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The Development of an Instrument for Assessing Individual Ethical Decision-making in Project-based Design Teams: Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Methods. (English)

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    • Abstract:
      Facilitating the development of ethical reasoning in engineering students is an important part of engineering education and the accreditation criteria of ABET. Project-based design has become a prominent pedagogy within current engineering education and offers opportunities where ethical considerations concerning technology, society, people, and the environment often arise. Engineering ethicists in project-based design experiences have increasingly realized the significance of introducing ethical decision-making to engineering students. However, a major challenge is the lack of effective tools for assessing students' ethical decision-making strategies, skills, and developmental processes in project-based design teams. This paper contributes to both ethical reasoning development in engineering and project-based design through the development of an instrument, the Engineering Ethical Reasoning Instrument (EERI), for assessing individual ethical decision-making in a project-based design context. First, we present the ethical theoretical framework (e.g., Kohlberg's moral development theory) and practical background (e.g., micro and macro ethics in engineering) for the development of the instrument. In this paper, we first present the ethical theoretical framework (e.g., Kohlberg's moral development theory) and practical background (e.g., micro and macro ethics in engineering) for the development of the instrument. Second, we describe the process in which the EERI has been developed, including the validation processes which included psychometric analysis, expert review, and qualitative methods including non-participatory observations and semi-structured interviews for triangulation. Finally, we discuss some limitations or conditions of our instrument and propose suggestions for further research with the aim of improving the practical effectiveness of the EERI in assessing students' individual ethical decision-making in project-based design environment. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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