Proposal Title

Embedding ethics education in energy systems curriculum: Insights into the course design and learning processes

Session Type

Presentation

Room

P&A Rm 34

Start Date

July 2015

Keywords

Engineering ethics, inquiry, learning theory

Primary Threads

Evaluation of Learning

Abstract

The enhancement of ethics attribute and competencies in undergraduate engineering education required a careful examination of existing courses otherwise disconnected from such topics. We engaged in an iterative pedagogical design process for third year and fourth year Energy Systems courses. With a working theoretical framework on how students might learn and develop engineering ethics, a variety of assessment tools were used that provided insights into students’ perceptions (e.g. nature of engineering problems, critical skills for success, constraints and opportunities), their interaction with the pedagogical content, and their prior knowledge or experiences that contribute to the classroom learning. Critical to the successes in engaging students with content and learning approaches unfamiliar to them, were the instructional team’s ability to foster students’ connections to each other, to local contexts, to the profession, and to abstract concepts that require personal translation. We invite audience input for strategies in developing instructional staff qualities that enable effective inquiry and ethics learning in engineering education.

Elements of Engagement

1. Exploration of the theoretical framework for student’s learning in engineering ethics, discussing pedagogical decisions that stem from the model

2. Discussion on strategies to train the instructional team in order to effectively deliver and engage in engineering ethics pedagogy

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Jul 9th, 10:30 AM

Embedding ethics education in energy systems curriculum: Insights into the course design and learning processes

P&A Rm 34

The enhancement of ethics attribute and competencies in undergraduate engineering education required a careful examination of existing courses otherwise disconnected from such topics. We engaged in an iterative pedagogical design process for third year and fourth year Energy Systems courses. With a working theoretical framework on how students might learn and develop engineering ethics, a variety of assessment tools were used that provided insights into students’ perceptions (e.g. nature of engineering problems, critical skills for success, constraints and opportunities), their interaction with the pedagogical content, and their prior knowledge or experiences that contribute to the classroom learning. Critical to the successes in engaging students with content and learning approaches unfamiliar to them, were the instructional team’s ability to foster students’ connections to each other, to local contexts, to the profession, and to abstract concepts that require personal translation. We invite audience input for strategies in developing instructional staff qualities that enable effective inquiry and ethics learning in engineering education.