Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
The question of what comprises effective engineering ethics education is intriguing and complex. Broadly, this research is attempting to identify strong models for macroethics education, so-called “exemplars”. A large national survey of educators of engineering and computing students found that the majority believed that undergraduate and graduate students received insufficient education on ethics and societal issues (ESI); about 1400 described their own instructional practices related to ESI. A sub-set of 37 survey participants were interviewed. This resulted in 35 descriptions of current ethics instructional practices: two programs, 32 individual courses (including first-year, capstone design, required and elective technical courses, and standalone ethics courses), and one co-curricular setting. Based on tenets of the I-Corps-L program, particularly its “customer discovery” process, the goal of the interview analysis was to determine which of these teaching methods warranted further study as exemplars of macroethics instruction which have the potential be scaled and sustained at locations beyond their existing level of use. To assist in this process, four evaluation criteria were established: (a) likely to have a high impact on student learning; (b) strong assessment methods; (c) novel or innovative; (d) transferability (to other institutions or disciplines); these were rated on a scale from 1 (low) to 4 (high). An overall evaluation on level of interest / excitement for including this teaching example in further research employed a 1 (low) to 10 (highest) scale. Raters could also provide open comments. The interviewees were asked to rate at least six de-identified teaching examples, and 29 sets of ratings were completed. The five members of the research team each rated 19 to 35 teaching examples. This resulted in a minimum of eight ratings for each teaching example. These ratings often had wide disparities. For example, ten cases had ratings for novelty across the full spectrum from 1 to 4, demonstrating a lack of consensus. The write-in comments provided insights into differences in what raters perceived as likely to impact students’ learning, novel, or transferable. Given the disparities in opinions, it would be useful to develop and implement a common/standard assessment method for ethics teaching modalities to better delineate what constitutes an exemplar.
Bielefeldt, A. R., & Polmear, M., & Swan, C., & Knight, D., & Canney, N. E. (2018, June), Effective Ethics Education: Examining Differing Faculty Perspectives Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30355
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