June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.539.1 - 24.539.12
Ethical Reasoning Development in Project-based Learning By Dr. Elizabeth McBride and Dr. Puteri Megat-HamariThis paper will describe the method of ethics instruction in a specific project-based learningprogram with the aim to improve the current level of moral reasoning skills in the engineeringstudents enrolled in the program. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology(ABET) and the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) have endorsed efforts toimprove the teaching of ethics in the engineering curriculum. Criterion 3-f of the ABET outcomes,specifically calls for student attainment of an understanding of ethical and professionalresponsibility. In response, engineering educators seek to develop curriculum to improve moralreasoning skills, which should lead to increased understanding of processes used to solve ethicaldilemmas. This paper describes one method of developing ethical understanding and decision-making processes in the context of project-based learning, specifically students enrolled in IronRange Engineering or Twin Cities Engineering, sister programs jointly directed by Minnesota StateUniversity Mankato, Itasca Community College and Normandale Community College. Studentsin the program completed an online survey, the Defining Issues Test version 2, to measure theircurrent moral reasoning skills. Comparative descriptive statistics are presented to comparemeasured moral reasoning levels of this group with engineering students at other universitiesand with other college majors.The paper also documents the ethical development activities and discussions that the studentscomplete as part of the ethics curriculum during the year. The results inform engineeringeducators of the experience of using a particular ethical development curriculum model,specifically, small group discussions of ethical dilemmas moderated by team mentors and facultymembers, followed by written student reflection.The next step is to measure any change in moral development levels during the academic yearthrough a pre- and post-test administration of the DIT-2 survey. The results will inform theresearch team of the growth in moral development in our student group, assessing theeffectiveness of the method of ethics instruction used. Additionally, a longitudinal study tomeasure growth in moral decision-making skills during a four-year undergraduate engineeringprogram is planned.
McBride-Pluskwik, E. A., & Megat Hamari, P. S. (2014, June), Ethical Reasoning Development in Project-based Learning Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20430
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