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Combining Engineering Design With Professional Ethics Using An Integrated Learning Block

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.276.1 - 6.276.4



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Paper Authors

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Beatrice Isaacs

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Donald Leone

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2525

Combining Engineering Design with Professional Ethics Using an Integrated Learning Block

Donald Leone, Beatrice Isaacs University of Hartford


This paper deals with the development of a new sophomore level engineering design course at the University of Hartford. The new course is part of a NSF grant, “Integrating Engineering Design with the Humanities, Social Sciences, Sciences and Mathematics”, which impacts all four years of the undergraduate curriculum. The new engineering design course shares a one credit integrated learning block (ILB) with a sociology course, “Ethics in the Professions”. The ILB mechanism allows for the study of specific ethical issues associated with the design projects being undertaken by the engineering students. In the sociology course, engineering students benefit from wide ranging discussions of ethical issues, and non-engineering students and faculty are brought to understand the nature of engineering work and its broad social context. Several workshops were held to engage the faculty teaching “Ethics in the Professions”, and to define outcomes for the ILB.

In order to formulate realistic design projects with identifiable ethics components, an Outreach Committee, comprised of local professional engineers, was formed and met as a group to discuss the types of projects that would be appropriate for sophomore level students. Professionals, whose projects were selected, would serve as technical mentors to the student teams, while faculty members would serve as technical support, provide project management, and guide discussion on ethical issues. This paper documents the planning activities that have taken place to define the ILB planned for the new course, which will be taught for the first time in the Spring 2001 semester as a pilot section.

1. Introduction

The focus of the NSF grant1, “Integrating Engineering Design with the Humanities, Social Sciences, Sciences and Mathematics”, involves the reshaping of the engineering curriculum through: 1) the integration of contextualized, interdisciplinary design projects throughout the four years of the program; 2) experimental and collaborative learning; 3) partnerships with industry in the creation of “real life” engineering projects for students at all levels; 4) cross- collegiate and cross-disciplinary teams of faculty and practitioners working together to develop the integration of curricular materials and coordination of assignments. The goal of the grant is to incorporate these objectives into all four years of the undergraduate curriculum, in a coordinated effort to expose students to the design process including all ancillary functions. As part of this Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Isaacs, B., & Leone, D. (2001, June), Combining Engineering Design With Professional Ethics Using An Integrated Learning Block Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9008

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