Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
This paper reports the first phase of an on-going, multi-year project that seeks to create an integrated ethics curriculum for undergraduate Biological Engineering (BE) majors at a large, public university. Our objective is to create an exemplar process that encourages engineering faculty members to contribute to, and develop ownership of, the ethics curriculum.
Literature in engineering education research has called attention to faculty buy-in as one of the key indicators of successful educational innovation. Scholars of ethics education also note engineering faculty’s attitude as a crucial factor in meaningful integration of ethics in the engineering curriculum. Informed by the findings reported in the engineering education and engineering ethics literature, our project team attempt to engage BE faculty in an ethics curriculum development initiative through five stages: 1) need assessment interviews, 2) faculty workshops, 3) curriculum design, 4) curriculum implementation, and 5) project assessment and improvement. This paper reports in detail the first two stages of this on-going project. First, one of the authors conducted semi-structured interviews with instructors of BE courses to understand present coverage of ethics and perceived need for improvement. Second, authors of this paper organized three interactive workshops, in which the BE faculty and the curriculum development team explored frameworks of ethical reasoning, appropriate ethics pedagogy, and ethics-related learning objectives. These engagement activities resulted in a list of eleven ethics related learning objectives agreed upon by the BE faculty.
Informed by the interview findings and the list of ethics learning objectives, the authors will continue to work with a team of instructors to develop appropriate course contents, instructional materials, and delivery methods in four successive courses that spread across the junior and senior years of the BE curriculum. The design, implementation, and assessment of the ethics curriculum will be reported in future publications.
Tang, X., & Catchmark, J. M., & Mendieta, E., & Litzinger, T. A. (2018, June), Creating Faculty Buy-in for Ethics-across-the-curriculum: Year One of Developing an Ethics Curriculum in an Undergraduate Biological Engineering Program Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30234
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