Finance Ethics with a Massive Open Online Course


John Francis Diaz


6th edition (2016/2017)



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This paper satisfies the objectives of the Ethics in Finance Prize in terms of: a) creating awareness of the fundamental role of ethics in the world of finance through education, specifically online education; and b) implementing an academic project that teaches ethics in finance in universities and via independent online education providers.

This proposal is a product of the authors’ years of teaching (required) Business Ethics classes in the master and doctoral programs and (elective) undergraduate classes in Finance Ethics. The proposed course can supplement the traditional delivery of the more established Business Ethics courses, because this online-based Finance Ethics class builds upon the theories and concepts discussed in Ethics courses. This project is also a good supplement, because it provides solid and rich discussions of case studies related to finance.

Higher Education Challenges

The delivery of, and access to, higher education has faced a number of challenges in the last two decades because of changing learner demographics. The dramatic increase in the number of adult learners, as well as the usual increase in the number of students (both privileged and not) who wanted access to higher education, created a need for open and accessible education. According to an article on the University World News website, the number of students enrolled in higher education is estimated to reach 262 million, in 2025, which is almost twice the number in 2012.

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