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Hashermian & Loui 2006 Faculty Retreat PosterPDF


Title:Engineering Courage: From "Not My Business" to Positive Responsibility
Author(s):Mourad, Hashem
Contributor(s):Loui, Michael C.
Subject(s):engineering ethics
student responsibility
Abstract:How does a course on engineering ethics affect an undergraduate student's feeling of responsibility and decisions about moral problems? Can an ethics course promote moral courage? In this study, we interviewed six students who had taken a course on engineering ethics and six who had not. We asked the students what they would do as participants in two short cases that posed moral problems. For each case, we successively increased the level of seriousness and asked how each change altered the students' decisions. Students who had taken the ethics course were more comfortable with the cases, and they considered more options before making a decision. They were also more likely to maintain consistency in their responses regardless of the changes in the cases. For both cases, even when they were not directly involved, they were more likely to feel responsible and take corrective action. Students who were less successful in the ethics course gave answers similar to students who had not taken the course. This latter group of students seemed to have weaker feelings of responsibility: they would say that a problem was "not my business." It appears that instruction in ethics increases awareness of responsibility, knowledge about how to handle a difficult situation, and confidence in taking action. This poster was also submitted for publication and appeared in preliminary version in Proceedings of the Thirty-Fifth ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, Indianapolis, IN, 2005. To view this paper, please visit the SoTL Publications folder.
Issue Date:2005
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Date Available in IDEALS:2008-06-02

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