July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Algorithms are a central component of most services we use across a range of domains. These services, platforms, and devices rely on computing and technology professionals – who work as data scientists, programmers, or artificial intelligence (AI) experts – to meet their intended goals. How do we train future professionals to have an ethical mindset in their understanding, design, and implementation of algorithms? This was the question that prompted the use of a role-playing case study, which we designed, implemented, and studied in an undergraduate engineering course. We used the Boeing Max 8 flight disaster as the scenario for this case study as it encapsulates how a software algorithm shapes decision-making in a complex scenario. Theoretically, our work is guided by the situated learning paradigm, specifically the need to learn perspectival thinking for decision-making. The ability to make ethical decisions relies to a large extent on the ability of the decision-maker to take context into account – to understand not just the immediate technical need of the work but also larger implications that might even result from unanticipated consequences. Findings from the evaluation of the role-play scenario show that students reported a higher engagement with case study material and a better understanding of the scenario due to taking on a specific role related to the scenario. Analysis of pre-and post-discussion assignments shows a shift in their perspective of the case, further supporting the overall goal of developing a more situated understanding of ethical decision-making.
Hingle, A., & Johri, A., & Rangwala, H., & Monea, A. (2021, July), Using the Boeing Max Air Disaster as A Role-play Scenario for Teaching Ethical Thinking Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/38001
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