Asee peer logo

Teaching ethics for preparing Transportation Systems and Management Students for Professional Practice

Download Paper |


2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Ethics in different disciplines

Tagged Division

Engineering Ethics

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1391.1 - 22.1391.13



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Robert M. Brooks Temple University

visit author page

Dr. Robert M. Brooks is an associate professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Temple University. He is a registered professional engineer in PA and a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers. His research interests are Civil Engineering Materials, Transportation Engineering, and Engineering Education.

visit author page


Jyothsna K. S. St.Joseph's College, Bangalore, Department of English

visit author page

Secured a gold Medal for the highest aggregate marks in the Post Graduate English Literature Course at St.Joseph's College (Autonomous). Working for the Department of English, St.Joseph's College for almost an year now, teaching both undergraduate and Postgraduate courses in English. Published papers in intramural and extramural publications. Presented papers at several conventions, conferences and seminars.

visit author page

author page

Amithraj Amavasai

Download Paper |


Teaching Ethics for preparing Transportation Systems and management students for professionalpracticeEthics is an important subject which is commonly faced in professional practice. However, veryfew faculty teach ethics as a significant part of their classes. In Fall 2005 an undergraduatecourse on “Transportation Systems and Management” was taught using a traditional lecturemethod. This is a core course in the technology program at the universityof the authors. Thiscourse was used as a control group. In Fall 2010 an innovative group was taught with ethicsreplacing 10% of the grade from the final exam. The students are taught that the ethical issuesare multipronged. The answers need to address many different areas simultaneously. In makingthe decisions the students are not expected to write a "yes or no", "right or wrong" answer. Thestudents need to deal with many variables in order to improve the overall condition of theexisting situation. Twenty case studies were taught involving various scenarios. These arecommonly faced problems in professional practice. Individual assignments on ethics weregraded consisting of 5% of the grade. Except the 15% (5% assignments and 10% final examcomponent) grade there was no difference between the traditional group and control group.Performance of the control group was compared with that of the ethics group. The averagecourse grades for the control group and the ethics groups were 63 and 74 respectively. The ethicsgroup showed 17.5% improvement over the control group. With a calculated t value of 2.8 in atwo-tailed test, both groups are significantly different. The improvement of the ethics group wasstatistically significant at an alpha value of 0.05.At the end of semester a survey was conducted to determine how strongly the students felt abouttheir preparation on ethics to face professional practice. The control group scored an averagescore of 65% while the ethics group scored 77%. The ethics group showed 18.5% improvementover the control group. With a calculated t value of 3.1 in a two-tailed test, both groups aresignificantly different. The improvement of the ethics group was statistically significant at analpha value of 0.05.The authors plan to extend this strategy to two other courses over the next three years. Themethod presented in this study may be used at other institutions with appropriate modificationsin order to prepare the students on ethics for facing the engineering practice .

Brooks, R. M., & S., J. K., & Amavasai, A. (2011, June), Teaching ethics for preparing Transportation Systems and Management Students for Professional Practice Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18598

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: © 2011 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