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Online Course – Broaden your knowledge and improve logical thinking with discussion

#アクティブラーニング #アクティブラーニング事例紹介

The course “Ethics in economic society” taught by Professor Satoshi Yoshii with Active Learning techniques has just started. During the course students discuss current news and numerous economic problems occurring in the society. Its aim is for students to develop the ability to make informed decisions based on ethics and newly possessed knowledge about the aforementioned problems.

What is ethics?
Ethics is standards and rules of conduct for the majority of a society. To be more specific, it consists of laws, manners and unspoken rules of a society or a group. Some of it, i.e. laws, clearly state what is right and what is wrong, but the others – manners, unspoken rules and such – may be interpreted differently depending on the person.

First class

During the first class of this course students learn what exactly ethical-economic problems are. Participants start by getting to understand the difference between the concepts of “ethics”, “belief” and “desire”, then, basing on their own moral code, they individually decide on a solution to the three cases listed below. Finally, they present their opinion in front of all classmates.

Recent years have seen the emergence of services based upon new technologies, i.e. YouTube. There are cases in which, depending on the consumer who misuses the service, it may be the service provider who will be fined. Should the provider who invented the service be punished for its misuse done by the users?

There are countries where Crayon Shin-chan or Doraemon are banned, which sparks differing opinions regarding freedom of expression. On top of it all, the bans are applied arbitrarily by the governments of these states. Should a country actively shape the moral code of its citizens?

If you are caught drunk driving, you can get fired by your company, yet it is not always the case. Such “special measures” are often taken in response to life-threatening situations. Where would you draw the line for implementing these measures?


Even though this time the classes were held online, the participants were exchanging ideas just as actively as usual. Many students probably noticed that their own perspective has deepened through heated discussion and listening to the opinions of other people and that their view on various things is not the same as it used to be before the classes.
Human moral codes and value systems are shaped by person’s birthplace, current situation as well as life experience, and the students surely must have noticed their diversity even during a discussion in such a limited space as a classroom. After becoming full-fledged members of the society, they will have even more opportunities to face people with different values, so it is expected that during this course they will fully realize how big an impact those values and various ways of thinking presented by other members of the society can make on the economy and politics.