Active learning in a neuroethics course positively impacts moral judgment development in undergraduates

Desiree Abu-Odeh, Derek Dziobek, Nathalia Torres Jimenez, Christopher Barbey, Janet M. Dubinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The growing neuroscientific understanding of the biological basis of behaviors has profound social and ethical implications. To address the need for public awareness of the consequences of these advances, we developed an undergraduate neuroethics course, Neuroscience and Society, at the University of Minnesota. Course evolution, objectives, content, and impact are described here. To engage all students and facilitate undergraduate ethics education, this course employed daily reading, writing, and student discussion, case analysis, and team presentations with goals of fostering development of moral reasoning and judgment and introducing application of bioethical frameworks to topics raised by neuroscience. Pre- and post-course Defining Issues Test (DIT) scores and student end-of-course reflections demonstrated that course objectives for student application of bioethical frameworks to neuroethical issues were met. The active-learning, student-centered pedagogical approaches used to achieve these goals serve as a model for how to effectively teach neuroethics at the undergraduate level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)A110-A119
JournalJournal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience.


  • Active learning pedagogy
  • Bioethics education
  • Moral judgment development
  • Neuroethics
  • Undergraduate education


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