Design, development, and evaluation of an interactive simulator for engineering ethics education (seee)

Science and Engineering Ethics 15 (2):189-199 (2009)
Societal pressures, accreditation organizations, and licensing agencies are emphasizing the importance of ethics in the engineering curriculum. Traditionally, this subject has been taught using dogma, heuristics, and case study approaches. Most recently a number of organizations have sought to increase the utility of these approaches by utilizing the Internet. Resources from these organizations include on-line courses and tests, videos, and DVDs. While these individual approaches provide a foundation on which to base engineering ethics, they may be limited in developing a student’s ability to identify, analyze, and respond to engineering ethics situations outside of the classroom environment. More effective approaches utilize a combination of these types of approaches. This paper describes the design and development of an internet based interactive Simulator for Engineering Ethics Education. The simulator places students in first person perspective scenarios involving different types of ethical situations. Students must gather data, assess the situation, and make decisions. This requires students to develop their own ability to identify and respond to ethical engineering situations. A limited comparison between the internet based interactive simulator and conventional internet web based instruction indicates a statistically significant improvement of 32% in instructional effectiveness. The simulator is currently being used at the University of Houston to help fulfill ABET requirements.
Keywords Engineering ethics  Training  Simulators
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DOI 10.1007/s11948-008-9109-y
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