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College student perceptions of bioengineering ethics education

Material Information

Title:
College student perceptions of bioengineering ethics education
Creator:
Seppala, Kathleen
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Master's ( Master of arts)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
School of Education and Human Development, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Education and human development
Committee Chair:
Kim, Jung-In
Committee Members:
Howard, Cassandra
Moreno, Samantha

Notes

Abstract:
The purpose of this paper is to explore bioengineering, or biomedical engineering, college students’ perceptions and thoughts pertaining to bioengineering ethics education at a state university in the United States. As the students in this study belong to a newly developed undergraduate bioengineering program, the curriculum is continually refined and improved with each class of undergraduate students. Engineering colleges in the United States generally recognize the importance of these topics within their curriculum, but have often struggled with implementation. This research study utilized in-depth, semi-structured interviews to assess current bioengineering students’ perceptions to better understand their interest and motivations towards engineering ethics. Summarizing the findings, students demonstrated an awareness and appreciation for their chosen field of study, and the impact it has on society. The direct connection of bioengineering on human health was readily acknowledged, as were the cascading impact of seemingly small decisions. In many ways, the engineering department in the study is helping to educate the next generation of engineers, valuing knowledge of health, safety, and social implications. Students respond positively when faculty share professional ethical dilemmas in the classroom. Students are listening to these stories, mulling over questions raised in class, and taking the curiosity with them outside of the classroom.

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University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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Copyright [name of copyright holder or Creator or Publisher as appropriate]. Permission granted to University of Colorado Denver to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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Full Text
COLLEGE STUDENT PERCEPTIONS OF
BIOENGINEERING ETHICS EDUCATION by
KATHLEEN SEPPALA B.S., The University of Texas at Austin, 2014
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts
Education and Human Development
2018


This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Kathleen Seppala has been approved for the Education and Human Development Program
by
Jung-In Kim, Chair Cassandra Howard
Samantha Moreno


Ill
Seppala, Kathleen Elizabeth (M. A., School of Education and Human Development Program) College Student Perceptions of Bioengineering Ethics Education Thesis directed by Associate Professor Jung-In Kim
ABSTRACT
The purpose of this paper is to explore bioengineering, or biomedical engineering, college students’ perceptions and thoughts pertaining to bioengineering ethics education at a state university in the United States. As the students in this study belong to a newly developed undergraduate bioengineering program, the curriculum is continually refined and improved with each class of undergraduate students. Engineering colleges in the United States generally recognize the importance of these topics within their curriculum, but have often struggled with implementation. This research study utilized in-depth, semi-structured interviews to assess current bioengineering students’ perceptions to better understand their interest and motivations towards engineering ethics. Summarizing the findings, students demonstrated an awareness and appreciation for their chosen field of study, and the impact it has on society. The direct connection of bioengineering on human health was readily acknowledged, as were the cascading impact of seemingly small decisions. In many ways, the engineering department in the study is helping to educate the next generation of engineers, valuing knowledge of health, safety, and social implications. Students respond positively when faculty share professional ethical dilemmas in the classroom. Students are listening to these stories, mulling over questions raised in class, and taking the curiosity with them outside of the classroom.
The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.
Approved: Jung-In Kim


To my husband, Lane. Thank you for supporting me through this journey.


V
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Dr. Kim, the passion you bring to teaching continues to inspire me. Thank you so much for all the guidance and support you provided throughout this process. I feel so fortunate to have stepped into your class my very first day of graduate school. You’ve given me a new perspective on learning, and I will carry this with me throughout my career. Thank you for your devotion to your students.
Dr. Moreno, thank you for introducing me to this amazing field and career in higher education. Your mentorship in what it means to be a higher education professional has been so valuable throughout the last few years. You’ve helped foster a valuable lens from which to see the world. Thank you for all you’ve taught me. Learning from people like you is one of the many things I love about working in higher education.
Casey, the energy and commitment you bring to teaching is remarkable. You always go above and beyond for your students. Your valuable help in this process is certainly no different. I truly appreciate your enthusiasm with this project, and your excitement to engage with new educational possibilities. Thank you for educating the engineers we need.
To my students, thank you for your kindness, trust, and stories. I’ve learned so much from each of you. You inspire me daily. Thank you for letting me be a part of your educational journey.
To my friends andfamily, I appreciate all the support, interest, and encouragement I received from the start of graduate school to the day of my defense. Thank you for being there when I needed help, and always being ready to celebrate the milestones and accomplishments.


VI
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. INTRODUCTION..................................................................1
Overview......................................................................1
Purpose.......................................................................2
Significance of Study..........................................................2
Research Questions.............................................................3
Method........................................................................4
Definition and Terms...........................................................5
Personal Identification of the Topic...........................................5
II. LITERATURE REVIEW............................................................7
Background and History of Engineering Ethics...................................7
Curricular Modifications, Considerations, and Interventions....................9
Review and Assessment of Classroom Practice...................................16
Student Perceptions of Engineering Ethics.....................................23
III. METHOD.....................................................................29
Research Questions and Interview Questions....................................29
Participants.................................................................32
Data Collection...............................................................35
Plan and Process of Analysis..................................................35
IV. FINDINGS....................................................................41
Research Question 1...........................................................41
Research Question 2...........................................................46


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Research Question 3............................................................50
Research Question 4............................................................52
Research Question 5............................................................55
Research Question 6............................................................57
Complimentary Analysis Methods.................................................60
V. DISCUSSIONS AND IMPLICATION FOR RSEARCH......................................66
Discussion.....................................................................66
Limitations....................................................................68
Implications for Further Research..............................................69
Conclusion.....................................................................69
REFERENCES.......................................................................71
APPENDIX.........................................................................74
A: University of Colorado Denver Colorado Multi Institutional Review Board Approval.74
B: Question 6A - Interview Excerpt with Open Codes
76


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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
Overview
As the problems faced by society become more complex, solutions evolve into cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural efforts (Kreiner & Putcha, 2005). These heightened challenges are found in many disciplines and are increasingly apparent in engineering fields (Kreiner & Putcha, 2005). As the technology needed to surmount these problems advances, the scope of the problems increase, along with the numbers of people needed to solve them (Perlman & Varma, 2001). The engineering industry as a whole still struggles to effectively teach engineering ethics (Perlman & Varma, 2001). Inferring the importance of engineering ethics to society, directing attention to the epicenter of engineering education would be the logical place to start addressing the issue (Perlman & Varma, 2001).
At the undergraduate level, the engineering curriculum is overwhelmed with academic demands, and engineering ethics education can often fall to the wayside (Rabins, 1998; Drake, Griffin, Kirkman, & Swann, 2005). To address the issue, at the turn of the twenty-first century, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) sought to update their student learning outcomes to include a section focusing on engineering ethics and societal impact (Rabins, 1998). Set to be implemented in 2000, these new standards posed new challenges and considerations for engineering departments across the country (Rabins, 1998). The acknowledgement and action towards the problem of inadequate engineering ethics education by ABET is certainly a constructive measure, however many colleges across the country struggle with effective implementation (Rabins, 1998). Departments want to build effective engineering


ethics education interventions into their curriculum, but need more guidance in efficacy of these interventions (Rabins, 1998).
2
Purpose
The purpose of the study is to learn from undergraduate engineering students themselves, exploring their attitude, interest, and motivation towards engineer ethics. Efforts to better understand how students perceive and experience engineering ethics education is a critical step in the evaluation process (Holsapple, Carpenter, Sutkus, Finelli, & Harding, 2012). To better understand effective ways of implementing engineering ethics into curriculum, it is vital to understand the importance of this topic to students and their motivation, or lack thereof, for learning about engineering ethics and applying it in their future careers. With this newfound information, faculty may be able to better evaluate relevancy of curriculum interventions to students. Additionally, interest lies in discipline-specific approaches to engineering ethics education (Li & Fu, 2010). Li and Fu (2010) suggest engineering ethics education may need to be presented differently for civil engineering students than for bioengineering students. In the late twentieth century, interest increased in realms of engineering more directly related to the human experience, such as biotechnology endeavors (Grasso & Helble, 2000). The tangibility of disciplines like bioengineering specifically, as will be studied here, provide an exciting avenue for further research. The study was reviewed by the university system’s IRB and approved as an exempt study, as seen in Appendix A.
Significance of Study
A qualitative study was conducted to explore why and how students best learn and want to learn about engineering ethics. Most qualitative feedback in the literature is limited, and does not provide a holistic idea of student views on the topic of engineering ethics. There is limited


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exploratory research regarding engineering ethics education from the perspective of the students. Interviewing students in a research setting may better inform the scaffolding necessary for engineering ethics education to take hold in the student's mind and in the curriculum. Students can also provide insight into the perceived value of current curriculum interventions, or areas where this curriculum is lacking. Students need to be viewed as stakeholders in their education rather than simply vessels of new information.
The educational experience of students in this study is unique due to the dual-campus arrangement of the bioengineering department. The bioengineering department is newly established, and continually seeking to refine curriculum with each class cohort of undergraduate students. For the first one to two years, students take courses at the public Midwestern university campus. After completing necessary courses in the few first years, students move to a Midwestern medical campus for the last two years of their undergraduate career. They move to the new campus in a cohort model, thus spending several years in classes with the same peers. The unifying educational experience of the bioengineering students removes some barriers to research including different faculty teaching courses, and course content changes (Newberry, 2004). Such variation in classroom experience brings into question the result of previous studies (Newberry, 2004). The entirety of their educational experience is very discipline specific as well. Conversely, the rigid cohort model is not necessarily common in engineering programs, so the environmental influences on the experience of the students interviewed may present an obstacle for application of this information to other programs.
Research Questions
The primary research questions, listed below, served as scaffolding for creating the frame of the semi-structured interview, discussed in Chapter III.


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1. Do students gain a functional understanding of engineering ethics during their undergraduate career? If so, what experiences foster this development?
2. Do students identify societal importance to their understanding of engineering ethics education, and what framework of ethics do they use when making decisions?
3. What interest do students have in engineering ethics education, and how do they want to learn about the subject?
4. What techniques and approaches are most/least effective, from the student perspective, of conveying relevancy of engineering ethics?
5. Why may students express a disconnect between engineering ethics in the classroom and engineering ethics in their future careers?
6. How does gender effect a student’s perceptions of engineering ethics experiences in the classroom environment?
The research questions were developed through informal observation of students in the program, as well as feedback from thesis committee members. The sixth research question was added and developed as a result of the interviews.
Method
The study was exploratory with a phenomenological methodology consisting of in-person interviews of ten graduating seniors from the bioengineering department at the public Midwestern university (Johnson & Christensen, 2017). Initially, participants were selected using typical case for sampling (Johnson & Christensen, 2017). For the purposes of this study, age, and number of semesters at the Midwestern university will be the guiding elements for typical case sampling. The inclusion criteria for the study are bioengineering seniors of a traditional college senior age of 21-23, to limit the post-high school influences on cognitive development. Sampling


5
criteria were expanded to include an additional student, identified through critical case sampling (Johnson & Christensen, 2017). Ultimately, nine of the students interviewed met the criteria of typical case sampling and the tenth student exceeded the anticipated age range and post-high school experience initially intended for the study. The semi-structured interview was in-depth with an interview guide approach (Johnson & Christensen, 2017). The transcripts of the interviews were analyzed through constant comparative analysis, including open coding, axial coding and selective or thematic coding (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). Further study of the data includes classical content analysis and word count (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007).
Definition and Terms
Engineering ethics: Engineering ethics is an applied ethics field which promotes the discussion and establishment of ethical standards for the industry (Kreiner & Putcha, 2005).
Bioengineering: Engineering discipline focused on improving “human health through the application of engineering principles, ideas, and inventions in order to solve important clinical problems (“Bioengineering”, 2017).
Note, a singular definition for ethics and morals is not provided here as the terms are often used almost interchangeably in much of the literature. No common definition of ethics or morals was presented to the students through the interview either, thus interpretations of these two terms by students are personal. The topic is addressed in more detail in the Assessment of moral development section in Chapter II.
Personal Identification of the Topic
After earning my bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, I worked in industry as a field engineer. In my job maintaining electrical infrastructure, I witnessed first-hand what I always thought to be true: engineers wield a powerful impact on society. I sometimes saw this


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responsibility neglected, frequently incurring cost to the public. The often-present void within industry to discuss these ethical concerns was disconcerting. I decided the best way I could be an engineer was to combine my passion for engineering as a force for positive change with my dedication towards fostering personal development in others and work as an educator. Thus, my interest in engineering ethics stems from my personal experiences, my friends in industry, and pursuing positive societal change. I work regularly with the students who volunteered to participate in this study. Due to my proximity to the subject and to the students, I readily acknowledge the potential of confirmation bias in my research. In order to minimize the effects of confirmation bias, I continually sought to separate my experiences in engineering classrooms as a students from those of the students I interviewed. My experiences as a former engineering student do impact and inform my view, and I acknowledge this lens used in my research. To minimize expectations of interview content, I did not seek external information regarding bioengineering course content to help eliminate leading questions in the interviews. I wanted to use my experience as a former engineering student to help connect and relay the experiences of these students. I hope to help educate, prepare, and empower students with my work.


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CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW
The compiled literature is funneled through four main themes in engineering ethics education: background and history of engineering ethics, common curriculum interventions and modifications, assessment and efficacy of practice, and student perception. Starting with a broad, more comprehensive view of the topic distills to research supporting the main inquiry of the research study: how student view engineering ethics education.
Background and History of Engineering Ethics
Engineering ethics is an applied ethics field which promotes the discussion and establishment of ethical standards for the industry (Kreiner & Putcha, 2005). For many engineers, ethical standards of behavior and practice are defined by professional engineering societies (Kreiner & Putcha, 2005). For example, practicing civil engineers would most likely belong to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). ASCE publishes a code of professional ethics intended to drive the decisions of engineers in various disciplines of civil engineering. Although professional ethics are an integral part of ethical behavior regarding technical issues, they may fall short in establishing a “moral guidance criteria [for] people practicing this noble vocation” (Kreiner & Putcha, 2005, p. 2).
Across ethics education literature, numerous journals discuss other applied ethics fields such as medical, law, and agriculture ethics (Self & Ellison, 1998). Numerous studies track the moral development of both medical and veterinary students through ethics education interventions (Self & Ellison, 1998). Yet, similar attention towards engineering ethics education is lacking (Self & Ellison, 1998). Law and medicine are professional fields dedicated to and engrained in ethical practice, while engineering ethics has been left behind (Self & Ellison,


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1998). In many ways, “engineering has failed to make a sufficiently compelling case for social relevance”, and thus, society has not demanded as much attention towards ethics (Grasso & Helble, 2000, p. 87). The lack of advocacy is discouraging considering the growth of science and engineering jobs by as much as 70% in the early twenty-first century compared to other professions (Grasso & Helble, 2000). The increased multidisciplinary direction of most professions only provides a greater reason for attention and efforts to be paid towards engineering ethics (Butcher, 1984). Some students graduating with an engineering degree may build careers in a variety of other fields, indicating the influence ethics exposure in the undergraduate curriculum could have on other professions (Shuman, Besterfield-Sacre, &McGourty, 2005).
Although the issue of engineering ethics has not been completely ignored in the United
States, current attention towards the matter leaves room for improvement. As stated by the
American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) in 2005,
The role of individual engineers and engineering companies will truly shape the world and affect future generations. Since societies across the globe depend on professional expertise at a rapidly increasing pace as the technology pervasively enters human lives, the ethical considerations must be integral in any and all decision-making processes. (Kreiner & Putcha, 2005, p. 2)
Interestingly, the creation of ASEE in 1893 saw opening statements from board members stressing the importance and necessity of a “broad and liberal education in philosophy and the arts” as being paramount and fundamental to the development of a young engineer (Shuman, Besterfield-Sacre, & McGourty, 2005, p. 42). As the objectives of western higher education began to shift, so did the expectations and content of engineering curriculum (Shuman, Besterfield-Sacre, &McGourty, 2005). Beginning in the mid-1970’s, engineers initiated collaboration with philosophy professors to create the emerging applied ethics field of


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engineering ethics (Lynch, 1998). However, no major action from engineers or ethicists from industry is found in the realm of engineering education until decades later, indicating an attitude of stagnation and disregard towards the importance of engineering ethics (Lynch, 1998).
The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) introduced “Criterion 2000” in the late 1990’s in the hopes of developing engineering curriculum to better prepare engineering students for a career in the twenty-first century (Rabins, 1998). Criterion 2000 introduced new curriculum requirements including “an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility” and comprehensive understanding of the “following considerations: economic, environmental, sustainability, manufacturability, ethical, health and safety, social, and political” (Rabins, 1998, p. 293). Finally, ethics and their connection to society were mandated as program outcomes for engineering (Rabins, 1998). Within these guidelines, there exists significant room for college and departments to develop more specific and succinct goals aligning readily with their existing curriculum (Colby & Sullivan 2008). As professional and educational awareness increases, the challenge currently resides in the delivery of engineering ethics education to students at all levels of engineering education (Lynch, 1998).
Curricular Modifications, Considerations, and Interventions
As engineering ethics awareness and social responsibility were added as learning outcomes for engineering programs, universities across the United States implemented a variety of changes to best deliver the new curriculum (Colby & Sullivan, 2008).
Designing curriculum and pedagogical approaches. Although delivery methods of engineering ethics education can appear limited at many institutions, the literature highlights multiple ways departments and faculty can engage students. The flexibility in interventions allows for a range of time, energy, and resources required of the program seeking to implement


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improvements (Haws, 2001). Case studies of engineering disasters are extremely common in engineering curriculum, and will be discussed in more depth later. Still, faculty can engage students through role-playing activities and work environment simulations as well as more traditional methods of ethically-focused lectures, class discussions, and writing or reflections (Li & Fu, 2010). McPhail (2001) advocates for the use of humanistic film and literature. These assignments must be implemented with careful consideration and intentionally tied to engineering content so they are not viewed as an extraneous exercise (Haws, 2001). This practice is common in professional health programs, and can be an effective way for students to engage with the potential impact of their work (McPhail, 2001). According to Li and Fu (2010), despite the numerous options available when designing interventions in one course or across the whole curriculum, utilizing only one or two strategies can create separation and disengagement for students. For instance, brief discussions can easily be incorporated to various lab and lectures across the curriculum using minimal resources (Colby & Sullivan, 2008). Increasing exposure for students and engagement of faculty with ethics education can help maintain relevance throughout the student’s academic career (Newberry, 2004).
Chosen methods of delivery should also be coupled with informed pedagogical practices. There are various guiding principles which departments and faculty can use for guidance in properly deploying the discussed curriculum interventions. When formulating ethics curriculum, three objectives can help structure the activities and interventions used: “emotional engagement, intellectual engagement, and particular knowledge” (Newberry, 2004, p. 344). From Newberry’s (2004) experience in the classroom, he generally sees the most difficulty implementing emotional engagement with ethics content. Despite efforts to bridge these gaps, Newberry now focuses his energy on providing what he believes to be a foundation for emotion engagement as


