Activity 2 

Read this case below: 

Teaching context

Course name: Introduction to Professional Practice
Session/Lesson topic: Ethics
Students: 125 first year, first-term physiotherapy students
Class length: 2 hours
Classroom type: Traditional lecture hall


Purpose of lesson and desired outcome of learning: The educator would like students to be able to deliberate on and make appropriate decisions in everyday ethical tensions arising in clinical practice.

The lesson: The educator provides knowledge and awareness of professional codes of ethics, professional liability/legal implications, and professional rules regarding conflicts of interest. She then shares cases of ethical tensions and conflicts of interest in class and asks them to apply the codes, laws, and rules governing practice to each case.

Assessment of learning:  The educator creates a short-answer test, testing knowledge of what different codes of ethics say about principles, laws, and rules governing practice.


  1. How is this case misaligned?
  2. What teaching and assessment strategies show up in this case? From which paradigms do they derive? 
  3. How might you redesign this case to be better aligned?


The educators' stated purpose of this lesson was to prepare students for everyday ethical tensions in clinical practice. However, the focus of the lesson was on knowledge and application of codes of ethics and rules. The assessment fails to assess "making appropriate decision sin everyday ethical tensions" and instead focuses on knowledge of codes, laws, and rules - but not their enactment or decision-making that moves beyond these guidelines/rules in practice.

To cite this work: Baker L, Ng S, Friesen F. Paradigms of Education. An Online Supplement. [Internet]. 2019. Available from www.paradigmsofeducation.

Centre for Faculty Development, University of Toronto at St. Michael's Hospital.