Good plan? – teacher notes

The two case studies presented here both describe projects where something could have gone ethically wrong, but a change of plan meant that things went right

Activity 5: Ethical checklist

For this activity students will need the ethical checklist provided in the downloadable resources section below.

In the first part of the activity, students should be able to refer to at least one of the three ethical frameworks when explaining why each question is important. For example, the first question refers to risk, and the implication is that any risk of harm should be minimised – as required by a utilitarian approach. There is also an implication that people taking part in research have a right to know what’s involved and a right to decide whether to take part.

The second part of the activity makes the point that Ethan’s and Mindi’s projects would not have gained ethical approval if the checklist had been used. Neither Dermot’s original suggestion of human/animal testing nor Florence’s idea about using medical records would gain approval, but their revised plans were much better.


Downloadable resources

About this resource

This resource was first published in ‘Go Further: A practical guide to extended science projects’ in October 2016.

Statistics and maths, Careers, Psychology
Go Further: A practical guide to extended science projects
Education levels:
16–19, Independent research projects, Continuing professional development