July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
This research explored the extent to which alumni felt that extracurricular activities during college impacted their ethical knowledge, reasoning, and/or behavior. The research utilized a mixed methods approach, with both an online survey and interviews. The survey asked “To what extent did co-curricular activities and/or informal learning experiences during college impact your ethical knowledge, reasoning, or behavior?” Alumni rated 9 activities based on a scale of: did not participate, involved but no impact (0), small impact (1), moderate impact (2), large impact (3). Among the engineering alumni, most activities were rated as having a moderate impact on ethical development among those who had participated, on average: volunteer activity (n 105, avg 1.9), fraternity/sorority (n 33, avg. 1.9), internship or co-op (n 100, avg. 1.8), design groups (n 90, avg 1.8), undergraduate research (n 75, avg 1.8), engineering service group (n 37, avg 1.7). Activities that averaged a smaller impact included: sports (n 74, avg 1.4), professional society (n 90, avg 1.3), and honor society (n 40, avg 0.8). Follow-up interviews were conducted with 14 alumni who described specific examples of ethical development from engineering service groups, internships, undergraduate research, the mini Baja team, the Society of Women Engineers, local community service / volunteer activities, student government, leading a non-engineering student group, a fraternity, and informal conversations with engineering professors. Some also noted that they participated in various co-curricular activities (e.g. professional societies) but did not believe they contributed to their ethical knowledge, skills, or reasoning. The perspectives of working engineers can help faculty advisors of extracurricular activities to integrate ethics education in these contexts.
Bielefeldt, A. R., & Lewis, J. W., & Polmear, M., & Knight, D., & Swan, C. (2021, July), Engineering Alumni Rate the Impact of Co-curricular Activities on their Ethical Development Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37050
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