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Understanding The Differences Between Faculty And Administrator Goals And Students' Experiences With Ethics Education

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Knowing our Students, Faculty, and Profession

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

18

Page Numbers

15.1297.1 - 15.1297.18

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/16628

Download Count

14

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Paper Authors

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Matthew Holsapple University of Michigan

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Matthew A. Holsapple is a doctoral candidate at the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at U-M. His research interests include the impact of educational experiences on student moral development and personal and social responsibility, professional ethics education, college student outcomes assessment, and quasi-experimental research design in higher education. He is currently a member of the American Education Research Association, Association for the Study of Higher Education, and NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

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Donald Carpenter Lawrence Technological University

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Donald Carpenter, Ph.D., P.E., LEED AP is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering. He is actively involved in ASEE, is a Kern Fellow for Entrepreneurial Education, and serves as Director of Assessment for Lawrence Tech. His research interests involve academic integrity, assessment of student learning, and water resources.

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Janel Sutkus Carnegie Mellon University

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Janel A. Sutkus, Ph.D., is Director of Institutional Research and Analysis at Carnegie Mellon University, where she is responsible for analysis and assessment of all administrative and academic functions. Her work focuses on student engagement, enrollment prediction, modeling responses to institutional financial aid, and developing an integrated model of student persistence within Carnegie Mellon's six undergraduate colleges. She is currently a member of ASEE, the Association for Institutional Research, and the Association for the Study of Higher Education.

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Cynthia Finelli University of Michigan Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-9148-1492

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Cynthia Finelli, Ph.D., is Director of the Center for Research and Learning North at U-M. In addition, she actively pursues research in engineering education and assists other faculty in their scholarly projects. She also is past Chair of the Educational Research and Methods Division of ASEE and guest co-editor for a special issue of the International Journal of Engineering Education on applications of engineering education research.

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Kelley Walczak University of Michigan

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Kelley Walczak is a doctoral student in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at U-M. Her research interests include student development, campus culture, learning styles, and qualitative methodology. She is currently a member of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, American Educational Research Association, and ACPA-College Student Educators International.

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Trevor Harding California Polytechnic State University

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Trevor Harding, Ph.D., is Professor and Chair of Materials Engineering at California Poly, where he teaches courses in engineering design from a materials perspective. His research focuses on educational outcomes associated with service learning and project-based learning with a particular emphasis on ethics education. He is also PI on several projects investigating the degradation of biomedical materials in physiological environments. Dr. Harding is Associate Editor of the journal Advances in Engineering Education, chair of the Materials Division of ASEE, and program chair of the Educational Research and Methods Division of ASEE.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Understanding the Differences between Faculty and Administrator Goals and Students’ Experiences with Ethics Education Abstract

There is strong agreement about the need for effective ethics education in engineering academic programs, but students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree in engineering continue to be unprepared to face the ethical dilemmas of professional engineering. This study uses qualitative data collected at 18 diverse institutions and employs the Transmission Model of Communication to examine ethics education. We investigate the ways that communication channels and noise contribute to discrepancies in the goals and perceptions of faculty and staff and the experiences of students in regards to curricular ethics education. We present data that shows that faculty and administrators consider a balance between the knowledge of ethics, ethical reasoning, and ethical behavior to be important, while students report experiencing ethics education that focuses almost solely on knowledge. The paper uses this discrepancy as an illustration to demonstrate the way the model can be used to identify factors that contribute to these differing perceptions. Our work provides support for the use of the model for understanding ethics education. Implications for educators are presented.

Introduction

The need for engineering programs to educate students to be ethical engineers is well documented. The National Academy of Engineering (NAE), in a report on the competencies necessary for the next generation of engineers, suggests that future engineers will need to “possess a working framework upon which high ethical standards and a strong sense of professionalism can be developed,”1 and the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) has stressed the importance of colleges and universities providing students with effective ethics engineering education2.

Despite these calls, ethics education efforts have differing levels of success. In another report, NAE expressed concern that students are not being well-educated to understand the “social and ethical implications” of their technical skills3, and empirical evidence suggests that some of the practices used in engineering ethics education, including case studies and embedded ethics modules in other courses may have mixed results4, 5, 6. Further, researchers have consistently demonstrated that engineering students have high rates of cheating on academic work7 and are among the mostly likely students on campus to cheat8; this student cheating has been correlated with unethical behavior in a workplace environment9. So although the field of engineering is in agreement about the importance of ethics education, current methods of engineering education may not be adequate to prepare students with needed ethical competencies.

Holsapple, M., & Carpenter, D., & Sutkus, J., & Finelli, C., & Walczak, K., & Harding, T. (2010, June), Understanding The Differences Between Faculty And Administrator Goals And Students' Experiences With Ethics Education Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16628

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: © 2010 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