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Using a Phenomenological Approach to Teach Engineering Ethics in a First-year Engineering Course

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Conference

2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015

ISBN

978-0-692-50180-1

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Engineering Ethics Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Engineering Ethics

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

26.1652.1 - 26.1652.13

DOI

10.18260/p.24988

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/24988

Download Count

235

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Paper Authors

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A. J. Hamlin Michigan Technological University

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AJ Hamlin is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Engineering Fundamentals at Michigan Technological
University, where she teaches first-year engineering courses. Her research interests include engineering ethics, spatial visualization, and educational methods.
She is an active member in the Engineering Design Graphics Division of ASEE and is currently serving as the
Associate Editor of the Engineering Design Graphics Journal.

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biography

Valorie Troesch Michigan Technological University

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Valorie Troesch, J.D., is a Ph.D. candidate in the Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture Program in the Department of Humanities at Michigan Technological University. Her research interests are in engineering ethics pedagogy and, specifically, applying and testing a phenomenological approach to teaching ethics and using qualitative methods to measure learning outcomes. She has taught Engineering Ethics at Michigan Tech for many years and initiated a pilot project working with faculty in Engineering Fundamentals to redesign the ethics module used in first year engineering fundamentals coursework. Troesch also has a background in assessment and evaluation.

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Amber Kemppainen Michigan Technological University

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Ms. Kemppainen is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Engineering Fundamentals. Her research interests include the improvement of STEM education, ethics, and online/blended learning methods.

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Jonathan T Riehl Michigan Technological University

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Jonathan Riehl is a Senior Lecturer in his sixth year in the Engineering Fundamentals Department at Michigan Technological University. He holds a BS and ME in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MS in Civil Engineering from Vanderbilt. His academic interests include engineering education as well as transportation and urban planning. He is currently finishing his doctorate in Civil Engineering.

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Douglas E. Oppliger P.E. Michigan Technological University

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Mr. Oppliger is a senior lecturer in the Department of Engineering Fundamentals at Michigan Technological University.

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Mary A. Fraley Michigan Technological University

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Mary Fraley is a Lecturer in the Department of Engineering Fundamentals at Michigan Technological University. Her research interests include online/blended learning methods, first-year engineering courses and program development.

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Abstract

Using a Phenomenological Approach to Teach Engineering Ethics in a First-year Engineering CourseAt ___University, a phenomenological approach has been used to teach engineering ethics in a 1credit semester long course taken primarily by 3rd and 4th year students for the past two years. Inthis course students examine what it is to be an ethical engineer through a series of readingsabout ethical engineers, studies of exemplary engineers and other persons of high ethicalintegrity, personal interviews with engineers, and their personal reflection about their owncharacter and values. From these experiences, students begin to encounter the “essence” of anethical engineer. They were asked to experience, as much as possible in a classroom setting, thephenomenon of being an ethical engineer. Pre- and post-test results of the Defining Issues Test-2(DIT-2, a validated and nationally used test of ethical reasoning developed by the Office for theStudy of Ethical Development at the University of Alabama) indicate that students in this courseimproved their ethical reasoning by 23% (N2 scale) and by 18.8% (P scale).Engineering Ethics is a topic that is covered in the common First-Year Engineering courses at______ University. In the past, this topic has been approached through the analyses of casestudies using prescribed strategies to solve an ethical dilemma. A new ethics module has beendeveloped that uses a modification of the phenomenological approach described above. A pilottest will be used to compare our current ethics analysis method and the phenomenologicalapproach. Both approaches will be evaluated using pre- and post-tests of the DIT-2. If the pilotcourse results are confirmed, a phenomenological approach to teaching engineering ethics maybecome standard, not only for first-year engineering students taking Engineering Fundamentalsat ___________ University, but for students at all levels in all engineering fields.

Hamlin, A. J., & Troesch, V., & Kemppainen, A., & Riehl, J. T., & Oppliger, D. E., & Fraley, M. A. (2015, June), Using a Phenomenological Approach to Teach Engineering Ethics in a First-year Engineering Course Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24988

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