Publication Details

Baker, M., Beale, A., Hammersley, L., Lloyd, K., Semple, A. & White, K. (2012). Ethical practice in learning through participation: Showcasing and evaluating the PACE Ethical Practice Module. In M. Campbell (Ed.), Proceedings of the 2012 Australian Collaborative Education Network National Conference (pp. 14-19). Melbourne: Australian Collaborative Education Network.


In 2008, Macquarie University introduced the Participation and Community Engagement (PACE) initiative, which embeds units in the undergraduate curriculum that involve learning through participation, including service learning and work-integrated learning (WIL), that is mutually beneficial to the student, the University and the partner organisation. Ethical practice is thus an integral part of this initiative. However, the issue of ethical practice in these approaches to learning has not been comprehensively addressed (Peterson et al, 2007) with research ethics in undergraduate curricula also warranting further examination and integration (Crabtree, 2008; Tryon et al., 2008). To support both students and staff at Macquarie University, we have collaboratively developed and begun to trial an innovative, holistic module to teach ethical practice in Participation units. It includes ethical theory, applied ethics, research ethics and ethical practice in PACE. The significance of this module lies in its flexibility, accessibility, and applicability to a multi-disciplinary and institution-wide audience. In this paper we evaluate the effectiveness of our module and present preliminary findings, which comment on the flexibility and usefulness of the module in supporting and preparing students for participation activities. We also reflect on how this module can be developed further and suggest avenues for future research.