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Top 10 Ethics Training Courses Available Entirely Online

There are a number of reasons why you might want to consider taking an ethics training course online. Perhaps you work in a field where ethical considerations are important, but you don’t have the time to attend an in-person class. Or maybe you’re interested in learning more about ethics but aren’t sure where to start.

Whatever your reason, there are a number of online courses available that can help you learn more about ethical principles and how to apply them in your work or personal life. Here are just a few of the courses that you might want to consider:

Data Science Ethics

Data Science Ethics is a free online data science course offered by the University of Michigan in the United States. This introductory course is open to all data scientists as well as individuals who work for companies that are planning to expand their use of data. The course is broken down into a series of modules that include: What Are Ethics?; History, Concept of Informed Consent; Data Ownership; Privacy; Anonymity; Data Validity; Algorithmic Fairness; Societal Consequences; and Code of Ethics. Coursework is presented through online videos and supplemental assignments. During each week of the four-week class, students should expect to devote three to four hours of study time to watching the videos and completing additional work.

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Media Ethics & Governance

Media Ethics & Governance is a free online communications course offered by the University of Amsterdam. The class introduces students to the topic of media ethics and is ideal for media professionals and those who plan to enter the field in the future. Lasting for four weeks, the class is presented through online video modules. There are three topics covered in the video lectures: Theoretical Building Blocks of Communication Ethics, Media Governance and Communication Ethics in Practice. At the end of the course, students will compose a well-substantiated argumentation of their own philosophies on media ethics.

Environmental Management & Ethics

Environmental Management & Ethics is a free online civil engineering course offered by the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in Denmark. The six-week class is taught entirely in English through video lectures and supplemental assignments. Although the class is open to all, the course will be most beneficial for individuals who work in environmental management and regulation. Modules include Environmental Ethics, Environmental Management of Wicked Problems, Decision Support Tools and Environmental Regulation and Principles. During the last week of the course, students will select an environmental ethical dilemma and write a clear set of recommendations for addressing this problem.

Practical Ethics

Practical Ethics is a free online course offered by Princeton University in the United States. This course allows students to apply principles of ethics to real world dilemmas that have caused controversy around the world. Topics covered include: Brain Death and Persistent Vegetative State; Abortion and The Moral Status of Embryos and Fetus; Making End of Life Decisions; Effective Altruism; Climate Change; Animals; and Environmental Values. The course concludes with a discussion on why it is important to act ethically. Although the course is self-paced, the instructor recommends completing one video module per week. At this pace, the class requires five to seven hours of weekly study time.

Responsible Innovation: Ethics, Safety and Technology

Responsible Innovation: Ethics, Safety and Technology is a free online urban planning and social sciences course offered by Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. The course is intended for students of engineering and practicing engineers who wish to learn more about how ethics apply to the field. Although self-paced, the class is best completed over a seven-week period. With this schedule, students will spend roughly four to six hours watching the video lectures and completing additional assignments.

Introduction to Research Ethics: Working with People

Introduction to Research Ethics: Working with People is a free online humanities course offered by the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. The course can be beneficial to undergraduates who plan to use human participants in their research studies; however, the class may also be of interest to graduate and postgraduate level researchers as well as those who supervise undergraduate researchers. The class lasts for just two weeks and involves a four-hour weekly time commitment.

Global Impact: Business Ethics

Global Impact: Business Ethics is a free online business course offered by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the United States. Students can take the course on its own or as a part of the university’s online Master of Business Administration degree program. Presented through online videos, the course is broken down into four weekly module assignments. The modules are: Is Ethics Part of Business?; Stakeholder Theory: Bayer CropScience in India; In Rome Should We Do as the Romans Do; and Why Do Good People and Good Organizations Do Bad Things? Students should expect to spend four to six hours watching the videos and completing the assignments for each module.

Global Ethics: An Introduction

Global Ethics: An Introduction is a free online philosophy course offered by The Open University. The class is best for individuals who have an overall interest in global development, globalization and the general topic of ethics. Instruction is given through a series of video modules. Students complete one module per week over a four-week period, spending roughly three hours of study time on each unit. By the end of the course, students will be better positioned to debate some of the most complex ethical challenges facing the world.

FinTech Ethics and Risks

FinTech Ethics and Risks is a free online finance course offered by the University of Hong Kong. The course is ideal for anyone who is interested in financial technology and is taught entirely in English. Students are free to complete the coursework at their own pace; however, the instructor recommends spreading the video modules and supplemental assignments out over a six-week period. With this timeline, the class involves a one-to-five-hour weekly time commitment. The modules include Introduction: Ethics of Finance and Emerging Technologies; Blockchain and Its Governance; Cybersecurity & Crimes; AI & FinTech; Institutionalization vs. Decentralization; and Big Questions Relating to the Introduction of FinTech. It is recommended that students complete the university’s Intro to FinTech MOOC class before enrolling.

Bioethics: The Law, Medicine, and Ethics of Reproductive Technologies and Genetics

Bioethics: The Law, Medicine, and Ethics of Reproductive Technologies and Genetics is a free online law course offered by Harvard University in the United States. The class lasts for 10 weeks and requires one to two hours of study time weekly. Although the course is geared primarily toward individuals who work in medicine and social services, anyone with an interest in the topic may enroll. Modules include Buying and Selling Reproductive Materials; Surrogacy; Wrongful Life and Wrongful Birth; Sperm and Egg Donation; Sperm Donor Anonymity; Enhancement and Human-Animal Hybrids; and Patent of Human Genetic Material.