Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
A standard objective of most undergraduate engineering curricula is to prepare students to solve challenging problems by applying technical knowledge to create original ideas and then turn those into practical applications. In addition to providing the technical knowledge, it is becoming increasingly important that the engineering education provide students with the leadership tools needed to excel in their professions and to become ethical leaders in an increasingly complex world. The demand for principled engineering leaders will continue to play an increasingly vital role in the discovery of new knowledge and technologies that can address the complex global problems facing society. This demand amplifies the importance of teaching ethical leadership and decision making as a core element of the engineering curriculum and the need for it to remain at the forefront of curriculum design. This study seeks to provide insights into the research question of whether the use of an integrated leadership and ethics training program can have a positive impact on ethical decision making. Specifically, the ethics training impact on the abilities of undergraduate engineering students to identify and make ethical choices when posed with a selection of decision options. A group of five scenarios and 25 True/False questions based on the National Society of Professional Engineers Code of Ethics were used to measure the ability of students to identify and make decisions that adhere to a set standard of ethical and professional conduct relating to the practice of engineering. Scenarios were developed around situations that require the engineering student to make one or more decisions, selected from a menu of options presented. A two-group posttest-only randomized experiment was designed to investigate the research question. The test group of junior and senior engineering students have gone through 3 years of leadership training at [The institution] consisting of ROTC classes and professional ethics and conduct incorporated into the engineering curriculum. The control group consists of freshman engineering students at [The Institution] who have not received the ROTC and professional ethics and conduct classes. A simple random sample was taken of students in the school of engineering. All students in the study were administered the same ethics test. Analysis of the test results showed that there was no difference in mean scores on the tests. Within the limitations of the study, the findings suggest that the current curriculum does not appear to improve the ethical reasoning scores of upper class engineering students. This motivates the need for additional studies to investigate the effect of ethics and professional conduct focused training and design curricula.
Greenburg, D. S., & Rabb, R. J. (2020, June), Measuring Curriculum Effectiveness for Developing Principled Leaders in an Undergraduate Engineering Program Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34960
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015