Asee peer logo

Piloting an Adaptive Ethical Decision-making Tool for Engineering Students

Download Paper |


2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Ethical Reasoning and Decision Making

Tagged Division

Engineering Ethics

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Vignesh Subbian University of Arizona Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Vignesh Subbian is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Systems and Industrial Engineering, member of the BIO5 Institute, and a Distinguished Fellow of the Center for University Education Scholarship at the University of Arizona. His professional areas of interest include medical informatics, healthcare systems engineering, and broadening participation in engineering and computing. Subbian’s educational research is focused on ethical decision-making and formation of identities in engineering.

visit author page


Linda R. Shaw University of Arizona

visit author page

Linda R. Shaw, PhD, LPC, CRC is the Director of the Doctoral Program in Counselor Education and Supervision and a Professor in the Master’s program in Counseling at the University of Arizona, where she teaches classes in both group counseling and ethics. She served as a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA) Ethics Revision Task Force for the 2014 ACA Code of Ethics revision and as the Chair of the CRCC Code of Ethics Revision Task Force for the 2017 revision to the Professional Code of Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors. Dr. Shaw also served as Vice-Chair of the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) and as chair of the Ethics Committee for CRCC. Dr. Shaw’s research focuses on disability human rights, ethics in counseling and healthcare, professional issues in rehabilitation counseling and group counseling. She has published and presented widely on issues related to ethical behavior, professional practice and professional issues in rehabilitation counseling.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Ethical and social issues in engineering practice are becoming highly prevalent and multifaceted because of the growing complexity of technology, the nature of public policies, and digital disruption in our society. This necessitates that students have a stronger understanding of ethical and societal implications of their work, and are equipped to make well-reasoned decisions that are consistent with their personal and professional values. In this work, we present a pedagogical tool to enhance ethics education and better prepare engineering students in dealing with ethical issues related to their practice as well as emerging technologies. The prototypical ethical decision-making tool builds upon an existing framework, which parallels the engineering design process and provides students with series of steps for identifying pertinent ethical and sociotechnical issues, applying a range of ethical theories, and arriving at well-informed decision.

Subbian, V., & Shaw, L. R. (2020, June), Piloting an Adaptive Ethical Decision-making Tool for Engineering Students Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35056

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