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Teaching and Assessing Sustainability Based on the Karlskrona Manifesto

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Software Engineering Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Software Engineering Division

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Paper Authors


Ivan Cabezas Universidad de San Buenaventura Orcid 16x16

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Ivan Cabezas was born in Colombia in 1973. He received the B. Eng. in Computer Science and the Engineering Ph. D. degrees from Universidad del Valle, in 2004 and 2013, respectively. He is a member of IEEE and ASEE. Engineering education and sustainability concerns during the software engineering design process are among his research interests. He has been working as a full-time professor in the Software Systems Engineering program at the Engineering School of the Universidad de San Buenaventura - Cali, in Colombia, since 2014.

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Eileen Webb Accreditation Preparation

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Eileen Webb is president of Accreditation Preparation which has helped over 100 programs at over 20 universities with their ABET accreditation in the United States, Mexico, Colombia and Portugal since 2012. She is also president of Streamline Consulting, an industrial engineering firm serving manufacturers, casinos and government clients. Former employers include Texas Instruments, Raytheon, Procter and Gamble, Shedd's Food Products, Weyerhaeuser Paper, ABB, and others. She has been an invited speaker at the ABET Symposium, World Engineering Education Forum, LACCEI (Latin America and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions) and Simposium Assessment in Barranquilla, Colombia
Her bachelor of chemical engineering is from Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech.)

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Sustainability is not a new concept. Understanding and seeking it is not only a must but also a challenge for nowadays engineers. Consequently, engineering curricula and faculty should promote on students required knowledge, skills, and behavior to address it. However, such promoting is not a simple task. On the one hand, the several approaches around it may generate ambiguities and misconceptions arising during the engineering design process. On the other hand, a concise but narrow perception of sustainability framing it as environmental care or being able to maintain a business activity over time introduce bias to a proper engineering design process aiming a sustainable development. In fact, it can be argued that there is not a single definition of sustainability suited to all engineering disciplines. In this paper, sustainability is addressed as a software engineering design concern and goal involving multiple dimensions at different moments in time. The presented experience is aimed as a guide for teaching and assessing on sustainability during a software engineering capstone design. It is based on the Karlskrona Manifesto for sustainability design, involving social, individual, environmental, economic, technical dimensions, and considering, short, medium and long-term effects of engineering solutions. A sustainability matrix was used as a tool for analyzing and comparing different software systems designs. Based on the conducted experience, undergraduate students faced a challenge for identifying software systems impacts beyond a short-term time window, whilst graduate students accomplished in a better way such identification process. Learned lessons are shared for the sake of repeatability.

Cabezas, I., & Webb, E. (2019, June), Teaching and Assessing Sustainability Based on the Karlskrona Manifesto Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33341

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