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Piloting an Ethics Choose-Your-Own Adventure Activity in Early Engineering Education

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Innovative, Engaging Pedagogies for Engineering Ethics Education

Tagged Division

Engineering Ethics

Page Count

16

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37580

Download Count

33

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Paper Authors

biography

Jennifer Fiegel University of Iowa

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Dr. Jennifer Fiegel is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at the University of Iowa. She earned her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and her PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. Current research in her lab focuses on the design of drug delivery systems for the treatment of infections of the lungs and skin. She has a long-standing interest in the development of future and young engineers and scientists. In light of that interest, she has recently begun conducting research in engineering education, with a current focus on engineering ethics.

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Beth Rundlett University of Iowa

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Beth Rundlett is an Associate Professor of Practice in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at the University of Iowa. Dr. Rundlett received both her B.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Iowa. She spent ten years working in the chemical industry, specializing in photopolymerization and additive manufacturing (3D printing). She is highly interested in developing engineering safety and ethics within engineering education.

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A. Allen Bradley Jr. The University of Iowa

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Professor Bradley joined the faculty at the University of Iowa in 1994. He is a Professor and Chair in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and a Faculty Research Engineer at IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering. His research is in hydrology and hydrometeorology, and he has taught in the first-year engineering course at Iowa since 2006.

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Katelyn Rose Murhammer University of Iowa

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Katelyn Murhammer is an undergraduate student in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at the University of Iowa. At the University of Iowa, she is involved with a variety of student organizations and holds leadership roles in the Society of Women Engineers, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and Dance Marathon. She also works for the College of Engineering as a teaching assistant, student ambassador, and research assistant. After graduation, she hopes to attend graduate school to further her education.

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Abstract

Engineering requires designing, redesigning, and developing new technologies that can have large positive impacts on society. But engineering can also come with negative, often unforeseen, consequences, side effects, or by-products. Dynamite, combustion engines, and opioids are a few examples of these positive contributions that later have had significant negative impacts. Understanding, evaluating and mitigating those negative consequences is a large part of all engineers’ duty to society. This requires students have an understanding of the ethical and societal impacts of their engineering choices.

In this work, we present an interactive, team-based, choose-your-own adventure activity that gives students the opportunity to practice the process of ethical decision-making based on an engineering scenario that has unforeseen negative impacts. Students navigate through the negative consequences of not only their personal decisions, but the decisions made by theoretical peers, management and customers. Our aims for this project are two-fold: 1) to help undergraduate students see that engineering decisions made during the design, production, or even after launch of a product can have larger consequences than originally anticipated; 2) to determine if hands-on ethical problem solving activities in the classroom increases student capability in ethical decision making.

We have introduced this choose-your-own adventure activity in two courses: the college-wide first-year Introduction to Engineering Problem Solving course and the second-year chemical engineering Process Calculations course. This work-in-progress will present initial feedback from students who have participated in the activity and an assessment of student ethical decision making ability based on the Engineering Science and Issues Test (ESIT), comparing students that participated in the hands-on activities to those that received instruction only via lecture.

Fiegel, J., & Rundlett, B., & Bradley, A. A., & Murhammer, K. R. (2021, July), Piloting an Ethics Choose-Your-Own Adventure Activity in Early Engineering Education Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37580

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