MBA Research and Curriculum Center
Career and Technical Education, Business and Information Technology, Marketing, Management and Entrepreneurship
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Middle School, High School
  • Classroom Activities
  • Demonstrating Ethical Work Habits
  • Employability Skills
  • Ethical Behavior
  • Rubric
  • Rubrics
  • Work-based Learning
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs

    Education Standards

    Demonstrating Ethical Work Habits - Rubric with Activities


    This rubric includes three scenarios (one for the classroom, one for the workplace, and one for career-technical student organizations) that can be implemented to assess students' abilities to demonstrate ethical work habits. It also includes a comprehensive rubric and instructions for using the rubric to assess student performance. A downloadable document containing the full set of activities, intructions, and rubrics can be found in the Resource Library. For more rubrics and other instructional tools, visit

    Classroom Activity - Option 1

    Instruct students to read the given scenario describing a school day and to identify each instance that creates an ethical dilemma. Students should explain what each ethical choice is and then explain what actions they should take to demonstrate ethical work habits. Evaluate students' work using the rubric provided. 

    Read the following scenario describing your school day, and identify each instance that creates an ethical dilemma. For each dilemma, explain specifically what ethical choice you are faced with. Then, explain what action/s you should take to demonstrate ethical work habits. Your work will be evaluated using the rubric provided.

    It is a typical school day for you. First, you go to the library to pay a $4 book fine. The librarian owes you $6 in change, but both bills s/he hands you are $5 bills. The warning bell rings, so you go to your first period class.

    Your teacher instructs the class to continue working on a group assignment. Your group members are very social and are more interested in gossiping than working, partly because the assignment is not due for another three days. At the end of the class, each group is required to turn in a production activity sheet accounting for their time that day.

    The bell rings and you’re off to your next class, in which you have a group presentation to make. Your group, with permission, chose to work on each task individually. Your task is to make the oral presentation using visuals created by other group members. The class, particularly impressed with the PowerPoint presentation, tells you how awesome it is.

    Next, once you’re settled in third period, your teacher announces s/he is collecting homework. A friend of yours leans over and asks if s/he can copy yours. Meanwhile, the teacher is also giving a pop quiz over a chapter you forgot to read. After collecting the quiz, the teacher plans to write notes on the board but is out of chalk. S/He asks you to go to the supply room for a box of chalk. Inside the unlocked supply room, you note that there are all kinds of supplies you use daily, such as pens and paper.

    After classes conclude for the day, it’s time to go to your job at a grocery store. If you leave right now, you will have about five minutes to spare. A student from one of your classes stops you and says s/he really needs help with a confusing assignment.

    Shortly after you leave the school and arrive at the grocery store, your manager says s/he has to make a bank deposit, so you will be alone until s/he returns. While you are there, your best friend stops in and wants to discuss a problem s/he is having. Another friend comes in and buys a bottle of juice, but puts a candy bar into her/his pocket on the way out the door. Your manager returns from the bank and receives a call from an employee on the next shift who is ill and will not be coming in to work. Your manager is very angry and confides in you that the employee will be terminated due to excessive absences. Since it is too late to call another employee, the manager asks if you can stay for a few more hours.

    Finally, once you are home for the evening, you think about all the ethical work habits you demonstrated in one day.

    On the Job Activity - Option 2

    Instruct students to have a discussion with their employers about unethical work habits s/he encounters at work; explain why they are unethical, and what action/s should be taken to demonstrate ethical work habits. Then, the employer should create a role-play situation specific to their workplace in which the students demonstrate ethical work habits. Employers should rate the student's ability to demonstrate ethical work habits using the rubric provided in Task 1.

    With your employer, discuss some unethical work habits s/he encounters at work; explain why they are unethical, and what action/s should be taken to demonstrate ethical work habits. Then, based on your discussion, role-play a situation specific to your workplace in which you demonstrate ethical work habits. You will be evaluated using the rubric provided in Task 1.

    Career-Technical Student Organization Activity - Option 3

    The judge will be assuming the role of the student’s partner who is attempting to engage the student in a variety of unethical activities. The judge will take actions such as refusing to do his/her part of the work, wasting work time gossiping about others, and attempting to make up and/or copy information instead of researching. The judge should assess the student’s ability to respond to his/her actions using ethical work habits. Then, the judge should rate the student’s performance using the rubric provided in Task 1. 

    You are preparing for your next competition with one of your fellow CTSO members, and you are running into some difficulties. Your partner first refuses to do any of the work, but still wants to put his/her name on the project. Then, s/he wastes meeting time gossiping about other classmates and does not want to complete the work until the last minute. Finally, s/he suggests making up or copying the information needed for your project instead of doing accurate research. Respond to these various situations in an ethical way. You will be evaluated using the rubric provided in Task 1.