Using Technology To Support Discussions on Sensitive Topics

Michelle WL Fong
InSITE 2015  •  2015  •  pp. 931
There is a dearth of research in teaching strategies and learning approaches for units involving sensitive topics. Sensitive topics could provoke an emotional response in students. In a business ethics unit, the attempt at striking a balance between conceptual knowledge and theory with that of skills training can be challenging because such unit can involve personal, sensitive or controversial topics. Students may unknowingly divulge personal opinions, when engaging in deep and meaningful face-to-face discussion, which they later regret or be identified with by other students for a longer period of time. Value-laden topics may also lead to clashes between students if face-to-face discussions are not managed properly. This paper considers the use of technology to provide an optimal learning environment for student discussion on sensitive topics via role-play and simulation in a first-year business ethics unit.

A revised version of this paper was published in Journal of Information Technology Education: Research
Volume 14, 2015
Sensitive topics, student participation, student engagement, online role play, simulation, anonymity.
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