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students grow and mature as adults and engineering professionals (2004). McPhail (2001) presents a somewhat different basic philosophy for building engineering ethics curriculum, though it still ties back to emotional stimulation as well.
Drawing from Parker’s (1995) and Master’s (1989) work, McPhail values disruption in learning (2001). In an ethics education context, disruption promotes awareness of personal values and the opportunity to question and challenge those values, according to McPhail (2001). Disruption is most directly applied to engineering by encouraging students to question and appreciate the effects of their professional practice on other members of society (Newberry, 2004). This approach does not provide students an answer or explanation to an ethical dilemma, but requires students to propose their own ethical values and assess them to their logical conclusion (Newberry, 2004). Haws promotes a similar approach utilizing divergent thinking (Haws, 2001). He argues standard engineering curriculum forces students into cyclical, convergent thinking, and it can often be difficult for engineering students to engage with outside perspectives (2001). By fostering necessary divergent thinking, and providing students tools to communicate about these topics, this can promote increased ethical awareness and responsibility (Haws, 2001).
Although not necessarily the most engaging content, enabling students to effectively understand and communicate ethical decision-making may further empower them (Haws, 2001). Classroom discussions are valuable as they provide an opportunity for students to engage with multiple viewpoints in the comfort and security of an academic exercise (Newberry, 2004).
These facilitated discussions may also serve as a slight catalyst for emotional engagement as well (Newberry, 2004). The positioning of in-class ethics discussions should be facilitated in a manner as to not further engrain a dualistic understanding (Haws, 2001). Goals for these


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activities in the classroom should also further two different skill sets: processing skills around communication and teamwork, awareness skills compromised of social and global contexts, and lifelong learning (Shuman, Besterfield-Sacre, & McGourty, 2005). These objectives may be further integrated into discussions and provide more insight for students as to why these topics are important (Shuman, Besterfield-Sacre, & McGourty, 2005).
Timing and distribution of engineering ethics education. Engineering programs and professors across the United States sought innovative ways to meet and exceed the expectations of ethics education mandated by ABET 2000 in an already heavily-loaded and prescribed engineering curriculum (Rabins, 1998). Rabins (1998) describes the most common approaches to supplementing engineering curriculum with ethics education include adding segments to introductory engineering courses, senior seminars, and capstone design courses. Distributing ethics education across the entirety of the engineering curriculum is often preferred (Rabins, 1998; Li & Fu, 2010). Continuous engagement is also preferred because it requires faculty involvement through the student’s education (Li & Fu, 2010). Partner teaching methods with other departments are interesting ventures, though must be approached cautiously. The exportation of engineering ethics education from the engineering college can be disengaging for students (Li & Fu, 2010). Nevertheless, some universities choose to increase integration with humanities courses or create stand-alone engineering ethics courses. Another effective method involves pervasively adding ethical elements to all undergraduate engineering courses (Rabins, 1998). The inclusion of ethics discussions in introductory engineering courses is an important place to start (Rabins, 1998; Li & Fu, 2012).
Covering aspects of engineering ethics in senior seminars and capstone design courses is vital and common as well (Colby & Sullivan, 2008). However, if this is the first time ethics is


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brought to the attention of the students, it creates a sense of confusion. Universities which took this isolating approach often received numerous complaints from students asking, “if this material is so important, how come none of our other professors mentioned it?” (Rabins, 1998, p. 297). Such feedback from students supports the idea of students at all education levels to be involved in engineering ethics discussions.
Use of professional codes. Current literature presents opposing views regarding reliance on professional codes in teaching engineering ethics. Colby and Sullivan (2008) promote the professional codes as a useful tool in framing ethical discussions with students. The recommendation is partnered with a full awareness that the professional codes in engineering do not usually play an explicit role in engineering as they may in other professions (Colby & Sullivan, 2008). These self-regulated and internally-created codes provide valuable insight into the dilemmas faced by engineers (2008). While there is merit to these points, Colby and Sullivan along with many other researchers caution faculty against relying too heavily on professional codes to further engineering ethics education (Colby & Sullivan, 2008; Haws, 2001; Li & Fu, 2010; McPhail, 2001). If a student’s only exposure to engineering ethics is in the form of professional codes, these guidelines only provide an authoritarian view of ethics and do not supply information regarding the analysis and resolution of ethical dilemmas (Colby & Sullivan, 2008; Haws, 2001; Li & Fu, 2010; McPhail, 2001). Haws (2001) differentiates the role of codes as being integral to a student’s professional development, rather than their ethical development. For instance, these codes do not help students in viewing ethical dilemmas from the perspective of non-engineers; a necessary and empathic skill (Haws, 2001; Li & Fu, 2010). The narrow perspective provided only by codes further exacerbates the micro-ethical considerations often


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presented to engineering students. The macro-ethical implications, those at a societal level, downplay the influential impact engineering practice has on society (Li & Fu, 2010).
Case studies in the classroom. The frequency and intensity of ethical education interventions varies from institution to institution. However, case studies are almost always a substantial part of engineering ethics curriculum (Rabins, 1998; McPhail, 2001). The evaluation of case studies can help students understand the many manifestations of ethical problems (Perlman & Varma, 2001). Familiarization with ethical processing helps students recognize key concerns they are likely to encounter in their professional careers, if left unchecked, could lead to more significant and more obvious ethical dilemmas (Perlman & Varma, 2001). Case studies also help to remove the problem of “professional distance” (Perlman & Varma, 2001, p. 5).
Many engineering case studies will only address large-scale engineering disasters, while most professionals will encounter ethical dilemmas of a more mundane nature (Heckert, 2000; McPhail, 2001). A variety of case studies allow students to better understand how seemingly insignificant ethical infractions can create destructive professional cultures (Heckert, 2000; McPhail, 2001). These seemingly isolated, minor issues can eventually lead to large-scale engineering disasters if left unchecked.
This variation in case studies allows engineering educators to address the issue of scale for students. Often, it is difficult or even inconceivable for students to believe they will be a part of a situation leading to a terrible engineering disaster (Perlman & Varma, 2001). If ethical dilemmas are explored too narrowly, like the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, students only see examples of heroic action or destructive inaction (Perlman & Varma, 2001).
Case studies can be made more effective for students by relaying the connection between technical engineering problems, and non-technical ethical dilemmas. Solving either kind of


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problem requires critical thinking, gathering data, analyzing the information, evaluating multiple scenarios, and making an informed decision for the evaluation. Obviously, engineering problems are much more constrained and governed by Newtonian laws (Rabins, 1998). There is no Newtonian equivalent governing ethical practices and decisions (Rabins, 1998). Nonetheless, each type of problem can be approached rigorously to develop the best solution. One of the most effective method to communicate these nuances is the use of case studies in the classroom. A variety of case studies helps to dispel the attitude that “technology is efficient, predictable, logical, rational, value-free, objective, and a sign of human progress” (Perlman & Varma, 2001, p. 5). Technology is all those things, and much more. Technology is irrevocably tied to health, safety, environment, well-being, and sustainability of societies across the globe. Engineering problems and ethical problems both deserve critical attention and consideration, and cannot be completely separated from one another.
Service learning. In recent years, the concept of service learning, or community-based learning gained traction in a multitude of disciplines, including engineering education (Colby & Sullivan, 2008; Astin, Vogelgesang, Ikeda, Yee, 2000). Colby and Sullivan (2008) make a case for service learning by addressing the numerous pedagogical outcomes it can readily address: sense of social responsibility; emotional engagement; multicultural appreciation and engagement; and ethical awareness. In these projects, students are faced with solving real-world challenges with physical, financial, and resource constraints they most likely do not see or fully appreciate in the classroom (Colby & Sullivan, 2008). These efforts may further support the development of divergent thinking required of socially-conscience engineers (Haws, 2001). Building on the idea of capstone courses in engineering curriculum and integrating service


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learning into senior design experiences holds great potential for actively engaging students in the human element and impact of engineering (Haws, 2001).
Review and Assessment of Classroom Practice
With an understanding of ways to engage students in engineering ethics education, the next step is reviewing currently existing major programs and assessing how these experiences fit into the educational landscape and how they have been evaluated.
Current practices. A variety of methods for delivery of engineering ethics education exist. The literature often draws attention to a particular intervention; a stand-alone engineering ethics course developed at Texas A&M University (Self & Ellison, 1998; Herkert 2000; Drake et al., 2005). The upper-division course comes with an intensive workload and is “team-taught by an engineer and philosopher” helping to bridge the gap between the perceived technical and nontechnical fields (Herkert, 2000, p. 308). Herkert (2000) describes the unique structure of the course and how it helps to address both moral theory as well as applications of that theory. However, the staffing costs are high for such a model. If such an engineering ethics course exists within the curriculum without ethics being a part of other classes, it can lead students to understand ethics as an optional sidebar to engineering (Herkert, 2000). Understanding the possible duality and disconnect between engineering and ethics, Texas A&M also reworked the rest of the undergraduate engineering curriculum, so ethics education is present throughout its entirety (Rabins, 1998). The process involved reformulating everything including homework, quizzes, exams, and lectures. For example, a homework problem would present both a technical and ethical challenge; “the numerical solution depended upon the ethical problem resolution” (Rabins, 1998, p. 298). Such an approach helps students to understand the fluid nature of ethical concerns in engineering decisions.


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A similar engineering ethics course is hosted by both the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering as well as the Department of Philosophy at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Loui, 2005). The elective course offered to juniors and seniors focuses on professional responsibility with an emphasis on the individual and the organization (Loui, 2005). Students participated in regular reflective writing assignments, include a final reflection paper at the end of the semester. Loui (2005) postulates the students choosing to enroll in the course may have a pre-disposed interest in the topic of engineering ethics. Since it is offered through the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, it approaches the subject from a less obvious or familiar side of engineering ethics like one might experience from a civil engineering standpoint. Focusing on professional responsibilities expected of students, the course fosters technical competence, interpersonal skills, work ethic, and moral standards (Loui, 2005). From analysis of writing assignments conducted in class, the three major insights from students regarding their professional identities are,
An engineer may need moral courage to choose the right action.
An engineer always has professional responsibilities, even when they are not at the
office.
An engineer should understand the effects of technical decisions on the public.
(Loui, 2005, p. 388)
Describing the most influential experiences in developing professional identities, most students cited the use of powerful case studies, and learning from diverse perspectives through class discussions (Loui, 2005). Comparing final reflections in the class to papers from the beginning of the semester, Loui (2005) noted that safety of the public was only mentioned by a few students prior taking the course. Despite limitations in the study, awareness and appreciation of engineering ethics does appear to have increased throughout the semester.


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Loui and his colleague, Hashemian, later studied the impact of the same course on student responses to moral problems framed in a professional setting (2010). The first problem involved an error in salary calculations, and the second was a potential safety issue in a product. When presented with either problems, student who has taken the ethics course presented a clear plan of action, while students who had not taken the course wavered more in formulating their response and struggled to find a direction. As discussed in Loui’s previous study, the students who took the course may be more interested and comfortable discussing these issues (Loui, 2005). The students who had taken the class asked more questions and identified more missing information from the moral problems. These students were less easily distracted by superfluous information as well, and easily identified the moral dilemma. Their theoretical actions in each situation were more consistent than those of their peers who had not taken the class. Again, it is not determined whether this difference would still be present in the workplace and in real-life situations, but the students who did complete the ethics course were more equipped to discuss the problems and formulate possible resolutions (Loui & Hashemian, 2010).
Not all engineering programs have conducted such an extensive overhaul of engineering course offerings as Texas A&M and The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Many other universities have employed modest, though critical, approaches. MIT offered courses such as “Engineering Disasters: Ethics, Management, and Mismanagement” and “Ethics and the Law on the Electronic Frontier” (Lynch, 1998, p. 28). Carnegie Mellon offers a dual degree in Engineering and Public Policy. Purdue hosts a “Breadsticks and Ethics” seminar, inviting representatives from industry to explore “the link between ethics in the classroom and the workplace” with students (Lynch, 1998, p. 29). The Illinois Institute of Technology created a series of seminars for faculty about bringing engineering ethics into the classroom (Lynch,


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1998). These prestigious and highly-ranked engineering schools mentioned were proactive in addressing engineering ethics curriculum in their programs. It is still unclear how extensively these ideas and practices have permeated through less-recognized engineering programs and how these programs have developed in the last decade.
Assessment of moral development. Fisher (2004) describes the ambiguous line between morals and ethics in much of the literature. For the purposes of this section, it may be helpful to consider moral development as the active assessment, transformation, and structural thought towards cultural values made by the individual (Kohlberg & Hersh, 1977). Clarkeburn (2002) most aptly reflects the more common definitions seen in engineering ethics literature. Generally, he presumes moral development as being the progression or regression of personal values applied to and informing decisions, while ethics refers to a more broadly accepted and external set of standards (Clarkeburn, 2002).
Reviewing assessments of moral development of engineering students, research conducted on engineering programs at two universities are discussed below. First, assessment efforts at Texas A&M are reviewed, followed by a study conducted at Georgia Institute of Technology. As universities take a more active role in engineer ethics education, a next step, according to Self and Ellison (1998) is evaluating the effectiveness of interventions and additions to curriculum. As previously discussed, Texas A&M created a novel, co-instructed elective course for engineering ethics. Using moral reasoning evaluation techniques from college student development theory, they sought to assess the change taking place in students throughout their enrollment in an engineering ethics course (Self & Ellison, 1998). The research team at Texas A&M utilized Rest’s Defining Issues Test (DIT) as both a pre-test and post-test to evaluate the moral reasoning abilities of their students (Self & Ellison, 1998). Rest’s model was a


20
continuation of the study of moral development theory developed by Lawrence Kohlberg (Kohlberg & Hersh, 1977). In Kohlberg’s theory of moral development, an individual works through a series of six stages (Kohlberg & Hersh, 1977). The individual first obeys rules only as a method of avoiding punishment (Kohlberg & Hersh, 1977). Fairness becomes a priority later to the individual, and they set expectation for acceptable social roles and interventions. Morality leans towards the concept and acceptance of social welfare (Kohlberg & Hersh, 1977). Rest developed a model to empirically measure the progress of moral development (Self & Ellison, 1998).
The research team hypothesized a one-semester course in engineering ethics would produce “a statistically significant increase the moral reasoning skills of students”, and their case study, spanning both a fall and spring section of the course, confirmed their research premise.
The DIT also allows for evaluators to assess “not what one believes but why one believes it” (Self & Ellison, 1998, p. 30). The goal of ethics curriculum is not to determine what is right or wrong, but facilitate critical thinking around moral and ethical problems (Lynch, 1998). The study showed statistically significant increases in the post-test conducted across multiple demographics of students (Self & Ellison, 1998). The study also showed a higher rate of change in moral reason for younger students as opposed to older students in the class (Self & Ellison, 1998). There was not a statistically significant difference between moral development of males and females in the study (Self & Ellison, 1998). The result aligns with assumptions in college student development theory, as older students would foreseeably have already moved through another stage in Kohlberg’s model earlier in their college career, leaving the potential for less developmental progress (Self & Ellison, 1998). Kohlberg’s theory of moral development is justice-based, and does not account for care-based view of moral development, as seen in other


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theoretical models created by Gillian and Noddings (Self & Ellison, 1998). Their models of moral reasoning are “interpreted in terms of care, compassion, and responsiveness to other persons” (Self & Ellison, 1998, p. 31). Thus, only evaluating moral reasoning with the DIT neglects to acknowledge other important ethical aspects relevant to the engineering profession.
The study may provide evidence to engineering educators that moral reasoning development can be empirically measured and evaluated (Self & Ellison, 1998). Use of the DIT is a starting point for critical evaluation (Self & Ellison, 1998). The study also supports the idea engineering ethics interventions are positively affecting the moral reasoning of students. It is yet to be seen how the pressure of an engineering career affects these students, even with positive exposure to ethical dilemmas in their undergraduate experience (Self & Ellison, 1998). Despite this uncertainty, any positive improvement in moral and ethical reasoning in students should be sought after by educators, and considered a stronger foundation for engineers entering industry than no exposure to engineering ethics at all (Self & Ellison, 1998). With this data, “the teaching of ethical issues in engineering no longer needs to be considered soft or fuzzy” (Self & Ellison, 1998, p. 32).
However, the quasi-experimental premise of Self and Ellison’s study is met with concerns and criticisms by Drake and his team at Georgia Institute of Technology (Drake et al., 2005). There was not a control group in the study conducted by Self and Ellison, thus it is not conclusive whether the increased post-test scores may have been the result of increased exposure to the test (Drake et al., 2005). Drake and his team are quick to note the reliance of the DIT produced over the last thirty years, and its prevalence in assessing moral development within other academic fields. In their experiment, they utilized the revised and updated DIT-2 test, built from revised theories of moral development since the inception of DIT. They sought to evaluate


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the effectiveness of a one semester ethics course, and an engineering course with an ethics module. The results of their study did not find an increase in moral development for the engineering with the ethics module, and only a slight statistically significant increase in moral reasoning for students in the engineering ethics course. When the measured increase was compared against moral development of students in the control class, the evidence is greatly reduced. This suggests the instruction in engineering ethics course may not have been the catalyst for this development. Further analysis of the data may suggest educational level within the undergraduate program, rather than age, was a stronger predictor to receptiveness and development of engineer ethics (Drake et al., 2005). As longitudinal exposure to engineering ethics education is touted as best practice, Drake and his team (2005) also advocate for long-term assessment of students, tracking their development throughout a program as a means of determining which interventions produce short-lived versus lasting results.
Nonetheless, other researchers sought a more specialized instrument to evaluate and assess moral and ethical development for STEM students (Borenstein, Drake, Kirkman, &
Swann, 2009). Due to concerns around the DIT as an evaluation instrument, in part for its reliance on Kohlberg’s developmental stages and lack of discipline-specific questions in the assessment, Borenstein and his team (2009) created a new assessment tool, the Engineering and Science Issues Test (ESIT). Their initial experimental study indicated ethics education to produce a measurable effect on students. They are working to establish reliability and validity of the new instrument, and note the sample size of twenty-two students warrants further study and investigation (Borenstein, 2009). Regardless, this study is noteworthy due to its direct approach to assessing engineering ethics education specifically with a new and novel instrument, and may provide a foundation for valuable research moving forward.


