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Effectively Engaging Engineers in Ethical Reasoning about Emerging Technologies: A Cyber-Enabled Framework of Scaffolded, Integrated, and Reflexive Analysis of Cases

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.458.1 - 24.458.17



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Paper Authors


Lorraine Kisselburgh Purdue University

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Lorraine Kisselburgh (Ph.D., Purdue University) is Assistant Professor in the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University. Her research interests include the dynamics and structures of collaboration, and privacy and gender in sociotechnical environments. Kisselburgh has a background in human performance and computer science, and brings over twenty years professional experience designing and supporting learning environments in academic settings, including 35 computing labs and 2 academic buildings. She is currently co-PI on two active NSF projects, including a Cyberlearning project to develop collaborative design environments for engineers, and an Ethics in Science and Engineering project to develop online course modules to develop moral reasoning abilities in engineers. Her research has also been funded by the Department of Homeland Security, by corporate foundations, and by the Purdue Research Foundation and College of Engineering. She is a member of the Purdue Advisory Council for instructional computing, and has been awarded a Service Learning award, a Diversity Fellow award, and the Violet Haas Award (for efforts on behalf of women), all at Purdue University.

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Carla B. Zoltowski Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Carla B. Zoltowski, Ph.D., is Co-Director of the EPICS Program at Purdue University. She received her B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering and Ph.D. in engineering education, all from Purdue University. She has served as a lecturer in Purdue’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dr. Zoltowski’s academic and research interests include human-centered design learning and assessment, service-learning, ethical reasoning development and assessment, leadership, and assistive technology.

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Jonathan Beever Penn State University Orcid 16x16

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Jonathan Beever is currently a Post-Doctoral Scholar at The Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State University. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Purdue University in 2012 and held an NSF-funded postdoctoral research appointment in biomedical engineering at Purdue. Jonathan works primarily in environmental and bioethics but also has interests in contemporary continental philosophy and semiotics. He has held fellowships with the Kaufmann Foundation, the Aldo Leopold Foundation, and the Global Sustainable Soundscape Network. In his current position he continues ongoing work and is developing new research projects around issues in ethics, science, and the environment.

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Justin L. Hess Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Justin Hess is a Ph.D. candidate at Purdue University’s School of Engineering Education and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. He received his BS in Civil Engineering in 2011 with a minor in philosophy and hopes to receive his MSCE in December of 2014, both from Purdue University. His research focuses on understanding engineers’ core values, dispositions, and worldviews. His dissertation focuses on conceptualizations, the importance of, and methods to teach empathy to engineering students. He is currently the Education Director for Engineers for a Sustainable World and an assistant editor for Engineering Studies.

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Andrew James Iliadis

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Andrew O. Brightman Purdue University

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Effectively engaging engineers in ethical reasoning about emerging technologies: Acyber-enabled framework of scaffolded, integrated, and reflexive analysis of casesTraining future engineers to more effectively handle the ethical dilemmas they willencounter in developing and implementing new technology is a critical and relevantchallenge for a nation that is advancing science and engineering technologies at an everincreasing rate. Each year thousands of new engineers join the workforce and face novelissues raised by radical technological advances. Concurrently, changing societalresponses to new technologies introduce novel conflicts in research and development thatchallenge the scope of established professional codes of ethics. These issues create acritical demand for new approaches for developing moral reasoning for ethical decision-making. However, a coherent and effective framework for preparing engineering studentsto be able to analyze the ethics of emerging technologies does not yet exist in mostcolleges of engineering. Our multidisciplinary team is developing and testing a novelpedagogical framework of scaffolded, integrated, and reflexive analysis of ethics cases toenhance development of moral reasoning that extends beyond case-based analyses.Implemented as a series of two-week cyber-enabled learning modules, with cases fromseveral engineering disciplines, this theory-based, data-driven, cyber-enabled andscaffolded framework for ethics education has applicability across a broad spectrum ofdisciplines and provides engineering educators with limited ethics training a testedframework and set of resources and modules to adapt and use in their own disciplines. Inthis poster, we discuss our work in progress on the framework, its implementation, andour assessment of changes in moral reasoning and student satisfaction when utilizing thismodel in pilot testing with graduate students at an early stage in their engineeringtraining.

Kisselburgh, L., & Zoltowski, C. B., & Beever, J., & Hess, J. L., & Iliadis, A. J., & Brightman, A. O. (2014, June), Effectively Engaging Engineers in Ethical Reasoning about Emerging Technologies: A Cyber-Enabled Framework of Scaffolded, Integrated, and Reflexive Analysis of Cases Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20349

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