Scaffolding Ethics: How to Integrate Ethics into Engineering Curricula (2019-2020)

Many engineering design challenges contain thorny ethical dilemmas. However, these issues are often not thoroughly considered, as technical considerations usually dominate instructional time.

Within the Pratt School of Engineering’s new, required first-year engineering design course (EGR 101), students work in teams to learn the engineering design process and apply that process to solve an authentic, client-based project that is sourced from the community or from a partner at Duke. This project team created educational materials that scaffold ethical considerations at four points along the engineering design process, thus weaving ethical considerations throughout a student team’s first-year design experience.

The four educational modules include Systems Mapping, Perspectives on Pairwise Comparison Charts, Testing Your Tests and the Game of Lifecycle. Team members refined their modules based on feedback from students in the Spring 2020 EGR 101 course. Beginning in fall 2020, all Pratt students will complete the four modules. This reframing of the engineering design process with an eye toward ethical challenges better prepares engineering students to tackle complex technical challenges.

Timing

Summer 2019 – Spring 2020

Team Outputs

Tackling Ethical Challenges in Engineering (Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Virtual Showcase 2020)

Scaffolding Ethics: How to Integrate Ethics into Engineering Curricula

This Team in the News

Designing Ethics to Improve Lives

New Program at Duke to Embed Ethics in Engineering, Computer Science Education

How to Integrate Ethics into Engineering Curricula

 

Image: Engineering students test concrete beams during a lab class at Hudson Hall on March 26, 2009, by Megan Morr/Duke University

Engineering students test concrete beams during a lab class at Hudson Hall on March 26, 2009.

Team Leaders

  • Christian Ferney, Kenan Institute for Ethics
  • Ann Saterbak, Pratt School of Engineering-Biomedical Engineering

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Jessica Edelson
  • Reya Magan
  • Micalyn Struble

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Nan Jokerst, Pratt School of Engineering-Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Wayne Norman, Arts & Sciences-Philosophy
  • Suzanne Shanahan, Kenan Institute for Ethics|Arts & Sciences-Sociology
  • David Toole, Divinity School