In proceedings ASEE Annual Conf., St. Louis, June 2000.
Creating and measuring an awareness of professional ethics
Richard A. Layton

This paper presents an approach for creating in students an awareness of the ethical responsibilities of practicing engineers. Using a case study in professional ethics, students in a junior-level mechanical engineering design course are given two consecutive writing assignments which are the basis for four classroom discussion periods that focus on student responses to the case study. The student assignments are in addition to, and do not necessarily commingle with, the technical content of the course. The results are that the percentage of students with an understanding of ethical responsibility increases from 45% to 68% after these assignments. This approach is readily implemnented by an individual instructor and can be part of a comprehensive effort to teach ethics across the curriculum. The approach should be considered an introductory component of an ethics instruction strategy where the learning objective is awareness rather than mastery.

©2000 American Society for Engineering Education.

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Richard A. Layton
Last modified: 15 Jul 02