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Development of an Ethics Survey Based on the Four-domain Development Diagram

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

ERM Technical Session 8: Survey and Instrument Development

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32652

Download Count

3

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Paper Authors

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Nathan E. Canney CYS Structural Engineers Inc.

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Dr. Canney conducts research focused on engineering education, specifically the development of social responsibility in engineering students. Other areas of interest include ethics, service learning, and sustainability education. Dr. Canney received bachelors degrees in Civil Engineering and Mathematics from Seattle University, a masters in Civil Engineering from Stanford University with an emphasis on structural engineering, and a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder.

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Angela R. Bielefeldt University of Colorado, Boulder

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Angela Bielefeldt is a professor at the University of Colorado Boulder in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering (CEAE). She has served as the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Education in the CEAE Department, as well as the ABET assessment coordinator. Professor Bielefeldt was also the faculty director of the Sustainable By Design Residential Academic Program, a living-learning community where interdisciplinary students learn about and practice sustainability. Bielefeldt is also a licensed P.E. Professor Bielefeldt's research interests in engineering education include service-learning, sustainable engineering, social responsibility, ethics, and diversity.

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Madeline Polmear University of Colorado, Boulder

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Madeline Polmear is a PhD candidate in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her research interests include ethics education and the societal impacts of engineering and technology.

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Chris Swan Tufts University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5670-8938

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Chris Swan is Dean of Undergraduate Education for the School of Engineering and an associate professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at Tufts University. He has additional appointments in the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life and the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach at Tufts. His current engineering education research interests focus on community engagement, service-based projects and examining whether an entrepreneurial mindset can be used to further engineering education innovations. He also does research on the development of reuse strategies for waste materials.

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Daniel Knight University of Colorado, Boulder

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Daniel W. Knight is the Program Assessment and Research Associate at Design Center (DC) Colorado in CU’s Department of Mechanical Engineering at the College of Engineering and Applied Science. He holds a B.A. in psychology from Louisiana State University, an M.S. degree in industrial/organizational psychology and a Ph.D. degree in education, both from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Knight’s research interests are in the areas of K-12, program evaluation and teamwork practices in engineering education. His current duties include assessment, team development, outreach and education research for DC Colorado's hands-on initiatives.

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Abstract

This research paper presents the development of a survey for students based on the four-domain development diagram (4DDD) by Vanasupa and others [1]. There are many challenges for engineering faculty to successfully incorporate ethics education into their courses and programs. Lack of formal training in ethics among engineering faculty, limited space in overcrowded curricula, and difficulty with how to assess students on ethical development are just a few. This work seeks to address the third noted challenge through a student survey based on the 4DDD. The goal was to develop a survey for educators to assess the extent to which students perceived that their learning experience encompassed elements believed to foster ethical development.

This survey was distributed to targeted courses as part of a case study exploration of ethics education at 12 institutions in the 2017-2018 academic year. Courses varied from first-year to senior level from multiple disciplines. Some courses mixed engineering and non-engineering students. The ethics inclusion in the course ranged from a single activity to full 3-credit ethics courses. Student surveys that completed all items in a given construct were used in the statistical analysis, ranging from 313 to 393 responses. Preliminary evidence of reliability was explored through Cronbach’s Alpha for internal consistency with strong evidence found for each of the six constructs. Evidence of validity based on survey content was examined through consensus building on construct items as they relate to ethics and ethics education. However, validity evidence based on internal structure as measured through Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) was weak. Future work could remove items that showed weaker correlations with their construct, and responses to this revised survey might show improved reliability and/or validity.

[1] Vanasupa, L., Stolk, J., & Herter, R. J. (2009). The four‐domain development diagram: A guide for holistic design of effective learning experiences for the twenty‐first century engineer. Journal of Engineering Education, 98(1), 67-81.

Canney, N. E., & Bielefeldt, A. R., & Polmear, M., & Swan, C., & Knight, D. (2019, June), Development of an Ethics Survey Based on the Four-domain Development Diagram Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32652

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