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Student Perceptions of Engineering Ethics
In addition to considering the multiple avenues departments and faculty use for engineering ethics education, the perspective of the student has also been examined. By better understanding how students want to learn about the topic, curriculum interventions may be improved.
Perception versus reality. To better define, in terms of both quantity and quality, what curricular and co-curricular activities were impactful for students’ ethical development, Finelli and her team (2012) created and utilized the Student Engineering Ethical Development (SEED) Survey. The survey was constructed using a framework centered around Astin’s Inputs-Environments-Outputs model (Finelli, Holsapple, Ra, Bielby, Burt, Carpenter, Harding, & Sutkus, 2012). Data collection of the survey spanned across eighteen institutions in the United States, and was completed by nearly 4,000 undergraduate students. The team learned from the survey, unsurprisingly, the most common learning experiences were presentations by a professor and introductory engineering courses (Finelli, et al., 2012).
Focusing on the most influential experiences, students exhibited a range of cognitive depth from justification of ideas and opinions around engineering ethical dilemmas to simply being encouraged to recognize ethical dilemmas (Finelli, et al., 2012). Nearly 90% of students reported engineering ethics to be critical to their education, and about the same percentage of students were satisfied with their ethical education. Despite this engagement and appreciation, fewer than half of the students felt they would use these experiences more than half the time when faced with ethical dilemmas in the future. This may point more specifically to the idea that departments and faculty often struggle with relevancy and applicability in their curriculum interventions, or that students cannot quite yet envision how they will apply this knowledge in


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the future. Regardless, the SEED survey results indicate students report both high quantity and quality of engineering ethics education.
Despite these promising experiences reported by students, the actualized knowledge of ethics is still low. From the SEED survey, students expressed exposure to very black and white ethical issues, and lacked experience with nuance in ethical dilemmas. This reveals an interesting juxtaposition, as the student report considerable learning while the SEED survey results say otherwise. These hypothetical ethical dilemma questions in the SEED survey suggest engineering students are not keeping pace with the ethical development of their college peers. Finelli and her team (2012) do not know if this gap in ethical development indicates students are entering college less ethically developed, or if engineering programs are not keeping pace with other programs with ethics education. Given the SEED survey was the first national assessment of engineering students of its kind, it does not serve as an indicator as to whether engineering students are entering college less ethically developed, or engineering programs are not providing equitable levels of ethical development (Finelli, et al., 2012).
Framing discussions and interactions. The dichotomy between technical skills and engineering ethics is illustrated by the commonplace and somewhat dismissive language often used by engineering educators. They refer to such competencies as soft skills (Shuman, Besterfield-Sacre, &McGourty, 2005). As the vernacular slowly shifts towards professional skills instead, it may provide a better introduction and foundation to engineering students (Shuman, Besterfield-Sacre, &McGourty, 2005).
In 2002, Clarkeburn stressed the complexity of moral and ethical development: formal education could accelerate the process, but it in no way can be completely responsible. He warned of ineffective and potentially comprising programs where the goal of the education was a


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notable change in behaviors and values, rather than understanding how to evaluate ethical dilemmas. He discusses how consensus can often be reached for a hypothetical dilemma, but this consensus becomes much for difficult when tied to a real dilemma. Clarkeburn describes the teaching of moral decision-making, as inherently promoting certain values in accordance with societal expectations. Values should not and cannot be avoided in these learning experiences, but they should not be the only objective (Clarkeburn, 2002). He acknowledges value development is a long-term process, and is not completed through short-term exposure. Thus, Clarkeburn advocates for a skills-based approach to ethics education. This approach prepares students through tools of ethical sensitivity and moral reasoning. They exercise these skills independently, and throughout the curriculum (Clarkeburn, 2002). He cites research supporting dilemma-based discussions as the most effective means of empowering students with these skills (Clarkeburn, 20002).
Even when utilizing a skills-based approach to discussions, students and faculty often perceive these conversations differently (Holsapple et al., 2012). When faculty report discussions focused around laws and ethical codes blended with nuanced dilemmas, students report only experiencing a rules-based approach to ethics (Holsapple et al., 2012). This disconnect extended to faculty indicating they also taught ethics through leading by example, however this was not observed by students (Holsapple et al., 2012). Not to say students thought their faculty set poor ethical examples; most interactions with faculty were limited to the classroom, providing little room to see how faculty handled ethical situations. One faculty member reported the increased engagement he saw in his students when the discussions were moved from solely professional codes to matters effecting daily life in society. Students also wanted to see more discussions around building ethical reasoning skills to better address dilemmas (Holsapple et al., 2012). The


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disconnect between faculty and student further advocates the importance of understanding student perception and experience as part of the evaluation process (Holsapple et al., 2012).
The nuance of discussions extends to the ethical dilemmas presented to students as well. Bringing broadly-defined and open-ended situations into the classroom can create a more robust foundation for student understanding (Colby & Sullivan, 2008). These approaches can assist in building awareness for students (Shuman, Besterfield-Sacre, &McGourty, 2005). Shuman and his team (2005) contend the attention towards implications of engineering decisions is imperative in helping students learn how to make decisions on their own. With globalization, they direct emphasis towards being able to consider cultural influences and implications of engineering decisions. Many engineering decisions in the past have been made with little foresight towards “social, economic, and environmental impact on natural systems”, thus engineers of the future face greater challenges and should be prepared to address issues of sustainability (Shuman, Besterfield-Sacre, &McGourty, 2005, p. 47).
Motivation and interest. Choosing what ethical dilemmas to bring to students demands a great deal of intentionality from faculty. The more the ethical dilemmas seen in the classroom align with the curriculum and overall learning experiences, the more motivation students will bring to ethics education (Clarkeburn, 2002). Learning related to interest is often conceptualized and influenced from the interaction of the person with the social and physical environment (Hidi & Anderson, 1992). Thus, even the unique cohort and dual-campus model of the program could influence student interest.
Many universities created effective ways of engaging students with engineering ethics. The continued improvement of these interventions may come from an understanding of cognitive development and motivational theory. The idea of introducing engineering ethics across all the


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undergraduate curriculum provides ample opportunity for motivation towards the subject (Rabins, 1998). The repetitious exposure of ethics curriculum is imperative for interest to develop in students (Hidi, Renninger, & Krapp, 2004). The continued exposure to engineering ethics allows for students to better conceptualize a complicated, intricate topic and store these concepts in usable, long-term memory (Hidi, Renninger, & Krapp, 2004).
Hidi and Renninger developed a situational interest model distinguishing experiences which trigger interest in a subject and experiences which foster and evolve the interest (Hidi & Renninger, 2010). This may support varying the ethics curriculum provided to students throughout the undergraduate program. Triggering student interest is important, but maintained situational interest likely produces more favorable long-term outcomes for retention and continued interest (Hidi, Renninger, & Krapp, 2004). It may be ideal to vary the ethics curriculum provided to students throughout the undergraduate program. By creating a positive triggering learning event, faculty can help develop individualized interest in the subject (Hidi, Renninger, & Krapp, 2004). Strong individual interest leads students to be more curious and engaged with the content, indicating curriculum interventions can challenge students in new ways throughout their undergraduate career (Renninger, 2000). The evolution of individual interest is also important when considering the amount of support and guidance an emergent learner would need as opposed to a student with an established, functional understanding (Renninger, 2000; Renninger & Hidi, 2002). Although this is an important construct, more research is needed to better establish its validity and examine the proposed process.
Considering methods to increase ethics exposure, some researchers suggest incorporating engineering ethics into required humanities courses could be the most effective way to supplement undergraduate education (Rabins, 1998). Utilizing the time students are spending in


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general education classes already, the topics of discussion and analysis can be geared towards issues in applied ethics. This approach receives support because of relative ease of implementation, and lack of interference with demanding engineering coursework, making it a practical tactic (Rabins, 1998). If ethics curriculum can be introduced from other avenues, it provides a better chance of the message resonating with students. Cognitive development theories encourage frequent exposure to new and important ideas, as well as multiple methods of delivery.


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CHAPTER III METHOD
The methodology of the study was phenomenological consisting of in-person interviews with ten graduating seniors from the bioengineering department at a public Midwestern university (Johnson & Christensen, 2017). Refining the sample to include only bioengineering seniors, rather than seniors across the College of Engineering and Applied Science, is intended to provide focus around the unified educational experience of these students. It may also provide more actionable information for the department to use in future curriculum improvements. As the bioengineering department within the college is newly developed, the curriculum is continually refined and improved with each class of undergraduate students. This discipline-specific approach narrows the lived educational experience of the engineering students, as the students within the department take the same courses in the same environment. The bioengineering department is also a dual-campus program with undergraduate students studying first on a public Midwestern university campus, then on a Midwestern medical campus. Thus, the undergraduate experience within the department is drastically different from the rest of the College of Engineering and Applied Science solely from an environmental perspective. To better understand the impact of the study on the bioengineering department, data for student perceptions will be compared to existing curriculum plans to integrate engineering ethics into courses. As part of ABET accreditation discussed previously, departments must document how learning outcomes, such as Criterion 2000, are implemented and assessed (Rabins, 1998). Research Questions and Interview Questions
The primary research questions are listed below. The interview questions were created to correspond with specific research questions, as to help ensure coverage in the interview of topic


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of interest. As the research is exploratory in nature, an additional research question emerged though the interview process, and is listed as Research Question 6. The questions listed here will be the main objective for analysis.
1. Do students gain a functional understanding of engineering ethics during their undergraduate career? If so, what experiences foster this development?
2. Do students identity societal importance to their understanding of engineering ethics education, and what framework of ethics do they use when making decisions?
3. What interest do students have in engineering ethics education, and how do they want to learn about the subject?
4. What techniques and approaches are most/least effective, from the student perspective, of conveying relevancy of engineering ethics?
5. Why may students express a disconnect between engineering ethics in the classroom and engineering ethics in their future careers?
6. How does gender effect a student’s perceptions of engineering ethics experiences in the classroom environment?
The interview questions were generated to correspond with the research questions above. Research Question 1 (RQ1) is informed by Interview Question 1 (IQ 1). Similarly, RQ2 informs IQ2; RQ3 informs IQ3 and IQ4; RQ4 informs IQ3, IQ4, and IQ5; finally, RQ5 informs IQ5 and IQ6. As Research Question 6 arose from the interview process, it was not directly mapped to an interview question. Below, the interview guide, including all primary interview questions, followed by probing questions used for further clarification and elaboration based on student’s response to initial questions.
1.
How would you describe engineering ethics?


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Student provides descriptive, comprehensive answer:
A. How did you come to that understanding?
B. How long have you viewed engineering ethics in this way?
Students struggles to form and articulate answer:
A. How would you describe ethics in general?
B. Do you think of ethics as applied to engineering, or does it seem separate most of the time?
2. What role do you think engineering ethics plays at a societal level?
A. Do you think this relationship between engineering ethics and society is visible at all levels of leadership and responsibility?
B. How do you think society as a whole views the responsibility and role of engineers?
3. How would you describe your first experience with this topic?
A. How did you initially feel about this experience and how do you feel about it now?
4. What event or aspect of your education had the most/least influence role of your understanding of engineering ethics?
A. Why were these events most/least impactful?
B. If your classmates experience these same things, how would you describe their reaction?
If student describes experiences in the classroom:
A. Do any learning events stand out to you as helping you learn about engineering ethics outside the classroom?


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If student describes experiences outside the classroom:
A. Do any learning events stand out to you as helping you learn about engineering ethics inside the classroom?
5. What role do you think engineering ethics should play in the classroom?
A. What do you think could improve the way engineering ethics is discussed in the classroom?
6. What do you think may be helpful for the transition from the classroom to the workplace regarding engineering ethics?
A. Is ethical responsibility part of the role of an individual or the organization as a whole?
The first three interview questions are intended to be open-ended to better capture the scope of interest and importance of engineering ethics expressed by students. A more cohesive understanding of both interest and importance may inform student motivation, and may help faculty with implementing effective experiences in the curriculum. Interview Question 4 narrows more specifically to the experiences of the students by parsing the most influential experiences. Retrospection may clarify how the experiences fit together and build on one another throughout development. Interview Question 5 seeks to address the reported lack of importance or applicability of engineering ethics expressed by some students in the classroom environment. Such sentiments are noted in the literature, as well as by faculty in the bioengineering department. Interview Question 6 aims to assess how students view themselves as upcoming professionals in the field.
Participants


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Initially, participants were selected using typical case sampling. For the purposes of this study, age and number of semesters at CU Denver will be the guiding elements for typical case sampling (Johnson & Christensen, 2017). The inclusion criteria for typical case sampling are bioengineering seniors, age of 21-23, to limit the post-high school influences on cognitive development. Sampling criteria was expanded to include an additional student, identified through critical case sampling (Johnson & Christensen, 2017). Ultimately, nine of the students interviewed meet the criteria of typical case sampling and the tenth student exceeded the anticipated age range and post-high school experience initially intended for the study. The alteration in sampling is intended to explore whether older students expressed different interest and concerns regarding engineering ethics. As interviews progressed, typical case sampling produced saturation of responses throughout certain portions of the interviews. Thus, expanding to a critical case student served as an opportunity to determine whether this educational experience varied substantially from the typical case students. Due to time and coursework constraints of the students in their senior year as well as the results of the critical case interview, no other students meeting critical case sampling criteria were interviewed.
Each student is provided a pseudonym, as will be used in the findings. All but two of the ten students interviewed are interested in careers in industry following graduation. Additional demographic information collected through the survey is listed below in Table 1.


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Table 1
Demographics of Student Participants
Age Number of Students
21 2
22 3
23 2
24 2
27 1
Gender Identity Number of Students
Female 4
Male 6
Ethnicity Number of Students
White 6
Asian 2
Black or African American 1
White, Hispanic/Latino 1
Academic Pathway Number of Students
Direct Admit from High School 6
Transfer (internal to university) 2
Transfer (external to university) 2
Employment Status Number of Students
Not employed 1
1-10 hr/week 2
11-20 hr/week 5
21-40 hr/week 2
Although the sample size is small, the demographic survey completed by the students helps provide some context for the student population within the bioengineering department. Tracking student pathways into the bioengineering program may serve as some indication of post-high school experiences pertaining to moral and ethical development. As seen in Table 1, most student participants are employed at least part-time. From these experiences, students may be learning about functional and dysfunctional work environments and how leadership resolves ethical dilemmas. The survey also reveals students working both on and off campus. Taking these demographic elements into account creates a more holistic view of the student participants.


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Data Collection
Students were invited via email to participate in the interviews. The interview material and identities of the students is confidential. Student were informed during the consent process the findings of the study will be relayed to the department for curriculum and experiential improvements. If interested in participating, students scheduled a time for the interview, and completed a short demographic survey afterwards. The survey includes date of birth, ethnicity, pathway into program (directly from high school or transfer students), employment status, and plans after graduation. Interviews were conducted from late November of 2017 to early February of 2018. The timeframe for interviews is important to note as class demands were different for some students, possibly influencing their answers for the interview. The duration of interviews was between 19 minutes and 48 minutes. As an identical structure was used for the interviews, the difference in time was the result of elaboration on the topics from some students, combined with clarifying questions. Each interview was recorded for dictation in the analysis process. The semi-structured interview was in-depth with an interview guide approach. Interview questions are framed to address the research questions listed above. The interview questions were structured to map directly to a research question.
Plan and Process of Analysis
Transcripts of the interviews were created via a secure online transcription service. Once prepared, they were compared against the original recording to ensure accuracy. The students were provided a copy of their interview to assess whether they found the transcript to be analogous with their intentions in the interview. Any clarifications regarding the transcript of the interview were documented in the member checking process, with the goal of increasing validity through triangulation (Johnson & Christensen, 2017; Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007). For member


36
checking, two complete and open coded transcripts were provided to a peer for review. The secondary reviewer reported no abject concerns regarding the open coding process.
The first method of analysis was constant comparative analysis, followed by classical content analysis and word count (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007). For constant comparative analysis, the transcripts of the interviews were open coded, leading to axial coding and selective or thematic coding (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). The process of constant comparison allows for analyzing similarities in language and description in search of a fundamental structure of experience throughout an individual one-time interview as well as the interviews of the entire group (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007). The transcript of each interview was chunked and open coded inductively (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007). Further study of the data includes classical content analysis and word count (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007). The combination of analysis methods allows for a quantitative reflection of word and phrase frequency as well as a search for thematic similarities from the students (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007).
For the purposes of demonstration, one analysis process is displayed and discussed at length below. This process was undertaken for every question in the interview. The interview question 6A, “is ethical responsibility part of the role of an individual or the organization as a whole” is set a probing question after “What do you think may be helpful for the transition from the classroom to the workplace in regard to engineering ethics". The intention was to further explore how students viewed and positioned themselves in the workplace. After reviewing responses from the students, the analysis process was aided by splitting this first question into its own analysis. This separation was not done with other probing questions built into the interview. The separation of content made for a more organized demonstration of the analysis process. As this question was separated, it provided the fewest open codes generated from the constant


37
comparative analysis process, thus is the most efficient example to demonstrate the process (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). Below, in Table 2 are brief interview excerpts, or chunks, from each students’ responses to Interview Question 6A and their corresponding open code generated in the first step of the constant comparative analysis process.
Table 2
Examples of Interview Chunks and Corresponding Open Codes
Student Chunk Code for Chunk
Hannah “In our society, we kinda have this view of companies as kind of a person, like you'll refer to Google” Personification of company
James “you definitely want it in the organization” Responsibility of organization
Julie “overall it's the organizations job to make sure that everyone is on the same page” Organization sets ethical standard
Nathan “but the organization will depend on each individual to be ethical” Dependent on behavior of individual
Sherri “these are the things we believe in this company and these are the things people can align themselves with” Coexistence with company and individual opinions
Bradley “Certainly society is going to look at the organization as a whole and look at their ethical opinion” Society views as organizational responsibility
John “I guess more individual. Yeah, I'd say it's more of an individual type of thing.” Ethical responsibility is on the individual
Charlotte “Do I quit my job because this is unethical, but then someone's just going to take my place, or is it my responsibility to bring the entire group to realization” Quit job or transform group ethics
Eric “[company] should also be responsible for your coworkers and your products that you put out” Organization is responsible for your products and coworkers
Kenneth “Mainly so that you can hold people accountable and you can hold people to a standard” Hold people to standard
The chunks of interview text provided in Table 2 are intended to provide a better understanding of the student responses prompting the generation of the open codes seen in Table 3. To see an example of open coding within an interview, see an excerpt of Sherri’s interview in Appendix B. The length of each interview chunk and it’s corresponding code are determined and generated by the researcher (Strauss & Corbin, 1998).
Each of the open codes seen in Table 3 corresponds to a chunk of text from the interview transcript. As evident from the various number of open codes generated for each student, some interviewees were more engaged by Question 6A. The word count for student response per


38
question will be assessed later to review what portions of the interview garnered the most student interest.
Table 3
Open Codes for Interview Question 6 A
Student Open Codes
Sherri Acknowledge and work with different perspectives Ultimatum Expectation of industry leader(s) Expectation of individual and coworkers Importance of leadership view and approach to Leadership can provide unity
Acknowledging conflict Individual opinion, if it fits with group Opposed previous statement Too many opinion will cause topic Leadership create s/defines Difficulty parsing role of
dysfunction culture of organization engineering ethics between individual and
Importance of leaders (higher Acknowledging importance and organization
ups) in industry presence of individual opinions
John Ethical Ethical oversight
responsibility is on the individual can be helpful
Nathan Organization defines ethics Dependent on behavior of
individual
Eric Responsibility of individual and Make ethical decisions in daily Organization must consider Responsibility of both Ethics is part of life Admitting fault saves time and
organization Company is life Company is ethics for everything at all levels Gray area makes Be cautious and Fall can ruin money in addressing the problem Responsibility of
responsible for individuals responsible for your products and coworkers responsibility confusing assume more responsibility career engineers to uphold
Money is a tool Money can Money can have
promote learning about topic positive of negative influence
James Topic is responsibility of Easier when coworkers do this Collective image of organization Cannot fight with coworkers Organization has to set example
organization as well constantly
Bradley Intrigued by Society views as Boxed into Take on ethics of Ethics is natural Presence of
responsibility to individual or organizational responsibility organizational ethics organization to me ethical dilemmas in all fields
organization Engineers do no harm Uncertainty
Charlotte Group is made of Personal ethics and Individuals shape Issue when Quit job or Individual
individuals morals group ethics someone differs transform group responsibility
from group ethics ethics towards ethics
Julie Ethics and morality Organization influence informs individuals Organization sets ethical standard
Kenneth Topic should be responsibility of Company provides mission statement Hold people to standard Dependent on ethical behavior Company ethics are reliant on Punishment for unethical
individual and and guidelines of individual decisions of behavior
organization May be more Need ethical engineers
important for behavior from both
individuals to be ethical levels
Hannah Responsibility of individual and Personification of company Collective image of organization Importance of individual
organization decisions in organization


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Through Table 3, the open codes help to inform how each student responded to Interview Question 6A. Below in Table 4, these open codes are categorized, then corresponding axial codes are generated, and themes for these codes are displayed on the right side (Gallicano, 2013). The themes created from constant comparative analysis inform the content in the Findings section. The open codes, axial codes, and themes in Table 4 are not listed in any particular order. Thus, the placement of an open code is not representative of its significance in the interviews.
The placement of the open codes in the column is also not reflective of their relationship to a particular axial code in the adjacent column.


