Engineering Ethics Through High-Impact Collaborative/Competitive Scenarios (E-ETHICCS)

Kevin Dahm
Professor of Chemical Engineering
Rowan University

Ethics education has been recognized as increasingly important to engineering over the past two decades. Different models exist for how ethics can and should be integrated into the engineering curriculum. In this project, a collaboration of authors from four universities (University of Pittsburgh, University of Connecticut, Rowan University and New Jersey Institute of Technology) are investigating how game-based or playful learning with strongly situated components can influence first-year engineering students’ ethical knowledge, awareness, and decision making. This three-year IUSE-funded project, currently in Year 2, aims to: (1) characterize the ethical awareness and decision making of first-year engineering students, (2) develop game-based learning interventions focused on ethical decision making, and (3) determine how (and why) game-based approaches affect students’ ethical awareness in engineering, and the advantages of such approaches over non game-based approaches. The authors have measured students’ ethical reasoning using two survey instruments, the Defining Issues Test 2 (DIT2) and Engineering Ethics Reasoning Instrument (EERI), and have also used a concept mapping activity to conduct a preliminary analysis of first-year students’ ethical knowledge and organization. Further, the authors have developed three games that have been implemented across three of the universities, engaging over 400 first-year engineering students. Survey data regarding the games themselves has also been gathered, to support ongoing game development and to assess initial student engagement and learning. This poster will provide a detailed description of the three ethics-based games that are currently in use, and summarize findings to date from the DIT2, EERI, and concept inventory instruments.


Scott Streiner, University of Pittsburgh, Daniel Burkey, Michael Young and Jennifer Pascal, University of Connecticut,