Using Case-based Instruction to Increase Ethical Understanding in Engineering: What Do We Know? What Do We Need?

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Among various approaches, case-based instruction has been the most popular and widely employed method used in engineering ethics instruction. However, there is little empirical research on whether the use of cases is also the most effective teaching method in promoting ethical understanding for engineering students. This paper discusses the types of cases utilized and how they are implemented for educating undergraduate students in engineering disciplines. We then argue that empirical research is needed to examine the impact of case-based instruction on students' ethical understanding and that well-designed experiments can result in greater understanding of this approach and best practice for its use in ethics instruction.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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  • This journal serves as an international interdisciplinary forum of reference for engineering education.
    A balance between papers on developments in educational methods technology, case studies, laboratory applications, new theoretical approaches, educational policy and survey papers is aimed for.
    Comprehensive coverage of new education schemes and techniques makes the journal a unique source of ideas for engineering educators who are keen to keep abreast of latest developments in educational applications in all fields of engineering.
    Some of the areas covered more extensively in recent issues are: CAD, CAE, computer applications in teaching thermodynamics, material science, electrical engineering, new courses and curricula, engineering management, control engineering, mechanical engineering, engineering design, student evaluation and institutional accreditation.
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