A Systematic Approach to Engineering Ethics Education

Science and Engineering Ethics 18 (2):339-349 (2012)
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Abstract

Engineering ethics education is a complex field characterized by dynamic topics and diverse students, which results in significant challenges for engineering ethics educators. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a systematic approach to determine what to teach and how to teach in an ethics curriculum. This is a topic that has not been adequately addressed in the engineering ethics literature. This systematic approach provides a method to: (1) develop a context-specific engineering ethics curriculum using the Delphi technique, a process-driven research method; and (2) identify appropriate delivery strategies and instructional strategies using an instructional design model. This approach considers the context-specific needs of different engineering disciplines in ethics education and leverages the collaboration of engineering professors, practicing engineers, engineering graduate students, ethics scholars, and instructional design experts. The proposed approach is most suitable for a department, a discipline/field or a professional society. The approach helps to enhance learning outcomes and to facilitate ethics education curriculum development as part of the regular engineering curriculum.

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