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Table 4
Axial Codes and Themes derived from Open Codes for Interview Question 6 A
Open Codes Axial Codes
Responsibility of individual and organization,
Importance of individual decisions in organization,
cannot fight with coworkers constantly, Identity ethical dilemma, Know how to research and work through ethical dilemma, Ethics impacts you day-to-day, Dependent on behavior of individual, Expectation of individual and coworkers, Individual opinion, if it fits with group, Acknowledging conflict, and acknowledging importance and presence of individual opinions, Ethics is part of life, Quit job or transform group ethics,
Acknowledge the nuance and opinions of engineering ethics, Create holistic perspective of problem and situation with
others______________________________________
Personification of company,
Collective image of organization, topic is responsibility of organization, easier when coworkers do this as well, organization has to set example,
Organization sets ethical standard, Organization influence informs individuals, Organization defines ethics,
Society views as organizational responsibility,
Boxed into organizational ethics, Take on ethics of organization, Presence of ethical dilemmas in all fields,
Ethical oversight can be helpful,
Organization must consider ethics for everything at all levels, Company is responsible for individuals,
Company provides mission statement and guidelines,
Hold people to standard,
Company ethics are reliant on decisions of
engineers___________________________________
Difficulty parsing role of engineering ethics between individual and organization, Coexistence with company and individual opinions,
Intrigued by responsibility to individual or organization,
Responsibility of individual and organization,
Responsibility of both,
Gray area makes responsibility confusing, Topic should be responsibility of individual and organization,
Need ethical behavior from both levels
Personal role Personal recognition Awareness
Complexity of dilemmas
Expectations
Personal ethical code
Relationship with coworkers
Individual in group setting
Daily confrontation and presence of
dilemmas
Organizational responsibility, Setting of organizational expectations, influence on individuals, inclusivity and diversity, Use of different perspectives, Not-value based, Role of leadership, Unity, Leadership defines culture, Societal view of organizational responsibility, May conflict with personal ethics, Provides oversight, Responsibility towards individuals
Importance of organizational and individual commitment, Nuance of responsibilities, Impact of decisions at both levels, Assigned to both
Theme______________________________________
Students provided holistic description of what their ethical responsibility looks like day-to-day, as well as the importance of their actions on a larger scale. They mentioned some of the more personal obstacles they may face in work environment.
Students generated ideas around the power an organization. This demonstrated the influence high-level decisions have on the individual, and the responsibility society assigns to these organizations.
Students sometimes conceded the responsibility in certain situations could be difficult to discerned. It was universally agreed ethical responsibility needed to be present at both level for healthy functioning.
Ethics and morality, Influences, Money, Professional codes,
Learn codes for career, Ethics of situation, Punishment
Admitting fault saves time and money in addressing the problem, Fall can ruin career,
Responsibility of engineers to uphold,
Money is a tool,
Money can promote learning about topic,
Money can have positive of negative influence, Punishment for unethical behavior,
Ultimatum
Students discussed external influences and pressures on decisions, in terms of both positive and negative forces.


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CHAPTER IV FINDINGS
In this chapter, the themes derived from constant comparative analysis, the primary analysis method, were expanded and synthesized and are displayed beneath their corresponding research question. Additional analysis methods were undertaken including, classical content analysis and word count. These methods are discussed at the end of the chapter (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007).
Research Question 1
Do students gain a functional understanding of engineering ethics during their undergraduate career? If so, what experiences foster this development?
Functional understanding of engineering ethics. Each student exhibited familiarity with the topic of engineering ethics, and most all students could describe the topic in their own terms. As argued by some researchers, awareness and understanding of jargon and vernacular used in ethical arguments is essential to holistic understanding for students (Haws, 2001). Even with this knowledge gap, students did not appear at a loss for words to describe engineering ethics. James, for example, centered his response more around the idea of morals as seen here,
Making sure you stick to your morals when you build a device, to make sure you’re not
putting yourself and the company before whoever is gonna use your device.
Julie addressed the subject by speaking more directly about the role of engineers, “I would say an engineer's obligation.. .to do quality and safe products for the public”.
Some students did hesitate briefly when asked to describe engineering ethics before responding. This reaction usually stemmed from some uncertainty for describing the applied ethics field, while other students contemplated how it may or may not be different from their personal definition of ethics in general. For instance, Kenneth began by saying,


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That's an interesting question. My first instinct is to try and differentiate it from another kind of ethics. But I'm not sure that I can, because the ethics required in engineering are the ethics that are required in a lot of fields, and that means being conscious and thoughtful about safety, and about the responsibility we have to stakeholders, as well as users.
Most students eventually provided a definition or concept centered around the role and responsibility of engineers. They noted the obligation of safety and cognizance towards the end user. Approximately half the students used the opportunity of describing engineering ethics to frankly point to the direct impact engineering decisions have at a societal level. Three of the ten students noted the importance of morals and values in the initial discussions around engineering ethics. The distinction between a skills-based and a values-based approach to engineering ethics is important to note, as a strictly values-based educational model can disengage and discourage some students (Clarkeburn, 2010).
Students were usually quick to acknowledge a lack of personal consideration for the topic
of engineering ethics, even once they began studying engineering as seen in Sherri’s response; “I
honestly probably didn’t even think that much about engineering ethics until we started talking
about it more in class, so probably about a year ago”. When prompted to discuss how long they
have viewed engineer ethics in this way, most all students relayed their understanding and
exposure to engineering ethics began within the last year to two years. They noted the once-
illusive topic was something they now considered more frequently, and valued as a tool for them
to use as engineers. Along with the awareness of personal growth, most students mentioned gray
areas or nuance in ethical situations. Previously, they viewed these dilemmas as more transparent
and obvious; not a topic worthy of discuss. Julie described the first influential class discussion,
It's like, obviously, you don't want to make some building that's going to fall down on people. That's kind of obvious and when that doesn't happen, it's usually due to people not checking and all that, but [this professor] was the first one to really bring in,


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especially with new developments, like genetic engineering and everything the ethics behind that where it's not really black and white.
Many students now understood the idea that there were arguments on either side of a dilemma.
By personally recognizing the complexities of these dilemmas, students expressed a newfound
interest in the topic of engineering ethics.
First experiences with engineering ethics. Considering the experiences contributing to the development of a student’s understanding of engineering ethics, it may be valuable to start with the first impactful experience. Asking students about their first encounter with the subject provides retrospective insight of this learning experience. For some students, this first experience seems have risen to greater importance after they learned more about engineering ethics, while for others, it was a notable event in their development when it originally occurred.
Within the last few semesters, students cited the importance of a few key faculty and courses in their ethical development. Required design courses and a required cell and molecular course were mentioned as being the most impactful. In describing the role of these classes in their education, the impact seemed to be the result of both faculty involvement and facilitation as well and instructional and curriculum practices.
Hannah, James, and John did attribute some ethical development and awareness in core curriculum classes earlier in their college careers. Other students, like Bradley, were quick to indicate they had no exposure to ethics of any kind in core curriculum classes. Most briefly mentioned specific examples of engineering disasters as both a way to communicate the significance of engineering ethics, as well as demonstrated what impacted their personal learning. The literature reflects a close connection between engineering disasters in case studies, and impact on students (Rabins, 1998; McPhail, 2001; Loui, 2005).


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When asked about the first experience with engineering ethics, seven of the students
quickly recalled experiences in junior year of the program, usually in-class discussions. The
other three students cited an experience in childhood, high school, or their first year in the
bioengineering program. Each experience was viewed retrospectively as possessing some
connection to engineering ethics, rather than an experience or action they attributed to
engineering ethics at the time. Hannah described those initial discussions,
I think it was so interesting, because everyone is very passionate about it. Everyone wanted to talk about it, and put their input in, and before given that opportunity, I don't think I'd ever had an ethics discussion with any classmates before I got in engineering.
When Kenneth was asked further about his experience during the first year of the
program, as a student in a prototyping and design course, he described the task of conducting a
stakeholder analysis. At the time, he thought talking with a potential user, or customer, was the
best way to complete the task. Now, he sees the ethical importance in taking care to design for
the patient and users impacted the design. Although this ethical responsibility was not clearly
assigned to the task as it would be in some later courses, he appreciated the experience
nonetheless, and it influenced the way he has moved forward. Experiences such as the one
mentioned by Kenneth are opportunities to expand ethical discussions across the curriculum for
greater collective impact (Rabin, 1998; Li & Fu, 2010; Hidi, Renninger, & Krapp, 2004).
Most students elaborated on their personal experiences with in-class discussions and the
important role played by faculty in sparking interest and demonstrating importance of the topic.
Generally, faculty facilitation helped the class manage contentious discussions when students
struggled with personal values in applied ethics. Nathan described the impact of these
experiences:
Having the instructors raise the questions and lead the discussion allowed me to see how ethics should be talked about. Yes, so that helped with shaping how I would talk about


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ethics... [Discussions] definitely started in the classroom, but I guess after the idea of the topic was brought up outside of class, I find myself occasionally talking about ethics more often. So, it started in class and it continued outside.
Even brief discussions can be impactful for students, and engagement from the faculty is
important (Colby & Sullivan, 2008; Li & Fu, 2010). Some of these initial experiences were tied
directly to a well-received Socratic seminar. When asked how their peers most likely felt about
the experience, many students believed there to be consensus as to the effectiveness. Some
students would laugh slightly, and after a long exhale express that not all students seemed to find
the topic relevant. Despite the uncomfortable environment this may have created during the
discussions, it did not appear to completely disrupt personal learning. Regardless, environmental
and social stimuli are important classroom considerations (Hidi, Renninger, & Krapp, 2004).
Regardless, students appreciated new points of view. Generally, personal interest in the
topic of engineering ethics grew over time with this newfound awareness. Students were learning
to appreciate and expect nuance in ethical dilemmas, and in some regards, expected to see
engineering ethics content their courses. They see engineering ethics awareness as an important
pillar of prevention for engineering disasters. As Loui (2005) described the potential disconnect
between awareness and action, building awareness in the classroom is a positive first step.
Hannah describes the shift in thinking about ethical dilemmas:
Initially, I think I was kinda like "Well, duh, you already know that you should be ethical in your engineering." And now I think you kinda see the smaller issues like "Yes, it's clear, you shouldn't design a device that's gonna hurt somebody." But small decision could lead to those things. So, I guess, now I'm more aware of consciously thinking about it while you're doing your engineering work instead of this backseat thing like, "Don't harm others.
Reflecting upon this first experience, Sherri transparently discussed her complete unawareness of the topic and recognized this attitude generally with STEM students. The lack of recognition seemed universal amongst her peers. Then, when they did learn about it, the attitude


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was often dismissive. She speculates this reaction is also fueled by discomfort in the nuance of ethical dilemmas. With more time and more exposure, this attitude changed.
Research Question 2
Do students identity a societal importance to their understanding of engineering ethics education, and what framework of ethics do they use when making decisions?
Relationship between engineers and society. Students were quick to identify and acknowledge the connection between engineering ethics and societal impact. As previously discussed, there was not a highly developed ethical framework used to evaluate dilemmas.
Rather, most students spoke about nuance when evaluating dilemmas and contemplated the value of outside opinions when considering these issues. If students were asked whether their personal moral framework was based more on care or justice, most students would probably choose care. Across the interviews, students spoke often of the patient or user who would be impacted by their work, the obligation to “do no harm”, and improving the lives of others. These ideas would appear to align more smoothly with a care-based moral orientation. Comparing their responses and the context of the conversations, they do not readily align with the levels and transitions of moral development proposed by Gilligan (Gilligan & Attanucci, 1988). The interviews with students align more with a justice-based model of moral development because of the progression to social and external influences, and less focus on the self (Kohlberg & Hersh, 1977). This contrast begs the question as to which moral development models are most useful in assessment development of engineering students. Most assessment instruments are based around Kohlberg or Rest’s revised theory of moral development, somewhat limiting access to use other theories of moral development (Self & Ellison, 1998). Regardless the models of moral development and the


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implications they carry, justice-based versus care-based, should be a consideration in future research.
A few students indicated ethical frameworks aligning with Kohlberg’s preconvential level, expressing ideas toward punishment and obedience (Kohlberg & Hersh, 1977). For example, Bradley said, “I don't think that ethics really applied in this situation because it wasn't that they were cutting corners”. The statement suggests there must be negative intention, and perhaps concern for punishment, for an ethical dilemma to be present. However, this simplified sentiment was not seen in responses from most students. Their responses were framed more often around “obligations to society” or “obligations to the public”, demonstrating knowledge of a social contract and social expectations (Kohlberg & Hersh, 1977).
When asked about the role of engineering ethics at a societal level, many students articulated their thoughts using specific engineering examples and disasters. Discussing disasters and engineering failures are a common way to discuss the relationship of engineering work with society at large (Loui, 2005). Some students found it easiest to first mention examples from civil engineering disasters, such as a bridge collapsing. Perhaps these examples are easier to cite as they are highly visible and require no technical knowledge to comprehend the scale of the issue (Clarkeburn, 2010). Students would generally transition to more discipline-specific concerns, describing the dilemmas faced by bioengineers. Charlotte, among other students, adamantly described how bioengineers faced greater ethical dilemmas, resulting in more substantial societal risks, “It's the humanistic side of engineering that directly deals with people and medicine. So, it's almost like the stakes are higher”. She also described the profound effect genetic engineering has on the individual and the repercussions it can all have on society as a whole.


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Thinking of society’s view of engineers and their professional obligations, most students
noted a lack of awareness or interest. Many students identified a personal lack of awareness
towards engineering ethics or the dilemmas faced by engineers prior to exposure in class. They
also expressed some deficit in knowledge of dilemmas faced by engineers in disciplines outside
of bioengineering. Students, like John, highlighted the expectation and trust afforded to
engineers by society, “just in general... I mean, there is trust relationship between general public
and engineers and that sort of thing and I think just part of that is an implied ethical part of that”.
A few students directly attribute this trust to the education level needed for the
profession. Many students conceded the more education someone needs for their job, the more
they are trusted and respected by the public. The low visibility of engineering to those in the
public meant there was little societal pressure towards ethical action. For instance, Kenneth
provided the distinction of society only thinking of leadership and not considering the engineers
more likely responsible for a disaster. Bradley described the engineer and society relationship:
Until something tragic happens, like a bridge failure or something like that due to said people's responsibilities. They didn't fulfill certain requirements, and then there's a big failure and then it comes to the attention of the society. Whereas prior to that failure I don't think the society really looks into ethics under engineering whatsoever.
Charlotte and Eric also discussed the role of media, including social media, for increasing
awareness of engineering-related social concerns. They did not specify whether the role of media
was always a positive influence, but Charlotte talked about this level of perceived transparency
increasing the accountability of engineering organizations.
Students often attributed the social disconnect from a lack of awareness on both the part
of the public as well as the engineers themselves. As Sherri said,
I don’t think that society honestly thinks about it that much, because I didn’t really even think about it that much until it was brought to my attention in class.


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A consensus from students reflected the idea that engineers are often far removed from the direct impact of their design decisions; thus, it can be difficult to predict the significance of seemingly small decisions. Lack of foresight continues to lead to reactive measures instead of engineers implementing preventative measures. The hierarchy within an organization combined with financial pressures, by no means unique to the engineering profession, will often contribute to engineers not following ethical guidelines. A few students expressed a sentiment of not prioritizing engineering ethics, and that design constraints were paramount.
James even cited the ability to communicate technical information as a potential barrier to ethical decision-making, “you have to find a way to communicate what your ethical rules are and kinda state them rationally and logically, and tell them why you think it’s important”.
Students acknowledged their passive view of engineering ethics, and generally seemed to appreciate their newfound knowledge. Eric even attributed this education as providing a new way to see the world:
I'm grateful that I had that experience because it really opened my mind to different levels of thinking and it definitely made me take into account everything that goes into an engineering project, not just the product itself.
A few students cited professional codes and case studies as a means of structuring their opinion. The impact of discussions combined with awareness of professional codes may give students a solid foundation for emotional engagement with the subject (Newberry, 2004; Loui, 2005; Colby & Sullivan, 2008). Occasionally, students expressed hesitation around the ideas of these professional guidelines. This uncertainty of the role of ethics as a professional in industry generally appeared to stem from a lack of practical workplace understanding of the topic, as is to be expected.


