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Using Qualitative Data to Further Examine Flagged Items from the Engineering Ethics Reasoning Instrument (EERI)

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Assessing Ethics Learning

Tagged Division

Engineering Ethics

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Paper Authors


Peter Wesley Odom Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Wesley is a PhD student in Engineering Education at Purdue University. His primary research interests surround assessment technologies, the psychology of student learning of STEM subjects, and international community development.

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Given the relative popularity of the Engineering Ethics Reasoning Instrument (EERI), despite only being in the early stages of validation, it is important to make progress towards ensuring that it is reliable and measuring what it is intended to measure. The EERI has been referenced or used for research in more than ten ASEE papers since 2014 and was even used as a component of research published in the Journal of Engineering Education (JEE) last year. Results from a recent Partial Confirmatory Factor Analysis (PCFA) of the EERI indicated that 17 of the 72 items in the EERI were not loading strongly enough with their schemas or were loading incorrectly. This paper explores qualitative results from a special administration of the EERI where students were asked to provide additional information about how they perceived items from the instrument. The students were prompted to do individual reflections as well as teamed reflections where they discussed differences of opinion regarding various items. Afterwards they returned to answer some follow up qualitative and quantitative questions. This paper takes this data and investigates if there are any connections between what students reported and the 17 items which were identified as problematic during the PCFA. Results from the qualitative data supported several of the outcomes from the PCFA while providing fewer insights regarding other items. Overall, it is believed that results highlighted several previously unknown issues with certain items from the EERI. Fortunately, the results also provide evidence-based support for how the indicated items may need to be updated, or justification for their removal.

Odom, P. W. (2020, June), Using Qualitative Data to Further Examine Flagged Items from the Engineering Ethics Reasoning Instrument (EERI) Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35469

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