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Student working on computer in office setting

24.133 Experiential Ethics is a 3-unit class that can be taken by itself or alongside popular summer experiential learning programs, introducing hundreds of MIT students to the fast-changing, real-time ethical landscape in industry, science, and technology while developing important interpersonal, professional, and leadership competencies along the way. Regardless of whether they are participating in experiential learning programs like UROP, MISTI, PKG, and industry internships, caring for loved ones, taking classes, or spending the summer on self-guided personal or professional development, Experiential Ethics makes it easy for students to supplement any summer experience with a dose of embedded ethics education.

Students who took Experiential Ethics in the summer of 2020 overwhelmingly reported high satisfaction with the course, increased knowledge and ability to engage with ethics, and increased interest in ethics. Most students said they now envision themselves pursuing extracurricular or volunteer opportunities related to ethics, taking ethics classes, continuing to learn about ethics independently, and/or engaging in ethical discussions with friends and classmates.

"Being in Experiential Ethics completely changed the way that I view ethics, transforming my relationship with the field of AI, my research, courses at MIT, and the interface between science, technology, and society." 

 

Summer 2020 Experiential Ethics Student

"Being in Experiential Ethics offered me the opportunity to explore my field of interest from a new perspective, allowing me to see the underlying ethical and safety issues. I realized these are as fundamental as the technical issues and decided to evaluate PhD programs in large part on the opportunities they would provide me to address the social issues that prevent further development in my field. I believe many students would benefit from taking this time to step back and consider a broader perspective on their field of interest."

 

Summer 2020 Experiential Ethics Student 

"The class expanded my definition of ethics to not just include personal definitions of right/wrong, but to also include broader ideas of institutional/systemic ethics. It made me more aware of the articles and books and social issues that usually fly under my radar"

 

Summer 2020 Experiential Ethics Student 

"Experiential Ethics is what motivated me to apply to be in a SERC (Social and Ethical Responsibilities of Computing) Action Group, an opportunity that became a highlight of the past semester. I've found a sense of purpose working to make MIT a more ethical place, and I hope to continue that work during my years at MIT (and beyond!)." 

 

Summer 2020 Experiential Ethics Student

This approach to ethics education is not imagined or intended as a substitute for philosophy courses taught by MIT faculty; rather, the experiential setting can be a supplemental exposure that contextualizes and reinforces more traditional or theoretical approaches to ethics. Classes will offer thought-provoking readings, videos, and case studies; small group in-person or online discussions; simulations with practitioners, alumni, faculty, and peers; guided critical reflection on personal values and professional purpose; and a culminating showcase event/presentation.