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Ethical and Societal Implications of Internet-Based Engineering Education: Faculty and Student Perspectives

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Integration of Liberal Education into Engineering

Tagged Divisions

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society and Engineering Ethics

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.642.1 - 22.642.10



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Paper Authors


K.L. Jordan Michigan Technological University Orcid 16x16

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K.L. Jordan completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Technological University in 2006 and 2008 respectively. During her undergraduate tenure she was an active member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and currently serves on the Board of Directors. She is also the current President of the ASEE student chapter at Michigan Tech. As the recipient of a King-Chavez-Parks graduate fellowship, Ms. Jordan has agreed to seek an engineering faculty position upon completion of her doctoral degree. She is also the recipient of a GEM Fellowship.

Anahita Pakzad received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from KNT University of Technology in Tehran, Iran, in 2007. As a mechanical engineering doctoral student her work includes nanomechanical properties of the interphase in polymer composites. She serves as the Treasurer of the Michigan Tech ASEE chapter.

Renee Oats is in the doctoral program in civil engineering at Michigan Tech where her research consists of structural health monitoring of bridges and modeling bridge behavior. Renee aspires to conduct further industrial research on more innovative bridge monitoring techniques and to obtain a professorship in STEM related fields. She serves as the Vice President of the Michigan Tech ASEE chapter.

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Anahita Pakzad Michigan Technological University


Renee Oats Michigan Technological University

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Renee Oats is a Ph.D. student studying civil engineering at Michigan Tech.

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Ethical and Societal Implications of Internet-Based Engineering EducationAbstractTo explore the ethical and societal implications of internet-based engineering educationthe authors conducted focus groups with undergraduate and graduate engineeringstudents and personal meetings with engineering faculty in Mechanical, Civil, Electrical,Chemical, and Environmental Engineering. The responses from these meetings wereanalyzed and discussed in this paper.Internet-based engineering education has been in existence since the early 1990s inseveral forms. Through internet-based learning students are able to pace themselves,interact with instructors and other classmates, and participate in live feedback sessions.Internet-based learning also accounts for various types of learning styles and physicaldisabilities. There are many positive implications of internet-based learning such as ameans to interactively present and disseminate curricula through courseworkmanagement tools such as Blackboard. It also opens doors for collaboration andcontinuing education for full time employees, i.e. “learning anywhere, anytime.” Studentsare encouraged to expand their knowledge of the material being taught through media,images, animation and streaming audio/video.Although internet-based engineering education is an accepted practice across the UnitedStates and abroad, there are obvious ethical and societal consequences that should beaddressed. Do students feel they are gaining the proper knowledge in their courses andlabs? Do their expectations of what will be asked of them on homework and examsreflect reality? Are students prone to cheating and plagiarism?This paper will discuss the ethical and societal implications of internet-based engineeringeducation, specifically focusing on the submission of internet-based homework andexams.

Jordan, K., & Pakzad, A., & Oats, R. (2011, June), Ethical and Societal Implications of Internet-Based Engineering Education: Faculty and Student Perspectives Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17923

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