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Research Question 3
What interest do students have in engineering ethics education, and how do they want to learn about the subject?
Methods of classroom learning. A few students expressed uncertainty around ways to
improve the way engineering ethics in taught in the classroom, though they were able to indicate
what was and was not effective for them personally. About half the students specifically
mentioned the importance and desire to see engineering ethics spread throughout the curriculum,
especially introduced to them during the first year, which is widely acknowledged as a best
practice (Rabins, 1998; Li & Fu, 2010) John even said he was shocked when he first learned
about the topic junior year, as it had never been explicitly discussed before. For students, this
matter of timing and exposure was important for developing their understanding of engineering
ethics (Colby & Sullivan, 2008). Students acknowledged the importance of sharing perspectives
with their peers and saw these discussions as instrumental in shaping or solidify their own
opinions and views (Loui, 2005; Colby & Sullivan, 2008). Kenneth described the discussions:
We just sat down as a class and spoke about, spoke from the heart about what our impression of these experiences were. I found that very helpful for me, and really impactful because I got to hear the perspective, not just from professionals who have written a lot about ethical engineering, or from the code of ethics that we have as engineers, but from my fellow students, and my fellow engineers, young engineers, to get an idea about how they were forming their opinions, and what values did they hold that they were using to guide themselves ethically.
Though this growth sometimes resulted in classroom tension, students seemed grateful
for the experience and trusted the experience, as seen in Nathan’s response:
As the discussion went on, it was easier for everyone to speak their opinions and yeah. So, I think it was hard at first, but it got better. I think people became more used to it.
They welcomed the opportunity to shift their focus of the technical rigor of the courses to
something more foreign and nuanced.


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As previously mentioned, certain faculty were acknowledged for positive contributions towards the students’ understanding of engineering ethics. Through class discussions, faculty introduced nuance into situations when many students didn’t recognize these dilemmas without guidance. Faculty sometimes shared personal experiences with engineering ethics in class, which proved to be memorable. James mentioned several times he thought more engagement from the faculty and adding transparency from their experiences would be a helpful teaching approach for himself and his classmates.
Effective facilitation of in-class discussions by faculty required everyone in the class to
speak and provided some level of challenge and support in the discussion. Class discussions
were a preferred method of engaging with the topic for almost all students. These in-class
discussions allowed students to better discern their own opinions, as well as learn from other
perspectives (Perlman & Varma, 2001; Colby & Sullivan, 2008; Finelli, et al., 2012). A few
students even noted the continuation of these discussions outside of class. Many discussions
were also tied to the Socratic seminar in a design class, mentioned previously, as being an
important intervention of their education. It was important for the ethical dilemmas discussed in
class to be open-ended, even inviting debate. Students generally felt uninterested and disengaged
with the dilemma when it was “obvious” or was perceived to “be wrong” by the whole class.
Discussions lasting no more than ten minutes at the end of class seemed to still leave a lasting
impact on the students. Overall, students seemed to agree that awareness and thought process
were among the most important learning outcomes. Sherri summarized,
I think just being aware of it is the main thing. I mean, there’s not really anything tangible you can bring to the workplace based off engineering ethics but it’s just more of understanding how there can be overwhelming evidence on both sides of a story, or understanding the decisions you make. It not just about money but it’s about the impact of the decisions you make.


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Julie continued along a similar line of thought:
Pretty much just making sure we know the thought process or if you, being able to identify ethical problems and the thought process to go through and how to get multiple, like do the research and figure out what to do versus just here's what not to do. It's not the, here's what not to do, it's a here's how to do it. Here's what you should do instead and here's the thought process to go through.
James postulated internship experience would most likely be beneficial in helping to learn about ethics in the workplace, while Nathan strongly advocated for more case studies. In general, students supported and enjoyed the use of certain case studies in class. The perceived effectiveness of these case studies varied across the students, but no one seemed to find the exercises without value. Some students preferred more open-ended case studies. A desire to see increasingly modern case studies was mentioned as a way to see a more accurate reflection of the ethical dilemmas they may encounter in their career. Kenneth even suggested the use of role-playing in class to help students practice expressing their concerns and defending their ethical decisions.
Research Question 4
What techniques and approaches are most/least effective, from the student perspective, of conveying relevancy of engineering ethics?
Influences on understanding of engineering ethics. As previously discussed, in-class discussions were the most prominent response for impactful learning event(s). These discussions, though difficult and uncomfortable for some students initially, proved to be the most significant learning events with a resonating impact (Clarkeburn, 2002; Loui, 2005; Colby & Sullivan, 2008). Students appreciated the honesty and respect in these open conversations.
The preferred framework for discussions was built around an open-ended and nuance ethical dilemma. Students recalled this format allowed for student to express and challenge their


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own opinions, and contrast them directly with the ideas of other students. The level of engagement from students at this point in the interview serves as an indicator of the lasting impact these conversations had on their understanding and processing of engineering ethics. All the most significant learning experiences, usually in the form of class discussions, came from either the design courses or cell and molecular classes. Students generally appreciated these opportunities to view engineering from a novel lens, and believed it should more often be made a priority in the classroom.
When asked about the least impactful elements of their engineering ethics education,
several students noted the use of ineffective case studies. Though the literature supports and
promotes the use of case studies in the classroom, they need to be carefully curated to fit the
interest and learning objectives of the students (Rabins, 1998). Students often expressed
particular case studies to be unengaging, and did not see them as a way to debate and explore
nuance in ethical dilemmas. Julie described unengaging case studies:
That was one that was super obvious out of which was kind of an ethically wrong. It was just everyone reiterated each other's point of view. It wasn't really anyone disagreeing or having a constructive argument, it was just kind of everyone agreeing on the same thing, which I don't really think there was a point in taking a whole class period to have everyone agree on something.
Case studies generally serve a postmortem role, and help to identify what decisions and actions culminated in the engineering incident or disaster. Though this can be a valuable exercise, students did not always feel the case studies were facilitated effectively. Sometimes, the facilitation around the case study tried to produce an ethical dilemma worthy of debate the students did not see. For instance, many students referenced the Socratic seminar a design course to be an important learning event with valuable discussion. However, the facilitation of conversations later in the course was not as impactful. Despite contention regarding case studies


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and discussions, about half the students easily referenced specific engineering disasters which seemed to resonate with them personally.
Some of these were engineering disasters mentioned in the classes, while others came from observation in the news. A few students mentioned the role of media in society’s ethical framing and how this presence can impact engineering. Generally, students found the ethics assignments to be less engaging and not as impactful for learning about engineering ethics. For many students, exchanging ideas with their classmates was a high impact practice in the classroom, and this exchange of ideas was not present in the written assignments. Although ethics assignments may be needed as part of curriculum for evaluation and accreditation purposes, these assignments may not be contributing as much to ethical development and exploration as in-class discussions. Students often expressed the assignments did not provide opportunity for them to explore the dilemma, rather a task of describing what went wrong.
Throughout this portion of the interview, many students continued to make note of their own personal development. Whether this development grew from experiences in the classroom or external life events, students demonstrated a level of maturity in their responses. They appeared to understand the high responsibility of their chosen profession, and an appreciation of how seemingly small decisions and actions can culminate into a much more serious situation. They noted the importance of considering and respecting future applications of present-day technology. Several students described how engineers often does not have control over how their design or technology is used by others in the future.
Some students discussed personal morals and values and how those had been helpfully challenged throughout their time in college. They valued the opportunity to speak openly with other students, and enter these conversations with an open mind. As previously discussed, the


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impact of core curriculum or general education classes received mixed feedback when it comes
to ethics education. Elective courses in senior year covering topics in regulatory affairs, assistive
technology, and laboratory animal research were also referenced as important to engineering
ethics education. Some experiences in these classes seemed to explicitly mention ethics in the
curriculum, while other tied to the subject is a less defined way. It was almost universally noted
engineering ethics education should be a priority of the department, as stated below by Kenneth:
What I can say is that I think engineering ethics should be a priority. I don't think this department would be doing its job if it sent, if it graduated and sent engineers to companies who were technically proficient, could design a circuit, could solve it, put it together, work it all out, do all the math, approve all their equations, but not be able to consider safety.
Research Question 5
Why may students express a disconnect between engineering ethics in the classroom and engineering ethics in their future careers?
Engineer ethics in the profession. Considering whether ethical responsibility fell upon
the individual or the organization, opinions from the students were split. Kenneth and Eric
promptly insisted the responsibility belonged at both levels, while others waivered throughout
their answer. When describing individual ethical responsibility, most students acknowledged the
importance of personal decisions and frameworks used to make evaluate ethical dilemmas. Still
others saw little difference between ethical dilemmas in their day-to-day life and ethical
dilemmas they expect to face in the workplace. Before connecting individual actions to the
functioning of a large organization, most students noted accountability in both directions
between themselves and their coworkers. Eric described the relationship:
Like the company being responsible for all its employees as an individual, it should also be responsible for your coworkers and your products that you put out. I think there's a lot of gray area between where a lot of people don't take responsibility.


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After further discussion, these students more closely linked the ethical responsibility of the individuals to the ethical performance of the organization. Whether the students started from a bottom-up or top-down approach to engineering ethics, most all students determined responsibility at all levels was important. James suggested the responsibility was that of the organization, and talked about the importance of the organization setting expectations and standards. Without this, he elaborated, the team would not function well and there would be less consensus around ethics. Students described the role of the organization as a unifying force providing a mission and expectations for employees. The organization holds a responsibility towards the individuals as well. Students noted there can be conflict when the expectations of the company do not align with personal values. Charlotte spoke strongly about this potential disconnect and presented it as a challenge to overcome. As an engineer, she believed it is your responsibility to uphold ethical standards and push back when necessary. She provided this scenario,
If I show up to work one day and oh, what we're doing is not ethical, I'm going to quit, well someone else is just going to take my spot. So that's kind of the mentality where I'm not responsible.
Other students discussed this dichotomy with less conviction, and talked about the resolving the conflict internally as necessary in order to do the job. Leadership within the organization was noted to be a significant contributing factor to how the organization and individuals operate. Lastly, students spoke to external influences on decisions made within an organization. Professional codes were touted as a crucial guide for making decisions. The role of money in decisions was of considerable concern to some students. They acknowledged the influence of money and how this should be prevented, and removed from the ethical evaluation calculations, not conjecturing as to whether this a reasonable expectation. There was also further


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talk of punishment for those mishandling decisions. In reconciling the role of these influences, students appreciate personal experiences shared by faculty. Thinking to how learning could be improved, James summarized:
I guess if some of the professors were in industry, they might be able to tell us some of
those stories. So, if they had some of those experiences. Some of them have done that.
Depending on the context of this comment by the student, punishment was either seen as a fear while in the workplace or as a force to hold others to account. Thinking of this transition to the professional workforce, most students understandably struggled to move beyond hypotheticals. Although they have long been part of a school system with ethical standards, and many students are currently employed, they did not often make the leap from their current environment to the professional environment. Perhaps an effective way to bridge the gaps between these two environments would be to help students see the connections to the challenges they face day-to-day and how those are similar and different from the dilemmas they will face as engineers in the workforce.
Research Question 6
How does gender effect a student’s perceptions of engineering ethics experiences in the classroom environment?
A controversial case study. One particular case study garnered more intensive responses from students. The assignment was centered around Essure, a permanent contraceptive device for women (Block, 2017). In her Washington Post article, Block says the device is considered by some to be a “breakthrough in female contraception” while “others see a dangerous medical device” (Block, 2017). Five of the ten students interviewed mentioned the Essure case study specifically. Two of these students were female, and three were male. Of the two female students who mentioned the Essure case study, one reported it to be the most influential experience she


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had for engineering ethics. The other female student expressed appreciation for the case study, and identified it as her first engineering ethics experience. One female student described learning about the case study:
I think our written assignment about a medical device called Essure, which is an implantable sterilization device for women, and digging through the history of the device, its clinically studies, and all of the adverse events that happened, and then the company's response or initial lack thereof, was really eye-opening for me. It really blew my mind how little care there was for the major ethical violations with that product.
The other female student described her first engineering ethics experience:
We were looking at, oh did the company know before they started selling it that there were these potential issues, and they didn’t do their due diligence or was it something where they couldn’t have predicted it based on the research they did. So, it was kinda one of those things like where we never drew any conclusions from it but we did a lot of like pros and cons, so we tried to keep a really unbiased perspectives. But it really made me think how there are two sides, there really are two sides to every story, there really are. It’s not just a cut and dry issue. I think that makes it difficult when it comes to looking at ethics.
All three male students referenced the Essure case study when asked about the least influential experience for their engineering ethics education. One student began by saying his first experience with engineering ethics was, “not good, not good”. He proceeded to describe his experience of the Essure case study:
It was a device for birth control. It just wasn't... I don't know. I guess I didn't understand the ethics of it. It was more so a design flaw, which, again, plays into ethics, but I don't know that it was something that could've been taken care of in the timeframe that the product was developed because we just didn't know certain things when it was developed... I don't think that ethics really applied in this situation because it wasn't that they were cutting corners, like I said before... It wasn't that they had a design that they knew would work but they were cutting corners to maybe cut costs or cut down work or cut down the amount of employees they needed to develop this device. It was more so they just... The knowledge wasn't developed enough at the time ... I've read more stories about engineering ethics that were around that time that maybe they just hit home with more than that one did particularly.
Setting up the experience, one student responded:


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We did have a case study assignment, but I'm not really sure how much it helped with understanding ethics. I felt like it was a pretty clear situation that we were studying in terms of we're supposed to kind of approach it from a neutral standpoint, but I felt like there was kind of a clear answer... I think part of the issue is that we're kind of looking at it after the fact. So, for me at least, I went into it with already an idea in mind about what's right and wrong and what they should've done
Another student responded:
We were looking at that, trying to decide did the company act ethically? Did the government act ethically? It was a good assignment to challenge our critical thinking and about how we gathered resources, where we get our information from, and how can we as young scientists, identify bias? But ultimately, I didn't find it that helpful as an ethical education. I found it very helpful as an ability to gather good information, and when you gather bad information, to recognize it, and call it out. I didn't, however, think it really taught me much about ethics outside of reading the code of ethics, most of the times, and familiarizing myself with that.
Unfortunately, no follow-up interviews were requested for any students regarding the Essure case study, thus it is difficult to conclude whether this difference in perception would be seen in most of the senior class. The discrepancy may serve as an indicator for more targeted facilitation for this case study, and others like it, in the future. These differences in the interviews were the only instance where gender presented any potential bias in the responses. Numerous studies cite little to no difference between genders in regard to moral development when applied to engineering ethics dilemmas (Self & Ellison, 1998; Drake, et al., 2005; Borenstein, et al., 2009; Loui & Hashemian, 2010; Finelli, et al., 2012). These studies provide engineering ethical dilemmas more closely associated with other disciplines such as civil engineering and electrical engineering. The topics of study in these dilemmas from other disciplines would not be expected to necessarily produce a gender bias. Bioengineering relates so closely human health, it may face different gender bias challenges than the rest of engineering.


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Complimentary Analysis Methods
As previously mentioned, classical content analysis and word count were conducted to provide further insight into student perceptions of engineering ethics education. Classical content analysis and word count can serve as complimentary analysis methods following constant comparative analysis (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007).
Classical content analysis. For each interview question, the open codes were categorized, similar to the designation represented in axial coding category in Table 4. The number of times the concept or category was present within the open codes generated from constant comparative analysis are tallied for each interview question. The results of classical content analysis are displayed in Table 5.


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Table 5
Classical Content Analysis Results
Interview Question 1: How would you describe engineering ethics?
Content Occurrence of Concept in Open Codes
Learning experiences and examples 82
Personal awareness and development 54
Role and responsibility of engineers 39
Impact on society 25
Morals 6
Interview Question 2: What role do you think engineering ethics plays at a societal level?
Content Occurrence of Concept in Open Codes
Responsibility and importance to society 113
Lack of foresight, issues, and ramifications 55
Extreme case and/or engineering disaster 37
Learning events and influences 26
Progress and optimism 21
Interview Question 3: How would you describe your first experience with this topic?
Content Occurrence of Concept in Open Codes
Personal growth and recognition 44
Time and reaction of first experience 31
Classroom and curriculum influences 27
Essure example 24
Attitude of STEM students 12
Interview Question 4: What event or aspect of your education had the most/least influence role of your understanding of engineering
ethics?
Content Occurrence of Concept in Open Codes
Class-specific experiences 81
Personal learning and growth 73
Impression and reaction to learning experiences 69
Case study experiences 47
Discipline specific examples/disasters 36
Feedback on learning experiences 23
Influence of media 7
Interview Question 5: What role do you think engineering ethics should play in the classroom?
Content Occurrence of Concept in Open Codes
Methods of increasing ethics content 44
Personal view of experiences 44
Personal growth and recognition 37
Specific classroom experiences 32
Specific examples/disasters 10
Timing of exposure to ethics 8
Interview Question 6: What do you think may be helpful for the transition from the classroom to the workplace regarding engineering
ethics?
Content Occurrence of Concept in Open Codes
Personal perspective 29
Timing of ethics content in curriculum 25
Best practices in classroom 26
Faculty sharing experiences 5
Interview Question 6A: Is ethical responsibility part of the role of an individual or the organization as a whole?
Content Occurrence of Concept in Open Codes
Responsibility of organization 25
Personal responsibility and values 22
Influences on decisions and actions 9
Responsibility at both levels 8


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The student responses are organized by highlighting central areas of interest or concern (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007). As seen through classical content analysis, many themes were repeated throughout the interview. Whether the intention of the interview question or not, there is always the recognition of students’ personal feelings and experience with the topic as part of their explanation. Student were willing to sharing their experiences, and did not avoid expressing themselves or omitting their own opinion.
The topic receiving the most attention may be interpreted as the areas students understood most. Topics with the fewest occurrences are sometimes representative of an idea referenced multiple times by one of two students, and may present a new avenue for future study. In general, the categories provide insight as to how students expressed the ideas synthesizing previously in findings. While this is a helpful overview of student responses, it is important to note some of the figures are skewed by the response of one or two students. For example, if one student focused very heavily on case studies in their response to Interview Question 4, this should be considered when viewing the occurrences holistically. There is not necessarily an even distribution from each student in classical content analysis. It is still helpful in recognizing student spoke frequently about experiences in the classroom. Media was almost the only external influence mentioned for engineering ethics education. Though it was not mentioned across all interviews, the occurrences indicate this was still an important topic for one to two students. This information can be paired with word count to further triangulate the focus of student responses.
As discussed with Research Question 6, there may be gender discrepancies in the way bioengineering ethics information is perceived by students. Looking to classical content analysis, no open codes directly address gender in the classroom. Open codes related to Essure occur in high volume for Interview Question 2, are scattered through the remainder of the questions as to


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not register as a common category for open codes. There are no other open codes which suggest gender differences throughout the interviews.
Word count. The third and final process of analysis is word count from the interview responses of each student. Word analysis may be conducted in multiple ways to generate a variety of information (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007). In this case, word count was utilized across the entirety of each interview to better understand which topics were most engaging for individual students to discuss. Total word count for the student responses was tallied, and then subdivided by interview question. Some students generated more follow-up questions during particular portions of the interviews, and may be interpreted as greater involvement by the student for the corresponding portion of the interview.
As seen below in Table 6, there is a wide range in word count for the interviews. Due to the structure of the interview, it can be expected the responses to Question 4 would solicit the highest number of words. This holds true for most, but not all students. Looking at the remaining questions, there is not a singular portion of the interview garnering the most interest from students. For instance, Hannah spend a considerable amount of time describing engineering ethics, while Interview Question 1 represented little of Bradley’s response. Considering the gradient of responses to each question may provide some insight into what aspects of engineering ethics each student found most compelling.


