in leading scholarly journals.


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