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Using Technology Mediated Collaboration In The Teaching Of Ethics & Globalization

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Measuring the Impacts of Project-Based Service Learning on Engineering Education

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Page Numbers

15.1340.1 - 15.1340.16



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Paper Authors


Gary Chinn Pennsylvania State University

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Gary Chinn is project manager of the eLearning Initiative in the College of Engineering at Penn State. Sponsored by the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education, the initiative explores new technologies and approaches related to teaching & learning.

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Veena Raman Pennsylvania State University

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Veena Raman is a lecturer in the departments of Communication Arts and Sciences and Science, Technology, and Society at Penn State. Dr. Raman teaches courses on globalization, new information technologies, the cultural implications of new media technologies and ethical issues surrounding them, and the role of information technologies in facilitating democratic participation and deliberation. Dr. Raman's research focuses on political impacts of communication technologies, digital governance, participatory and deliberative democracy, and civic engagement in the context of globalization.

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Steve A. Walton Pennsylvania State University

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Steven A. Walton is an Assistant Professor of Science, Technology, and Society Program at Penn State. He has a background in mechanical engineering as well as the history and philosophy of science and technology and he works generally on the history of industrial production, especially for military technologies. Although his work has a great chronological span, from the early-modern to the present, he focuses on how users interact with historical technology and both adopt it to their needs and adapt to its demands.

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Thomas Litzinger Pennsylvania State University

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Tom Litzinger is Director of the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education
and a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Penn State, where he has been on the faculty since
1985. His work in engineering education involves curricular reform, teaching and learning
innovations, faculty development, and assessment. He teaches and conducts research in the areas
of combustion and thermal sciences. He was selected as a Fellow of ASEE in 2008. He can be
reached at

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


The Engineer of 2020 makes clear that enhancing engineering students’ understanding of ethics and globalization is increasingly important. As engineers practice their trade in an ever more global business environment, the need for global experience and an understanding of engineering’s role in the larger cultural context becomes more essential. While fundamental engineering and analytical skills remain the foundation of professional preparation for today’s students, the ability to work in multicultural environments, understand the business context of engineering, and adapt to changing conditions have become requirements for engineers in our global environment [1].

Teaching ethics is increasingly a component of science and engineering professional education, reflected in the growing attention paid to ethics courses by accrediting agencies, particularly in engineering as reflected by requirements such as those in the United States instituted by its national engineering accreditation organization, ABET. Ethics is increasingly being integrated into engineering curricula, in recognition of the complex professional and personal issues facing scientists and engineers in modern workplace [2, 3]. It is essential that students understand that science and technology can be used for positive and negative purposes, and thus are not value-neutral. Developing the analytical skills necessary to recognize ethical issues is essential for students entering professional settings. Further, students majoring in scientific and technical fields must understand that they will be the decision makers for technology and science - it is not the autonomous force [4] that we usually assume - and that they need ethical reasoning skills in order to successfully navigate the modern world, whether as practicing scientists and engineers or merely as informed citizens. Ethics education, then, should offer students the opportunity to practice making and defending decisions about ethical issues and provide students with tools to help them develop their skills in formulating sophisticated ethical positions.

Global technology issues like industrialization, environmental degradation, and the rapidly changing nature of the workforce, involve ethical issues at a national and international scale [1]. Safety, privacy, the environment, accessibility, and the implications of the continued advances of technology are issues that every nation must address, both individually and as part of the world community. These challenges offer a highly relevant stage on which to examine the complex ethical issues currently facing those involved in the science and technology industry.

Course Descriptions

The courses, Globalization, Technology & Ethics and Ethics & the Design of Technology, are provided by the Penn State Program in Science, Technology and Society in association with the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education. The courses explore topics of critical international and economic importance: global manufacturing and technology use, off-shoring, outsourcing, international debt financing,

Chinn, G., & Raman, V., & Walton, S. A., & Litzinger, T. (2010, June), Using Technology Mediated Collaboration In The Teaching Of Ethics & Globalization Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16429

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