An exploration and review of ethics instruction methods for undergraduate engineering students and an examination of the MIT Mechanical Engineering Department's current practices in teaching ethics
Author(s)Gavin, Kiera(Kiera A.)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
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All accredited undergraduate engineering programs are required to teach ethics based on the ABET mandated Student Outcomes. How programs choose to do this is highly variable, but curriculum typically falls into one of three categories: the case method, theory-based method, and professional codes method; despite their prevalence in contemporary teaching, each of these methods has its flaws . One school of thought argues that teaching the ethical thought process as a parallel to the engineering design process is the most effective way to communicate ethics to engineering students [2-5]. In order to understand what mechanical engineering students at MIT take away from their ethics education, a survey was sent to all students who had completed the most recent semester of one of the MIT Mechanical Engineering capstone courses. 52% of students responded, revealing a large variation in understanding of ethics and engagement with the ethics components of the course. Recommendations are made for changes to the ethics components of the course curriculum, aiming to improve the deficiencies highlighted in the survey and approach ethics instruction through the design process lens.
Thesis: S.B., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, May, 2020Cataloged from the official PDF of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (page 28).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology