New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Ethical training of engineers is a central concern to engineering educators, future employers, and the governing bodies of the field. Engineering and design work involve complex social processes and inherently ethical decision-making activities. Ethics in engineering project teams has long been a focus of scholarly attention and engineering practice as well as part of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology criteria for engineering and technology (ABET, 2013). Engineering’s complexities raise important questions not only about how engineers make ethical decisions and develop ethical team climates, but also how ethics is handled distinctly within the project-based team context.
While there is still much more to learn about this, our study provides some insights. We used a discursive approach to explore the team-based context of design work in multidisciplinary project-based teams in an engineering education context. We probed how ethics are interwoven throughout the design process. Our findings highlight social, interaction-based team work and ethical decision-making in design work. This study offers both successes and challenges with the development of ethical engineers, as well as practical implications for engineering educators trying to develop curriculum that encourages students’ ethical development. Our findings suggest that while students still struggled to explicitly identify ethics and articulate its role in their day-to-day design work, a human-centered approach to design oriented them toward ethical considerations, motives, and decisions. Additionally, students linked ethical concerns to specific interaction with users in ways that constrained identification and intentional integration of ethical considerations in day-to-day or more technical aspects of their design work. This paper offers some suggestions for more intentional integration of ethical orientations for engineering design students, and considerations for programs seeking to develop ethical engineers.
Kenny Feister, M., & Zoltowski, C. B., & Buzzanell, P. M., & Torres, D. H. (2016, June), Integrating Ethical Considerations In Design Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25804
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