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Exploring Implicit Understanding of Engineering Ethics in Student Teams

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Conference

2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015

ISBN

978-0-692-50180-1

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

14

Page Numbers

26.728.1 - 26.728.14

DOI

10.18260/p.24065

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/24065

Download Count

247

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Paper Authors

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Eun Ah Lee University of Texas at Dallas

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Eun Ah Lee is a graduate student at University of Texas at Dallas. She received her PhD in science education from Seoul National University in Korea and has worked for STEM education in which she has strong interest. Currently, she is studying for dual masters' degree in Applied Cognitive Science and in Emerging Media and Communication for her professional development.

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Nicholas Gans University of Texas, Dallas

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Nicholas Gans is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Texas at Dallas. He received his Ph.D. in Systems and Entrepreneurial Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

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Magdalena G Grohman The University of Texas at Dallas

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Dr. Magdalena Grohman received her MA and PhD in psychology from Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. Her research background is in creative thinking, problem solving and education. Her core interest is to propagate creative thinking as part of a life-span education. Dr. Grohman has more than 15 years of experience in leading workshops on creative-thinking techniques and creative problem solving, both in commercial and educational settings, for gifted and talented children, university students and adults. Since the 2007, Dr. Grohman has been leading Summer Seminars on creative thinking for teachers at the Dallas Museum of Art. In the fall of 2010, together with the DMA’s Center for Creative Connections staff and visiting artists, she has started Think Creatively! workshops for the Dallas Museum of Art visitors. She has published several chapters and articles on creativity, both in Polish and English, and is an active member of the Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts. Currently, Dr. Grohman is an associate director of the Center for Values in Medicine, Science and Technology and a lecturer at the School of Behavior and Brain Sciences at University of Texas, Dallas, where she does research and teaches a course on psychology of creativity.

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Marco Tacca The University of Texas at Dallas

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Marco Tacca received his Laurea Degree from Politecnico di Torino and PhD from The University of Texas at Dallas.
He is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Texas at Dallas.
Marco's research interests include aspects of optical networks, high speed photonic network planning, fault protection/restoration, and performance evaluation.
Additionally, Marco is the EE director for the UTDesign program.

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Matthew J. Brown Center for Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology
, The University of Texas at Dallas

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Assistant professor of philosophy and history of ideas, Director of the Center for Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology, and affiliate professor of Brain and Behavioral Sciences.

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Abstract

Exploring Implicit Understanding of Engineering Ethics in Students TeamsThis study explores engineering students’ understanding of engineering ethics as a sociallysituated and distributed feature of project teams. An important component of humanunderstanding is implicit understanding, which is difficult to articulate and to study. We set upand observed a group discussion of the ethical and social issues involved in students’ ongoingengineering design projects in order to explore engineering students’ implicit understanding ofethics. Eight discussions from four senior design project (SDP) teams were observed andrecorded. The video data were analyzed using cognitive ethnography and micro-scale discourseanalysis. The results showed that each team had different implicit understanding of ethics; therewas also a difference between each team’s explicit understanding and implicit understanding ofethical issues. Explicitly, students in all teams expressed some version of the view that theycould not be held responsible for the indirect consequence from their design, and instead it ismostly users’ or the third parties’ responsibility. Implicitly, however, there was significantvariation between the teams in their understanding of ethics. For example, one team’s discussion,their language choices and gestures, revealed an empathetic connection with the users. Anotherteam understood potential ethical concerns as threats or attacks and became defensive about theirdesign. These findings show that there are complicated layers of understanding aboutengineering ethics among SDP teams, and those layers are sometimes in tension. These layersmay have their sources in society at large, the cultures of the engineering profession ordepartment, the microculture of the SDP team, or the individual temperament of the students.Understanding these layers and their development may be an important resource for trainingsocially responsible engineers.

Lee, E. A., & Gans, N., & Grohman, M. G., & Tacca, M., & Brown, M. J. (2015, June), Exploring Implicit Understanding of Engineering Ethics in Student Teams Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24065

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