Business schools continue to face criticism from various constituents for failing to incorporate more content-related ethics and social responsibility topics into their curricula. The authors responded to the continued criticism by designing and class testing a pedagogy that can be used in any or all accounting courses without adding burdensome classroom time or instructor preparation time.

The objectives include reinforcing and refining student knowledge and skill in evaluating ethical dilemmas. The pedagogy consists of presenting an ethics case via a short newspaper article or other sources limited to one minute of reading time on the part of the students. The instructor selects one of three identified approaches (or any other approach that works best for the instructor) to allow students to sharpen their skills. Then the instructor uses one minute to summarize and recap the results. Class testing and anecdotal evidence indicates the pedagogy to be a very effective tool to help students refine their knowledge and skill in assessing ethical dilemmas.

This article is from the Accounting Instructors’ Report, an electronic journal that provides teaching tips and insights to those who teach accounting and other business courses.



Susanne O’Callaghan, PhD, CPA, Pace University
Raymond J Elson, DBA, CPA, Valdosta State University
John P. Walker, PhD, CPA, Queens College – CUNY
Arundhati Rao, PhD, Elizabethtown College


Read The Five Minute Ethics Exercise: A Simple and Effective Approach to Incorporating Ethical Discussions into an Accounting Course.