ETHICS and holoptic pedagogy for a network-based teaching (EPHEMER)

 Program: Development of experimental digital universities

In the framework of a consortium including IESEG School of Management and EDHEC Business School, l’Institut Catholique de Lille (Lille Catholic Institute) responded to a call for projects focused on the development of experimental digital universities. The submitted project, named EPHEMER (the French acronym for Ethics and Holoptic Pedagogy for Network-Based Teaching) was selected as one of the 5 laureates by the French National Research Agency (ANR). This project is focused on the teaching of ethics through the use the experimental methodology developed by the Anthropo-Lab (, a research team of the ETHICS laboratory (EA-7446).

The EPHEMER project aims to integrate ethical considerations into disciplinary and multidisciplinary teaching by placing students in holoptic networks. The project has two objectives: First, it aims to elevate ethics to more than just an additional theme, especially in courses that are not primarily focused on ethics. Second, it aims to contribute to the lasting integration of ethics and the experimental method in teaching. The methodology employed for placing students in holoptic networks is based on large-scale experimental games. In this framework, students participate in various online tasks (depending on the ethical issue being addressed) and have the ability to view the responses of the other students and to interact with them. Thus, the network is holoptic in the sense that everyone is able to simultaneously perceive their own decisions and those of the other participants of the experimental game. Once the task is over, it is then possible to analyze the data to highlight the responses of the participants for pedagogical purposes.

In this context, the EPHEMER project is characterized by two main pedagogical innovations: on the one hand, the data gathered through experimental games allow revealing to the students the processes which underpin their responses (and thus their attitudes and/or behaviors) from the viewpoint of one or various disciplines (economics, philosophy, psychology, political science, etc.). These data also enable students to assess their responses, and place them at the center of trying to understand the dynamics and the patterns that their responses may highlight. On the other hand, these data also constitute the basis of the confrontation of different ethical perspectives associated with the individual and collective responses of the participants of the experimental games.

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