Penn State University -   Penn State Ethics




Decision Processes

Case Studies

Course Resources







    When teaching ethics to students, case studies are a valuable resource. Experts say that when using case studies to teach, it is most effective to use studies to which the students can relate. By doing this, you create a conflict within the students' minds. As a result of this, they will be prodded to resolve the conflict. This leads the students to identify the ethical problem at hand, and will send them on a journey to find a solution. By choosing a problem to which the students can relate, you create an active learning environment, which is also a successful one.

Developing and Using Case Studies
Constructing a Case Study (Iowa State University)
Approaching Ethical Problems through Case Studies (Texas Tech University)
The Engineering Case Program (ASEE)


Pritchard, Michael.


"Teaching Engineering Ethics: A Case Study Approach"


Herkert, Joseph R


"Making Connections: Engineering Ethics on the World Wide Web"

Case Study Categorizations
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Excel Format (Win)
Excel Format (Mac)

General Engineering Cases

Case Studies in Physics & Engineering (SUNY-Buffalo)
Cases on Engineering Practice Ethics (OEC)
Professional Ethics in Engineering (NSPE Cases)

**Featuring the following topics:
Public Safety and Welfare
Conflicting Interests and Conflict of Interest
Ethical Engineering/Fair Trade Practices
International Engineering Ethics
Research Ethics


Chemical Engineering


NSF Cases (Chemical Engineering)


Mechanical Engineering


NSF Cases (Mechanical Engineering)


Electrical Engineering


NSF Cases (Electrical Engineering)


Civil Engineering


NSF Cases (Civil Engineering)

Engineering Case Library

General Science Cases
Case Studies in Science
The National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science has compiled a Case Study Collection. Cases are divided by category.

Research Integrity Cases
Responsible Research Scenarios (Online Ethics Center)
Research Integrity
Sites at TAMU
Moral Leadership

Student-centered Cases
Cases developed by PSU students
A compilation of case studies provided by Penn State Students. A brief description accompanies the link to the complete case study. All student case study examples are also available on downloadable files in Microsoft Word 2000 format.
Ethical Issues on Campus
A compilation of ethical controversies in colleges that center on topics related to moral and civic values and responsibility.

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