F5-T4-5 - WIP: Synthesizing Exemplary Engineering Ethics Education Efforts

3. Research Work In Progress
Justin Hess1 , Alison Kerr2, Athena Lin1, Grant Fore3
1 Purdue University
2 University of Illinois

This Work-In-Progress investigation seeks to continue the development of a framework with which to organize engineering ethics instructional approaches. We build on a recent coding framework that was developed as part of a systematic review of US post-secondary engineering ethics education literature. We apply and iterate on the framework by analyzing the 2016 National Academy of Engineering report, “Infusing Ethics into the Development of Engineers: Exemplary Education Activities and Programs,” which includes two-page synopses of 25 exemplary ethics programs. By applying the framework to these exemplars, we aim to identify prominent instructional approaches utilized across NAE exemplars and the extent to NAE exemplars’ instructional approaches differ from those identified in the prior systematic review.  This WIP has three preliminary outcomes: (1) identification of trends in instructional design approaches across the NAE exemplars, (2) comparison of the instructional design approaches of NAE exemplars with the prior systematic review, and (3) identification of next steps needed to develop a more holistic picture of how ethics is taught in US post-secondary engineering contexts. Example revisions to the coding framework involved combining community-engagement and real-world exposure, broadening micro-insertion to socio-technical integration, and coding for explicit mentoring components of instruction. A future research step involves further specification of these codes to detail how the NAE exemplars applied select instructional approaches, including heuristics, ethical theories, and case studies, and real-world engagement.