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Table 6
Word Count Results across all Interviews
Sherri Bradley
Word Count % of Interview Word Count % of Interview
IQl 153 8.84 IQl 156 6.74
IQ2 417 24.09 IQ2 644 27.81
IQ3 277 16.00 IQ3 546 23.58
IQ4 370 21.37 IQ4 206 8.89
IQ5 214 12.36 IQ5 493 21.29
106 300 17.33 106 271 11.70
Total 1731 Total 2316
John Charlotte
Word Count % of Interview Word Count % of Interview
IQl 105 8.13 IQl 846 21.85
IQ2 318 24.61 IQ2 708 18.29
IQ3 196 15.17 IQ3 422 10.90
IQ4 289 22.37 IQ4 1378 35.60
IQ5 117 9.06 IQ5 208 5.37
IQ6 267 20.67 106 309 7.98
Total 1292 Total 3871
Nathan Julie
Word Count % of Interview Word Count % of Interview
IQl 189 12.82 IQl 372 12.66
IQ2 290 19.67 IQ2 371 12.62
IQ3 216 14.65 IQ3 375 12.76
IQ4 306 20.76 IQ4 921 31.34
IQ5 313 21.23 IQ5 748 25.45
106 160 10.85 106 152 5.17
Total 1474 Total 2939
Eric Kenneth
Word Count % of Interview Word Count % of Interview
IQl 139 7.73 IQl 412 8.32
IQ2 337 18.74 IQ2 755 15.26
IQ3 112 6.23 IQ3 556 11.23
IQ4 597 33.20 IQ4 2018 40.78
IQ5 113 6.28 IQ5 669 13.52
106 500 27.81 106 539 10.89
Total 1798 Total 4949
James Hannah
Word Count % of Interview Word Count % of Interview
IQl 343 19.37 IQl All 27.40
IQ2 373 21.06 IQ2 288 16.54
IQ3 133 7.51 IQ3 275 15.80
IQ4 305 17.22 IQ4 483 27.74
IQ5 341 19.25 IQ5 95 5.46
106 276 15.58 106 123 7.06
Total 1771 Total 1741
Word count helps to provide insight for the personalized areas of interests. Looking at the total word percentage each interview question represents in the total word count reveals what topics students may have found to be most engaging. For some students, societal impact was paramount while other students expressed greater engagement when asked about improving engineering ethics education in the classroom. Considering the possiblly skewed appearance in


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some code categories through classical content analysis, word count informs whether one or two students may have fixated on that topic more than others. Classical content analysis and word count conducted as supplementary methods of analysis to constant comparative analysis provide more shape and context to the collection of interviews.


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CHAPTER V
DISCUSSION AND IMPLCATIONS FOR RESEARCH
Discussion
It is important to note the findings in this study are meant to provide a richer understanding of a sample of the students in this program. The educational context and experience of the sample of students in this program may not be generalizable to students in other bioengineering or biomedical engineering programs. Ideally, this study may provide useful base knowledge for faculty and administration in similar programs. The current study found that these students demonstrated an awareness and appreciation for their chosen profession, and the impact it has on society (Grasso & Helble, 2000; Shuman, Besterfield-Sacre, & McGourty,
2005). The direct connection of bioengineering on human health was readily acknowledged as was the cascading impact of seemingly small decisions (Heckert, 2000; McPhail, 2001). Students responded positively when faculty shared professional ethical dilemmas in the classroom (Li & Fu, 2010). Students are listening to these stories, mulling over questions raised in class, and taking the curiosity with them outside of the classroom. In many ways, the bioengineering department is responsible in helping to educate the next generation of engineers, valuing knowledge of health, safety, and social implications. The findings and discussions in the study are important for the bioengineering department at this Midwestern university as the program is newly developed, and seeking to assess and implement new curriculum and practices.
Focus should be directed more towards engaging students in the subject of engineering ethics earlier in the program, and promoting awareness (Rabins, 1998; Li & Fu, 2010). Although evaluating efficacy of classroom practices by measuring developmental ethical outcomes is valuable, it is not the only avenue worthy of investigation. Perhaps by first seeking to understand


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what interests students, programs can develop curriculum interventions resonating more with students, and possibly stimulate more personal ethical development (Holsapple et al., 2012). Experiences in the classroom can be focused on facilitating awareness for engineering ethics, and providing positive learning experiences so students are motivated to learn more throughout their careers (Lynch, 1998). Several of the most impactful experiences for students were brief discussions towards the end of the class, thus helping to downplay the idea curriculum must be massively overhauled to incorporate ethics (Clarkeburn, 2002; Loui, 2005; Colby & Sullivan, 2008; Li & Fu, 2010). An engineering department culture which embraces ethics education can build in brief learning moments throughout the curriculum by faculty engagement (li & Fu,
2010).
As a few students mentioned in their interviews, knowledge does not control actions (Clarkeburn, 2002). Departments may seek for more effective engineering ethics education, but they cannot control the impact this will have once students are in industry. The objective should be to educate, encourage, and empower students to face the ethical dilemmas confronting them in their career. Perhaps the most valuable knowledge on the topic faculty can provide is conveying that ethics are important in engineering. They can help instill confidence in their students to confront and resolve these dilemmas. Faculty can introduce students to nuance in ethical dilemmas, and help students move away from a confined, limited, and straightforward view of these problems (Perlman & Varma, 2001; Loui, 2005; Shuman, Besterfield-Sacre, & McGourty, 2005; Colby & Sullivan, 2008). Creating a positive culture towards engineering ethics within a department may have a resonating effect on the students.
Finally, incidence of gender discrepancies in engineering curriculum through the use of the Essure case study are worth noting considering gender differences in response to moral


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dilemmas is not often noted in the literature (Self & Ellison, 1998; Drake, et al., 2005; Borenstein, et al., 2009; Loui & Hashemian, 2010; Finelli, et al., 2012). As previous discussed, the sample size and occurrence of these discrepancies are too small to draw conclusions, but provide a powerful glimpse into why diversity in engineering is important. If women or any minoritized population are not part of the decisions effecting their health and safety, the modern environment will continue to be a place not designed for everyone.
Limitations
The limitations in this study include the sample size of students interviewed, and the uniform education experience of the students. While interviewing students from the same program helps to eliminate some external variables, the applicability of these findings may be narrow. Given the demographics and limited number of student participants in the study, it does not provide evidence to help increase and support diversity within engineering programs. Given different cultural understandings of leadership and ethics, accounting for these varying viewpoints could provide useful data in improving inclusivity of programs (Northouse, 2016).
The retrospective nature of the protocol could serve as both a strength and a weakness. As all students were interviewed during their senior year in the program, this provides a comprehensive view of their experience and what was most impactful to them and what experiences demonstrated longevity. Counter to this, only interviewing students in the senior year may be losing pivotal learning experiences that trigger interest, but are not remembered as relevant. If students were interviewed throughout their undergraduate degree, it could provide data to support more minor changes in ethical development, and capture the catalyst of these changes. Additionally, some students may have more in-depth responses when responding to


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written questions as opposed to one-on-one interviews. Ethical development could also be explored via written assignments.
Implications for Further Research
If the avenue of continuous interviewing were to be explored, this intervention alone could impact the learning experience of students, as engineering ethics would repeatedly be brought to their attention. Considering time and resources, the most effective direction for further research is to continue interviewing seniors in the bioengineering program with the expanded inclusion criteria. New findings from the continued analysis could again be compared against the growing body of literature.
An interesting mixed methods future study could involve exploring the relationship between campus climate and population and how this impact students’ experiences and understanding of engineering ethics. Given the diverse student body at the public Midwestern university, it would be interesting to assess engineering students across the engineering college.
A mixed methods approach would be beneficial in capturing a larger sample size, and some level of qualitative interviews would provide a level of insight often missed sole use of a survey instrument. Regardless of further study of only bioengineering students or the whole engineering college, the goal would be to better understand ethical development in engineering students and how to promote and foster this education.
Conclusion
Bioengineering students at the public Midwestern university in the study appreciate the magnitude of their future professional work, and are now preparing to use newfound knowledge in their careers. The bioengineering department, as well as programs across the country, need to continue paying close attention to their engineering ethics education. The culture created inside


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these programs can foster great student interest in the subject, when led by faculty acknowledging its importance. As technology and the solutions to global problems become more complex, society requires more from those willing to take on these challenges. Engineering students graduating within the twenty-first century face solving even greater environmental and health problems. The conscious solution to many dilemmas presently faced by society may be rooted in the thoughtful and intentional ethical education of today’s engineers.


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APPENDIX A:
University of Colorado Denver Colorado Multi Institutional Review Board (COMIRB) Approval
University Research
UHHYEftsHY U; CCPLCMAOQ IfhNVbH | #NMHl fAWfcDICAL CAIIKU3
Colorado Multiple nsttutorial Review Board. CB F490
University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus 13001 E. 17B1 Place. BuHmg 500. Room N3214 Aurora Colorado B0043
303.724.1056 [Phorw] 303.724.0990 [Fax] COMIRB Home Pape Web] comfeig'uodenvef.ecki [E-Mail] FWA0000507D [FWA]
University of Colorado Hospital Denver Health Medical Center Veteran's Administration Medical Center Children's Hospital Colorado University of Colorado Denver Colorado Prevention Center
Certificate of Exemption
23-Oct-2017
Investigator: Kathleen Seppala
S u b ject: COM IRB Protocol 17-19871nitial Application
Review Date: 20-0ct-2017
Effective Date: 20-0ct-2017
Anticipated Completion Date: 19-0ct-2020
Sponsor(s):
Qualitative Analysis of College Students' Learning Experiences Pertaining to Engineering Ethics Tte: Education
Exempt Category: 1,2
Submission ID:APP001-1
SUBMISSION DESCRIPTION:
Initial expedited submission
Your COMIRB Initial submission APP001-1 has been APPROVED FOR EXEMPTION. Periodic continuing review is not required. For the duration of your protocol, any change in the experimental design/content/personnel of this study must be approved by COMIRB before implementation of the changes.
The anticipated completion date of this protocol is 19-Oct-2020. COMIRB will administratively close this project on this date unless otherwise instructed by e-mail to COMIRB@ucdenver.edu. If the project is completed prior to this date, please notify the COMIRB office in writing or by e-mail once the project has been closed.


75
Study personnel are approved to conduct the research as described in the documents approved by COMIRB, which are listed below the REVIEW DETAILS section. Please carefully review the REVIEW DETAILS section because COMIRB may have made red-line changes (i.e. revisions) to the submitted documents prior to approving them. The investigator can submit an amendment to revise the documents if the investigator does not agree with the red-line changes. The REVIEW DETAILS section may also include important information from the reviewers) and COMIRB staff.
Click here for Instructions on how to retrieve stamped documents.
Information on how to submit changes (amendments) to your study and reports of unanticipated problems to COMIRB can be found on the COMIRB website http V/www.ucdenver.edu/COMIRB.
Contact COMIRB with questions at 303-724-1055 or COM IRB @ ucdenver.edu.
REVIEW DETAILS:
As an exempt study, we do not stamp approve or stamp consents. However, if you use your consent you may want to delete the investigator signature line on the last page and put in the Pi's contact phone number on page two in section "Who to call for questions."
This protocol was approval under both Category 1 & 2 for exempt research.
The following has been approved for exemption:
Application Form Consent Form v 10.19.17.doc|
Cover Letter v I0.19.l7.pdf
Faculty Mentor Form v 10.19.17.pdf
Interview Guide v 10.19.17.docx
Participant Survey v 10.19.l7.docx
Personnel Form (eForm) 1-3-15
Photo-Video-Recording-Release-Consent v 10.19.17.doc
Protocol v 10.19.17
Sincerely, UCD Panels
Please provide Feedback on Your Experience with the COMIRB Process


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Appendix B:
Question 6A - Interview Excerpt with Open Codes
Below is an exempt from Sherri’s interview. The chunks are divided by topic in accordance with the interviewee’s response. The open code corresponding to the chunk is delayed as a comment.
KATE: Is ethical responsibility part of the role of the individual or the organization as a whole?
SHERRI: I think it's it kind of, we kind of talked about this. [It gets a little interesting^ It’s like |you want”your leadership to set the tone for an ethical workplaceftnd every individual can have
Microsoft Office User
Difficulty parsing role of engineering ethics between individual and organization
Microsoft Office User
Expectation of industry leaders)
Microsoft Office User
Expectation of individual and coworkers
different ideas of what they believe is ethic aliased" on your background .[|lt’s most important from a top down approach] fiecause everyone has such differing perspectives]. If you (fid it from as individuals you might get a lot more conflict||n the future than]|if you had it from the higher up] this is the Irulture of our organization^you don’t if Then you don’t have to work herellfhaf way, people can still operate within their own ethical framework]. |But you have a broader you know overarching,.. ]hese are the things we believe in this company and "these are the things people can align themselves with]
Microsoft Office User
Acceptance of diversity and varied perspectives Microsoft Office User
Importance cf leadership view and approach to topic
Microsoft Office User
Leadership can provide unity
Microsoft Office User
[opposition to previous statement)
Microsoft Office User
Too many opinion will cause dysfunction
Microsoft Office User
Importance of leaders (higher ups) in industry Microsoft Office User
Leadership creates/defines culture of organization
Microsoft Office User
Ultimatum
Microsoft Office User
Individual opinion, if it fits with group
Microsoft Office User
Acknowledging conflict, and acknowledging importance/presence of individual opinions
Microsoft Office User
Coexistence with company and individual opinions


Full Text

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COLLEGE STUDENT PERCEPTIONS OF BIO ENGINEERING ETHICS EDUCATION by KATHLEEN SEPPALA B.S., The University of Texas at Austin, 2014 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Education and Human Development 2018

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ii This thesis for the Master of Art s degree by Kathleen Seppala has been approved for the Education and Human Development Program by Jung In Kim, Chair Cassandra Howard Samantha Moreno Date: May 12 , 2018

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iii Seppala, Kathleen Elizabeth ( M.A. , School of Education and Human Development Program ) College Student Perceptions of Bioengineering Ethics Education Thesis directed by Associate Professor Jung In Kim ABSTRACT The purpose of this paper is to explore bio engineering , or biomedical engineering, pertaining to bio engineering ethics education at a state university in the United States. As the students in this study belong to a newly developed undergraduate bioengineering program, the curriculum is continually refined and improved with each class of undergraduate students. E ngineering colleges in the United States generally recognize the importance of these topics within their curriculum, but have ofte n struggled with implementation. This research study utilized in depth, semi structured interviews to assess perceptions to better understand their interest a nd motivations towards engineering ethic s . Summarizing the findings, s tudents demonstrated an awareness and appreciation for their chosen field of study , and the impact it has on society. The direct connection of bioengineering on human health was readily acknowledged, as were the cascading impact of seemingly small decisions. In many ways, the engineering department in the study is helping to educate the next generation of engineers, valuing knowledge of health , safety, and social implications. Students re spond positively when faculty share professional ethical dilemmas in the classroom. Students are listening to these stories, mulling over questions raised in class, and taking the curiosity with them outside of the classroom. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Approved: Jung In Kim

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iv To my husband, Lane. Thank you for supporting me through this journey .

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v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Dr. Kim , the passion you bring to teaching continues to inspire me. Thank you so much for all the guidance and support you provided throughout this process. I feel so fortunate to have on learn ing, and I will carry this with me throughout my career. Thank you for your devotion to your students. Dr. Moreno, thank you for introducing me to this amazing field and career in higher education . Your mentorship in what it means to be a higher education professional has been so valuable love about working in higher e ducation. Casey, the energy and commitment you bring to teaching is remarkable . You always go above and beyond for your students. Your valuable help in this process is certainly no different. I truly appreciate your enthusiasm with this project, and your excitement to engage with new educational possibilities. Thank you for educating the engineers we need. To my students, h of you. You inspire me daily. Thank you for letting me be a part of your educational journey. To my friends and family, I appreciate all the support, interest, and encouragement I received from the start of graduate school to the day of my defense. Th ank you f or being there when I needed help, and always bein g ready to celebrate the milestones and accomplishments.

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vi TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 1 Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 1 Purpose ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 2 Significance of Study ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 2 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 3 Method ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 4 Definition and Terms ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 5 Personal Identification of the Topic ................................ ................................ ............................ 5 II . LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 7 Background and History of Engineering Ethics ................................ ................................ ......... 7 Curricular Modifications, Considerations, and Inter ventions ................................ ..................... 9 Review and Assessment of Classroom Practice ................................ ................................ ....... 16 Student Perceptions of Engineering Ethics ................................ ................................ ............... 23 III . METHOD ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................... 29 Research Questions and Interview Questions ................................ ................................ ........... 29 Participants ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 32 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 35 Plan and Process of Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 35 IV . FINDINGS ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 41 Research Question 1 ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 41 Research Question 2 ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 46

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vii Research Question 3 ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 50 Research Question 4 ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 52 Research Question 5 ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 55 Research Question 6 ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 57 Complimentary Analysis Methods ................................ ................................ ........................... 60 V . DISCUSSIONS AND IMPLICATION FOR RSEARCH ................................ ....................... 66 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ . 66 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 68 Implications for Further Research ................................ ................................ ............................ 69 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 69 R EFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 71 APPENDIX ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 74 A: University of Colorado Denver Colorado Multi Institutional Review Board Approval ......... 74 B : Question 6A Interview Excerpt with Open Codes ................................ ................................ . 76

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Overview As the problems faced by s ociety become more complex, solutions evolve into cross disciplinary and cross cultural efforts (Kreiner & Putcha, 2005) . These heightened challenges are found in many disciplines and are increasingly apparent in engineering fields (Kreiner & Putcha, 2005) . As the technology needed to surmount these problems adv ances, the scope of the problem s increase , along with the numbers of people needed to solve them (Perlman & Varma, 2001) . The engineering industry as a whole still struggles to effectively teach engineering ethics (Perlman & Varma, 2001) . Inferring the importance of engin eering ethics to society, directing attention to the epicenter of engineering education woul d be the logical place to start address ing the issue (Perlman & Varma, 2001) . At the undergraduate level, the engineering curriculum is overwhelmed with academic demands, and engineering ethics education can often fall to the wayside (Rabins, 1998 ; Drake, Griffin, Kirkman, & Swann, 2005 ) . To address the issue , at the turn of the twenty first century, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology ( ABET) sought to update their student learning outcomes to include a section focusing on engineering ethics and societal impact (Rabins, 1998). Set to be implemented in 2000, these new standards posed new challenges and consideration s for engineering depart ments across the country (Rabins, 1998). The acknowledgement and action towards the problem of inadequate engineering ethics education by ABET is certainl y a constructive measure, however many colleges across the country struggle with effective implementat ion (Rabins, 1998) . Departments want to build effective engineering

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2 ethics education interventions into their curriculum, but need more guidance in efficacy of these interventions (Rabins, 1998). Purpose The purpose of the study is to learn from under graduate engineering students themselves, exploring their attitude, interest, and motivation towards engineer ethics. Efforts to better understand how student s perceive and experience engineering ethics education is a critical step in the evaluation process (Holsapple, Carpenter, Sutkus, Finelli, & Harding, 2012) . To better understand e ffective ways of implementing engineering ethics into curriculum, it is vital to understand the importance of this topic to studen ts and their motivation , or lack thereof , for learning about enginee ring ethics and applying it in their future careers . With this newfound information, faculty may be able to better evaluate relevancy of curriculum interventions to students. Additionally, interest lies in discipline specific approaches to engineering ethics education (Li & Fu, 2010) . Li and Fu (2010) suggest engineering ethics education may need to be presented different ly for civil engineering students than for bioengineering students. In the late twentieth century, interest increase d in realms of engineering more directly related to the human experience, such as biotechnology endeavors (Grasso & Helble, 2000 ). The tangibility of disciplines like bioengineering specifically, as will be stu died here, provide an exciting avenue for further research. The study was reviewed by IRB and approved as an exempt study , as seen in Appendix A . Significance of Study A qualitative study was conducted to explore why and how students best learn and want to learn about engineering ethics. Most qualitative feedback in the literature is limited, and does not provide a holistic idea of student views on the topic of engineering ethics. T here is l imited

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3 exploratory research regardi ng engineering ethics education from the perspective of the students. Interviewing students in a research setting may better inform the scaffolding necessary for engineering ethics education to take hold in the student's mind and in the curriculum. Student s can also provide insight into the perceived value of current curriculum interventions, or areas w here this curriculum is lackin g. Students need to be viewed as stakeholders i n the ir education rather than simply vessels of new information. The education al experience of students in this study is unique due to the dual campus arrangement of the bio engineering department. The bioengineering department is newly established, and continually seeking to refine curriculum with each class cohort of undergraduate st udents. For the first one to two years, students take courses at the public Midwestern university campus. After completing necessary courses in the few first years, student s move to a Midwestern medical campus for the last two years of their undergraduate career. They move to the new campus in a cohort model, thus spending several years in classes with the same peers . The unifying educational experience of the bioengineering students rem oves some barriers to research including different faculty teaching cou rses, and course content changes (Newberry, 2004) . Such variation in classroom experience brings into question the result of previous studies (Newberry, 2004). The entirety of their educational experience is very discipline specific as well. Conversely, the rigid cohort model is not necessarily common in engineering programs, so the environmental influences on the experience of the students interviewed may present an obstacle for application of this information to other programs. Research Que stions The primary research questions, listed below, served as scaffolding for creating the frame of the semi structured interview , discussed in Chapter III .

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4 1. Do students gain a functional understanding of engineering ethics during their undergraduate care er? If so, what experiences foster this development? 2. Do students identi f y societal importance to their understanding of engineering ethics education, and what framework of ethics do they use when making decisions? 3. What interest do students have in enginee ring ethics education, and how do they want to learn about the subject? 4. What techniques and approaches are most/least effective, from the student perspective, of conveying relevancy of engineering ethics? 5. Why may students express a disconnect between engin eering ethics in the classroom and engineering ethics in their future careers? 6. of engineering ethics experiences in the classroom environment ? The research questions were developed through informal observation of students in the program, as well as feedback from thesis committee members. The sixth research question was added and developed as a result of the interview s . Method The study was exploratory with a phenomenological methodology consisting of in person interviews of ten graduating seniors from the bioengineering department at the public Midwestern university (Johnson & Christensen, 2017). Initially, p articipants were selected using typical case for sampling (Johnson & Christensen, 2017) . For the purposes of this study, age , and number of semesters at the Midwestern university will be the guiding elements for typical case sampling . The inclusion criteria for the study are bioengineering seniors of a traditional college senior age of 21 23, to limit the post high school influences on cognitive development. Sampling

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5 criteria were expanded to include an additional student, identified through critical case sampling (Johnson & Christensen, 2017) . Ultimately, nine of t he students interviewed me t the criteria of typical case sampling and the tenth student exceeded the anticipated age range and post high school experience initially intended for the study. Th e semi structured interview was in depth with an interview guide approach (Johnson & Christensen, 2017) . The transcripts of the interviews were analyzed through constant comparative analysis, including open coding , axial coding and selective or thematic coding (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). Further study of the data includes classical content analysis and word count (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007) . Definition and Terms Engineering ethics: Engineering ethics is an applied ethics field which promotes the discussion and establishment of ethical standards for the industry (Kreiner & Putcha, 2005). Bioengineering: Engineering discipline application of engineering principles, ideas, and inventions in order to solve important clinical problems ( , 2017). Note, a singular defin ition for ethics and morals is not provided here as the terms are often used almost interchangeably in much of the literature. No common definition of ethics or morals was presented to the students through the interview either , thus inter pretations of these two terms by students are personal . The topic is addressed in more detail in the Assessment of moral development section in Chapter II. Personal Identification of the Topic industry as a field engineer. In my job maintaining electrical infr astructure , I witnessed first hand what I always thought to be true: engineers wield a powerful impact on society. I sometimes saw this

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6 responsibility neglected, frequently incurring cost to the public. The often present void within industry to discuss these ethical concerns was disconcerting. I decided the best way I could be an engineer was to combine my passion for engineering as a force for positive change with my dedication towards fos tering personal development in others and work as an educator. Thus, my interest in engineering ethics stems f rom my personal experiences, my friends in industry, and pursuing positive societal change. I work regularly with the students who volunteered to participate in this study. Due to my proximity to the subject and to the students, I readily acknowledge the potential of confirmation bias in my research. In order to minimize the effects of confirmation bias, I continually sought to separate my experienc es in engineering classrooms as a students from those of the students I interviewed. My experiences as a former engineering student do impact and inform my view, and I acknowledge this lens used in my research. To minimize expectations of interview content , I did not seek external information regarding bioengineering course content to help eliminate leading questions in the interviews. I wanted to use my experience as a former engineering student to help connect and relay the experiences of these students. I hope to help educate, prepare, and empower students with my work.

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7 CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW The compiled literature is funneled through four main themes in engineering ethics education: background and history of engineering ethics, common curriculum interventions and modifications, assessment and efficacy of practice, and student per ception. Starting with a broad, more comprehensive view of the top ic distills to research supporting the main inquiry of the research study : how student view engineering ethics education. Background and History of Engineering Ethics Engineering ethics is an applied ethics field which promotes the discussion and establish ment of ethical standards for the industry (Kreiner & Putcha, 2005) . For many engineers, ethical standards of behavior and practice are defined by professional engineering societies (Kreiner & Putcha, 2005). For example, practicing civil engineers would mo st likely belong to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). ASCE publishes a code of professional ethics intended to drive the decisions of engineers in various disciplines of civil engineering. Although professional ethics are an integral part of ethical behavior regarding Across ethics education literature, numerous journals discuss other app lied ethics fields such as medical, law, and agriculture ethics (Self & Ellison, 1998). Numerous studies track the moral development of both medical and veterinary students through ethics education interventions (Self & Ellison, 1998). Yet, similar attenti on towar ds engineering ethics education is lacking (Self & Ellison, 1998) . Law and medicine are professional fields dedicated to and engrained in ethical practi ce, while engineering ethics has been left behind (Self & Ellison,

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8 1998) ring has failed to make a sufficiently compelling case for social Helble, 2000, p. 87). The lack of advocacy is discouraging considering the growth of science and engineering jobs by as much as 70% in the early twenty first century compared to other professions (Grasso & Helble, 2000). The increased multidisciplinary direction of most professions only provides a greater reason for attention and effor ts to be paid towards engineering ethics (Butcher, 1984). Some students graduating with an engineering degree may build careers in a variety of other fields, indicating the influence ethics exposure in the undergraduate curriculum could have on other profe ssions (Shuman, Besterfield Sacre, &McGourty, 2005). Although the issue of engineering ethics has not been completely ignored in the United States, current attention towards the matter leaves room for improvement. As stated by the American Society for Engi neering Education (ASEE) in 2005, T he role of individual engineers and engineering companies will truly shape the world and affect future generations. Since societies across the globe depend on professional expertise at a rapidly increasing pace as the tec hnology pervasively enters human lives, the ethical considerations must be integral in any and all decision making processes. (Kreiner & Putcha, 2005, p. 2) Interest ing ly, the creation of ASEE in 1893 saw opening statements from board members stressing th fundamental to the development of a young engine er (Shuman, Besterfield Sacre , & McGourty, 2005, p. 42). As the objectives of western higher education began to shift, so did the expectations and content of engineering curriculum (Shuman, Besterfie ld Sacre, &McGourty, 2005 ). Beginning in the mid collaboration with philosophy professors to create the emerging applied ethics field of

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9 engineering ethics (Lynch, 1998). However, no major action from engineers or ethicists from industry is found in the realm of engineering education until decades later, indicating an attitude of stagnation and disregard towards the importan ce of engineering ethics (Lynch, 1998). The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) engineering students for a career in th e twenty first century (Rabins, 1998). Criterion 2000 environmental, (Rabins, 1998, p. 293). Finally, ethics and their connection to society were mandated as p rogram outcomes for engineering (Rabins, 1998). Within these guidelines, there e xists significant room for college and departments to develop more specific and succinct goals align ing readily with their existing curriculum (Colby & Sullivan 2008). As professional and educational awareness increases, the challenge currently resides in the delivery of engineering ethics education to students at all levels of engineering education (Lynch, 1998). Curricular Modifications, Considerations, and Interventions As engineering ethics awareness and social responsibility were added as learning out comes for engineering programs, universiti es across the United States implemented a variety of changes to best deliver the new curriculum (Colby & Sullivan, 2008). Designing curriculum and pedagogical approaches. Although delivery methods of engineering ethics education can appear limited at many institutions, the literature highlights multiple ways departments and faculty can engage students. The flexibility in interventions allows for a range of time, energy, and resources required of the program seeki ng to implement

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10 improvements (Haws, 2001). Case studies of engineering disasters are extremely common in engineering curriculum, and will be discussed in more depth later. Still, faculty can engage students through role playing activities and work environm ent simulations as well as more traditional methods of ethically focused lectures, class discussions, and writing or reflections (Li & Fu, 2010). McPhail (2001) advocates for the use of humanistic film and literature. These assignment s must be implemented with careful consideration and intentionally tied to engineering content so they are not viewed as an ext raneous exercise (Haws, 2001). This practice is common in profession al health programs, and can be an effective way for students to engage with the pot ential impact of their work (McPhail, 2001). According to Li and Fu (2010), d espite the numerous options available when designing interventions in one course or across the whole curriculum, utilizing only one or two strategies can create separation and dis en gagement for students . For instance, brief discussions can easily be incorporated to various lab and lectures across the curriculum using minimal resources (Colby & Sullivan, 2008). Increasing exposure for students and engagement of faculty with ethics e ducation can help maintain relevance through out Chosen methods of delivery should also be coupled with informed pedagogical practices. There are various guiding principles which departments and faculty can use for guidance in properly deploying the discussed curriculum interventions. When formulating ethic s curriculum, three objectives can help structure the ac tivities and interventions used: intellectual engagement, and particular (2004) experience in the classroom, he genera lly sees the most difficulty implement ing emotional engagement with ethics content . Despite efforts to bridge these gaps, Newberry now focuses his energy on p roviding what he believes to be a foundation for emotion engagement as

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11 students grow and mature as adults and engineering professionals (2004). McPhail (2001) presents a somewhat different basic philosophy for building engineering ethics curriculum, though it still ties back to emotional stimulation as well . Drawing from Parker (1995) and Master (1989) work, McPhail values disruption in learning (2001). In an ethics education context, disruption promotes awaren ess of personal values and the opportunity to quest ion and challenge those values , according to McPhail (2001). Disruption is most directly applied to engineering by encouraging students to question and appreciate the effects of their professional practice on other me mbers of society (Newberry, 200 4 ). This approach does not provide students an answer or explanation to an ethical dilemma, but requires students to propose their own ethical values and assess them to their lo gical conclusion (Newberry, 2004 ). Haws promotes a similar approach utilizing divergent thinking (Haws, 2001). He argues standard engineering curriculum forces students into cyclical, convergent thinking, and it can often be difficult for engineering students to engage with outside perspectives (2001). By fostering necessary diverge nt thinking, and providing students tools to communicate about these topics, this can promote increased ethical awareness and responsibility (Haws, 2001). Although not necessarily the most engaging content, enabling students to effective ly understand and communicate ethical decision making may further empower them (Haws, 2001). Classroom discussions are valuable as they provide an opportunity for students to engage with multiple viewpoints in the comfort and security of a n a cademic exercise (Newberry, 2004 ). These facilitated discussions may also serve as a slight catalyst for emotional en gagement as well (Newberry, 2004 ). The positioning of in class ethics discussions should be facilitated in a man ner as to not further engrain a dualistic understanding ( Ha ws, 2001). Goals for these

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12 activities in the classroom should also f urther two different skill sets: p rocess ing skills around communication and teamwork, awareness skills compromised of social and global contexts , and lifelong le arning (Shuman, Besterfield Sacre, & McGourty, 2005). These objectives may be further integrated into discussions and provide more insight for students as to why these topics are important (Shuman, Besterfield Sacre, & McGourty, 2005). Timing and distribution of engineeri ng ethics education. Engineering programs and professors across the United States sought innovative ways to meet and exceed the expectations of ethics education mandated by ABET 2000 in an already heav il y loaded and prescribed engineering curriculum (Rabin s, 1998) . Rabins (1998) describes the most common approaches to supplementing engineering curriculu m with ethics education include adding segments to introductory engineering courses, senior seminars, and capstone design courses. Distributing ethics educa tion across the entirety of the engineering curriculum is often preferred ( Rabins, 1998 ; Li & Fu, 2010 ). Continuous engagement is also preferred because it requires faculty ds with other department s are interesting ventures, thoug h must be approached cautiously. T he exportation of engineering ethics education from the engineering college can be disengaging for students (Li & Fu, 2010). Nevertheless, s ome universities cho o se t o increase integration with humanities courses or create stand alone engineering ethics courses. Another effective method involves pervasively adding ethical elements to all undergraduate engineering courses (Rabins, 1998). The inclusion of ethics discussi ons in introductory engineering courses is an important place to start ( Rabins, 1998; Li & Fu, 2012) . Covering aspects of engineering ethics in senior seminars and capstone design courses is vital and common as well (Colby & Sullivan, 2008) . However, if this is the first time ethics is

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13 brought to the attention of the students, it creates a sense of confusion. Universities which took material is so impor , p. 297 ). Such feedback f rom students supports the idea of students at all education levels to be involved in engineering ethics discussion s . Use of professional codes. Current liter ature presents opposing views regarding reliance on professional codes in teaching engineering ethics. Colby and Sullivan (2008) promote the professional codes as a useful tool in framing ethical discussions with students. The recommendation is partnered w ith a full awareness that the professional codes in eng ineering do not usually play an explicit role in engineering as they may in other professions (Colby & Sullivan , 2008). T hese self regulated and internally created codes provide valuable insight into t he dilemmas faced by engineers (2008). While there is merit to these points, Colby and Sullivan along with many other researchers caution faculty against relying to o heavily on professional codes to furt her engineering ethics education (Colby & Sullivan, 2008; Haws, 2001; Li & Fu, 2010; McPhail, 2001 ). professional codes, these guidelines only provide a n authoritarian view of ethics and do not supply information regard ing the analysis and resolution of ethical dilemmas (Colby & Sullivan, 2008; Haws, 2001; Li & Fu, 2010; McPhail, 2001). Haws (2001) differentiates the role of codes rather than their ethical develo pment. For instance, these codes do not help students in viewing ethical dilemmas from the perspective of non engineers; a necessary and empathic skill (Haws , 2001 ; Li & Fu, 2010 ). The narrow p er spective provided only by codes further exacerbates the micro ethical considerations often

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14 pre sented to engineering students. T he macro ethical implications, those at a societal level, downplay the influential impact engineering practice has on society (Li & Fu, 2010). Case studies in the classroom. The frequency an d intensity of ethical education intervention s varies from institution to institution. However, case studies are almost always a substantial part of engineering ethics curriculum (Rabins, 1998 ; McPhail, 2001 ). The evaluation of case studies can help studen ts understand the many manifestations of ethical problems (Perlman & Varma, 2001) . Familiarization with ethical processing help s students recognize key concerns they are likely to encounter in t heir professional careers, if left unchecked, could lead to mo re significant and more obvious ethical dilemmas (Perlman & Varma, 2001). Case studies Varma, 2001, p. 5). Many engineering case studies will only address large scale engineering disasters, while most professionals will encounter ethical dilemmas of a more mundane nature (Heckert, 2000 ; McPhail, 2001 ). A variety of case studies allow studen ts to better understand how seemingly insignificant ethical infractions can create destructive professional cultures (Heckert, 2000; McPhail, 2001) . These seemingly isolated, minor issues can eventually lead to large scale engineering disasters if left unc hecked. This variation in case studies allows engineering educators to address the issue of scale for students. Often, it is difficult or even inconceivable for students to believe they will be a part of a situation leading to a terrible engineering disast er (Perlman & Varma, 2001). If ethical dilemmas are explored too narrow ly, like the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, students onl y see examples of heroic action or destructive inaction (Perlman & Varma, 2001). Case studies can be made more effective for students by relaying the connection between technical engineering problems, and non technical ethical dilemmas . Solving either kind of

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15 problem requires critical thinking, gathering data, analyzing the information, evaluating multiple scenarios, and making an informed decision for the evaluation. Obviously, engineering problems are much more constrained and governed by Newtonian laws (Rabins, 1998) . There is no Newtonian equivalent governing ethical practices and decisions (Rabins, 1998). Nonetheless, each type of problem can be approached rigorously to develop the best solution. One of the most effective method to communicate these nuances is the use of case studies in the classroom. A efficient, predictable, logical, rational, value & Varma, 2001, p. 5). Technology is all those things, and much more. Technology is irrevocably tied to health, safety, environment, well being, and su stainability of societies across the globe. Engineering problems and ethical problems both deserve critical attention and consideration, and cannot be completely separated from one another. Service learning . In recent years, the concept of service learning , or community based learning gained traction in a multitude of disciplines, including engineering education (Colby & Sullivan, 2008; Astin, Vogelgesang, Ikeda, Yee, 2000 ). Colby and Sullivan (2008) make a case for service learning by addressing the numerous pedagogical outcomes it can readily address: sense of social responsibility; emotional engagement; multicultu ral appreciation and engagement; and ethical awareness. In these projects, students are faced with solving real world challenges with phys ical, financial, and resource constraints they most likely do not see or fully appreciate in the classroom (Colby & Sullivan, 2008) . These efforts may further support the development of divergent thinking required of socially conscience engineers (Haws, 20 01). Building on the idea of capstone courses in eng ineering curriculum and integrating service

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16 learning into senior design experiences holds great potential for actively engaging students in the human element and impact of engineering (Haws, 2001). Review and Assessment of Classroom Practice With an understanding of ways to engage students in engineering ethics education, the next step is reviewing currently existing major programs and assessing how these experiences fit into the educational landscape and how they have been evaluated. Current practices . A variety of methods for delivery of engineering ethics education exist. The literature often draws attention to a particular intervention ; a stand alone engineering ethics course developed at Texas A&M Uni versity (Self & Ellison, 1998; Herkert 2000 ; Drake et al. , 2005 ) . The upper taught b y helping to bridge the gap between the perceived technical and non technical fields (Herkert, 2000 , p. 308 ). Herker t (2000) describes t he unique structure of the course and how it helps to address both moral theory as well as applications of that theory. However, t he staffing costs are high for such a model. If such an engineering ethics course exists within the curriculum without ethics being a part of other classes, it can lead students to understand ethics as an optional sidebar to engineering (Herkert, 2000). Understanding the possible duality and disconnect between engineering and ethics, Texas A&M also reworked the rest of the undergraduate engineering curriculum, so ethics education is present throughout its entirety (Rabins, 1998). The process involved reformulating everything including homework, quizzes, exams, and lectures. For example, a homework problem would present both a technical (Rabins, 1998 , p. 298 ). Such an approach helps students to understand the fluid nature of ethical c oncerns in engineering decisions.

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17 A similar enginee ring ethics course is hosted by both the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering as well as the Department of Philosophy at The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (Loui, 2005). The electi ve course offered to juniors and seniors focuses on professional responsibility with an emphasis on the individual and the organization (Loui, 2005). Students participated in regular reflective writing assignments, include a final reflection paper at the e nd of the semester. Loui (2005) postulates the students choosing to enroll in the course may have a pre disposed interest in the topic of engineering ethics. Since it is offered through the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, it approaches t he subject from a le ss obvious or familiar side of engineering ethics like one might experience from a civil engineering standpoint. Focusing on professional responsibilities expected of students, the course fosters technical competence, interpersonal skil ls, work ethic, and moral standards (Loui, 2005). From analysis of writing assignments conducted in class, the three major insights from students regarding their professional identities are, An engineer may need moral courage to choose the right action. An engineer always has professional responsibilities, even when they are not at the office. An engineer should understand the effects of tec hnical decisions on the public. (Loui, 2005 , p. 388) Describing the most influential experiences in developing professional identities, most students cited the use of powerful case studies, and learning from diverse perspective s through class discussions (Loui, 2005). Comparing final reflections in the class to papers from the beginning of the semester, Loui (200 5) noted that safety of the public was only mentioned by a few students prior taking the course . Despite limitations in the stu dy, awareness and appreciation of engineering ethics does appear to have increased throughout the semester.

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18 Loui and his colleague , Hashemian, later studied the impact of the same course on student responses to moral problems framed in a professional sett ing (2010). The first problem involved an error in salary calculations, and the second was a potential safety issue in a product. When presented with either problems, student who has taken the ethics course presented a clear plan of action, while students who had not taken the course wa ve re d more in formulating their response and struggled to find a direction. As discussed in Loui previous study, the student s who took the course may be more interested and comfortable di scussing these issues (Loui, 2005). The student s who had taken the class asked more questions and identified more missing information from the moral problems . These students were less easily distracted by superfluous information as well, and easily ide ntified the moral dilemma. Their theoret ical actions in each situati on were more consistent than those of their peers who had not taken the class. Again, it is not determined whether this difference would still be present in the workplace and in real life situations, but the students who did com plete the ethics course were more equipped to discuss the problems and formulate possible resolutions (Loui & Hashemian, 2010). Not all engineering programs have conducted such an extensive overhaul of engineering course offerings as Texas A&M and The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. M any other universities hav e employed modest, though critical, approaches. MIT offered courses such on the Electr created a series of seminars for faculty about bringing engineering ethics into the classroom (Lynch,

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19 1998). These prestigious and highly ranked engineering schools mentio ned were proactive in addressing engineering ethics curriculum in their programs. It is still unclear how extensively these ideas and practices have permeated through less recognized engineering programs and how these programs have developed in the last de cade. Assessment of m oral development . Fisher (2004) describes the ambiguous line between morals and ethics in much of the literature. For the purposes of this section, it may be helpful to consider moral development as the active assessment , transformatio n, and structural thought towards cultural values made by the individual (Kohlberg & Hersh, 1977). Clarkeburn (2002) most aptly reflects the more common definitions seen in engineering ethics literature. Generally, he presumes moral development as being the progression or regression of personal values applied to and informing decisions, while ethics ref ers to a more broadly accepted and external set of standards (Clarkeburn, 2002). Reviewing assessments of moral development of engineering students, research conducted on engineering programs at two universities are discussed below. First, assessment effor ts at Texas A&M are reviewed, followed by a study conducted at Georgia Institute of Technology. As universities take a more active role in engineer ethics education, a next step , according to Self and Ellison (1998) is evaluating the effectiveness of inter venti o ns and additions to curriculum. As previously discussed, Texas A&M created a novel , co instructed elective course for engineering ethics. Using moral reasoning evaluation techniques from college student development theory , they sought to assess the c hange taking place in students throughout their enrollment in an engineering ethics course (Self & Ellison, 1998) . The research team at Texas test and post test to evaluate the moral reasoning ab

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20 continuation of the study of moral development theory developed by Lawrence Kohlberg ( Kohlberg & Hersh, 1977 through a ser ies of six stages ( Kohlberg & Hersh, 1977 ) . The individual first obeys rules only as a method of avoiding punishment ( Kohlberg & Hersh, 1977 ) . Fairness becomes a priority later to the individual, and they set expectation for acceptable social roles and int erventions. Morality leans towards the concept and acceptance of social w elfare (Kohlberg & Hersh, 1977). Rest developed a model to empirically measure the progress of moral development (Self & Ellison, 1998) . The r esearch team hypothesized a one semester course in engineering ethics would study, spanning both a fall and spring section of the course, confirmed their research premise . The DIT also allows for (Self & Ellison, 1998, p. 30). The goal of ethics curriculum is not to determine what is right or wrong, but facilitate critical thinking around moral and ethical problems (Lynch, 1998). The study showed statistically significant increases in the post test conducted across multiple demographics of students (Self & Ellison, 1998). The study also showed a higher rate of change in moral reason for younger students as opposed to older student s in the class (Self & Ellison, 1998) . There was not a statistically significant difference between moral development of males and females in the study (Self & Ellison, 1998) . The result aligns with assumptions in college student development theory, as old er students would foreseeably have already moved through developmental progress (Self & Ellison, 1998). justice base d, and does not account for care based view of moral development, as seen in other

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21 theoretical models created by Gillian and Noddings (Self & Ellison, 1998). Their models of to other neglects to acknowledge other important ethical aspects relevant to the engineering profession. The study may provide eviden ce to engineering educators that moral reasoning development can be empirically measured and evaluated (Self & Ellison, 1998) . Use of the DIT is a starting point for critical evaluation (Self & Ellison, 1998) . The study also supports the idea engineering ethics interventions are positive ly affecting the moral reasoning of students. It is yet to be seen how the pressure of an engineering career affects these students, e ven with positive exposure to ethical dilemmas in their undergraduate experience (Self & Ellison, 1998) . Despite this unce rtainty, any positive improvement in moral and ethical reasoning in students should be sought after by educators, and considered a stronger foundation for engineers entering industry than no exposure to engineering ethics at all (Self & Ellison, 1998 ). Wit h 1998, p. 32). However, the quasi experimental premise of Self and Ellison concerns and criticisms by Drake and his team at Georgia Institute of Technology (Drake et al., 2005). There was not a control group in the study conducted by Self and Ellison , thus it is not conclusive whether the increase d post test scores may have been the result of increased exposure to the test (Drake et al., 2005). Drake and his team are quick to note the reliance of the DIT produced over the last thirty years, and its prevalence in assessing moral development within other academic fields. In their experiment, the y utilized the revis ed and updated DIT 2 test, built from revised theories of moral development since the inception of DIT. They sought to evaluate

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22 the effectiveness of a one semester ethics course, and an engineering course with an ethics module. The resu lts of their study did not find an increase in moral development for the engineering with the ethics module, and only a slight statistically significant increase in moral reasoning for students in the engineering ethics course. When the measured increase w as compared against moral development of students in the control cl ass, the evidence is greatly reduced. This suggests the instruction in engineering ethics course may not have been the catalyst for this development . Further analysis of the data may sugges t educational level within the undergraduate program, rather than age, was a stronger predictor to receptiveness and development of engineer ethics (Drake et al., 2005) . As longitudinal exposure to engineering ethics education is touted as best practice, D rake and his team (2005) also advocate for long term assessment of students, tracking their development th roughout a program as a means of determining which inte rventions produce short lived versus lasting results. Nonetheless, other researchers sought a more specialized instrument to evaluate and assess moral and ethical development for STEM students (Borenstein, Drake, Kirkman, & Swann, 2009). Due to concerns around the DIT as an evaluation instrument, in part for its lack of discipline specific questions in the assessment, Borenstein and his team (2009) created a new assessment tool, the Engineering and Science Issues Test (ESIT). Their in itial experimental study indicat ed ethics education to produce a measurable effect on students. They are working to establish reliability and validity of the new instrument, and note the sample size of t wenty two students warrants further study and investigation (Borenstein, 2009). Regar dl ess, this study is noteworthy due to its direct approach to assessing engineering ethics education specifically with a new and novel instrument, and may provide a foundation for valuable research moving forward.

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23 Student Perceptions of Engineering Ethic s In addition to considering the multiple avenues departments and faculty use for engineering ethics education, the perspective of the student has also been examined . By better understanding how students want to learn about the topic, curriculum interventio ns may be improved. Perception versus reality. To better define, in terms of both quantity and quality, what curricular and co Finelli and her team (2012) created and utilized the Student Engineering Ethical Development (SEED) Environments Outputs model (Finelli, Holsapple, Ra, Bielby, Burt, Carpen ter, Harding, & Sutkus, 2012). Data collection of the survey spanned across eighteen institutions in the United States, and was completed by nearly 4,000 undergraduate students. T he team learned from the survey, unsurprisingly, the most common learning exp eriences were presentations by a profes sor and introductory engineering courses (Finelli, et al., 2012) . Focusing on the most influential experiences, students exhibited a range of cognitive depth from justification of ideas and opinions around engineering ethical dilemmas to simply being encouraged to recognize ethical dilemmas (Finelli, et al., 2012). Nearly 90% of students reported engineering ethics to be critical to their education, and about the same percentage of students were satisfied with their et hical education. Despit e this engagement and appreciation , fewer than half of the students felt they would use these experiences more than half the time when faced with ethical dilemmas in the future. This may point more specifically to the idea that depar tments and faculty often struggle with relevancy and applicability in their curriculum interventions, or that students cannot quite yet envision how they will apply this knowledge in

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24 the future. Regardless, the SEED survey results indicate students report both high quantity and quality of engineering ethics education . Despite these promising experiences reported by students, the actualized knowledge of ethics is still low. From the SEED survey, students expressed exposure to very black and white ethical issues, and lacked experience with nuance in ethical dilemmas. This reveals an interesting juxtaposition, as the student report considerable learning while the SEED survey results say otherwise . These hypothetical ethical dilemma questions in the SEED survey suggest engineering students are not keeping pace with the ethic al development of their college peers. Finelli and her team (2012) do not know if this gap in ethical development indicates students are entering college less ethically developed, or if engineering programs are not keeping pace with other programs with eth ics education. Given the SEED survey was the first national assessment of engineering students of its kind, it does not serve as an indicator as to whether engineering students are entering college less ethically developed, or engineering programs are not providing equitable levels of ethical development (Finelli, et al., 2012). Framing discussions and interactions . The dichotomy between technica l skills and engineering ethics is illustrated by the commonplace and somewhat dismissive language often used by engineering educators. They refer to such competencies as soft skills (Shuman, Besterfield Sacre, &McGourty, 2005). As the vernacular slowly shifts towards professional skills instead, it may provide a better introduction and foundation to enginee ring students (Shuman, Besterfield Sacre, &McGourty, 2005). In 2002, Clarkeburn stressed the complexity o f moral and ethical development: formal education could accelerate th e process, but it in no way can be completely responsible. He warned of ineffectiv e and potentially co mprising programs where the goal of the education was a

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25 notable change in behaviors and values, rather than understanding how to evaluate ethical dilemmas. He discusses how consensus can often be reached for a hypothetical dilemma , but this consensus becomes much for difficult when ti ed to a real dilemma. Clarkeburn describes the teaching of moral decision making, as inherently promoting certain values in accordance with societal expectations. Values should not and cannot be avoided in t hese learning experiences, but they should not be the only objective (Clarkeburn, 2002). He acknowledges value development is a lo ng term process, and is not completed through short term exposure. Thus, Clarkeburn advocates for a skills based approach to e thics education. This approach prepare s students through tools of ethical sensitivity and moral reasoning. They exercise these skills independently, and throughout the curriculum (Clarkeburn, 2002). He ci tes research supporting dilemma based discussions as the most effective means of empowering students with these skills (Clarkeburn, 20002). Even when utilizing a skills based approach to discussions, students and faculty often perceive these conversations differently (Holsapple et al., 2012) . When faculty r eport discussions focused around laws and ethical codes blended with nuanced dilemmas, students report only experiencing a rules based approach to ethics (Holsapple et al., 2012) . This disconnect extended to faculty indicating they also taught ethics throu gh leading by example, however this was not observed by students (Holsapple et al., 2012) . Not to say students thought their faculty set poor ethical examples; most interactions with faculty were limited to the classroom, providing little room to see how f aculty handled ethical situation s . One faculty member reported the i ncreased engagement he saw in his student s when the discussions were moved from solely professional codes to matters effecting daily life in society. Students also wanted to see more discu ssions around building ethical reasoning skills to better address dilemmas (Holsapple et al., 2012) . The

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26 disconn ect between faculty and student further advocates the importance of understanding student perception and experience as part of the evaluation pr ocess (Holsapple et al., 2012) . The nuance of discussions extends to the ethical dilemma s presented to students as well. Bringing broadly defined and open ended situations into the classroom can create a more robust foundation for student understanding (Co lby & Sullivan, 2008). These approaches can assist in building awareness for students (Shuman, Besterfield Sacre, &McGourty, 2005). Shuman and his team (2005) c ontend the attention towards implications of engineering decisions is imperative in helping stud ents learn how to make decisions on their own. With globalization, they direct emphasis towards being able to consider cultural influences and implications of engineering decisions. Many engineering decisions in the past have been made with little foresight towards impact on na of the future face greater challenges and should be prepared to address issues of sustainability (Shuman, Besterfield Sacre, &McGourty, 2005 , p. 47). Motivation and interest . Choosing what ethical dilemmas to bring to students demands a great deal of intentionality from faculty . The more the ethical dilemmas seen in the classroom align with the curriculum and overall learning experiences, the more motivation students will bring to ethics education (Clarkeburn, 2002). Learning related to interest is often conceptualized and influenced from the interaction of the person with the social and physical environment (Hidi & Anderson, 1992). Thus, even the unique cohort and dual campus model of the program could influence student interest. Many universities created effective ways of engaging students with engineering ethics . The continued improvement of these interventions may come from an understanding of cognitive development and motivational theory. The idea of introducing engineering ethics across all the

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27 undergraduate curriculum provides ample opportunity for motivation towards the subject (Rabins, 1998) . The repetitious exposure of ethics curriculu m is i mperative for interest to develop in students (Hidi, Renninger, & Krapp, 2 004 ) . The continued exposure to engineering ethics allows for students to better conceptualize a complicated , intricate topic and store these concepts in usable, long term memory (Hidi, Renninger, & Krapp, 2 004 ) . Hidi and Renninger developed a situational interest model distinguishing experiences which trigger interest i n a subject and experiences which foster and evolve the interest (Hidi & Renninger, 20 10 ). This may suppo rt varying the ethics curriculum provided to students throughout the undergraduate program. Triggering student interest is important, but maintained situ ational interest likely produces more favorable long term outcomes for retention and continued interest (Hidi, Renninger, & Krapp, 2 004 ). It may be ideal to vary the ethics curriculum provided to students throughout the undergraduate program. By creating a positive triggering learning event, faculty can help develop individualized interest in the subject (H idi, Renninger, & Krapp, 2 004 ). Strong individual interest leads students to be more curious and engaged with the content, indicating curriculum interventions can challenge students in new ways throughout their undergraduate career (Renninger, 2000). The e volution of individual interest is also important when considering the amount of support and guidance an emergent learner would need as opposed to a student with an established, functional understanding (Renninger, 2000; Renninger & Hidi, 2002). Although t his is an important construct, more research is needed to better establish its validity and examine the proposed process. Considering methods to increase ethics exposure, some researchers suggest i ncorporating engineering ethics into required humanities c ourses could be the most effective way to sup plement undergraduate education (Rabins, 1998). Utilizing the time students are spending in

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28 general education classes already, the topics of discussion and analysis can be geared towards issues in app lied ethics. This approach receive s support because of relative ease of implementation, and lack of interference with demanding engineering coursework, making it a practical tactic (Rabins, 1998). If ethics curriculum can be introduced from other avenues, it provides a better chance of the message resonating with students. Cognitive development theories encourage frequent exposure to new and important ideas, as well as multiple methods of delivery.

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29 CHAPTER III METHOD The methodology of the study was phen omenological consisting of in person interviews with ten graduating seniors from the bioengineering department at a public Midwestern university (Johnson & Christensen, 2017). Refining the sample to include only bioengineering seniors, rather than seniors across the College of Engineering and Applied Science, is intended to provide focus around the unified educational experience of these students. It may also provide more actionable information for the department to use in future curric ulum improvements. As the bioengineering department within the college is newly developed, the curriculum is continually refined and improved with each class of undergraduate students. This discipline specific approach narrows the lived educational experience of the engineering students, as the students within the department take the same courses in the same environment. The bioengineering department is also a dual campus program with underg raduate students studying first on a public Midwestern university campus, then on a Midwestern medical campus . Thus, the undergraduate experience within the department is drastically different from the rest of the College of Engineering and Applied Science solely from an environmental perspective . To better understa nd the impact of the study on the bioengineering department, data for student perceptions will be compared to existing curriculum plans to integrate engineering ethics into courses. As part of AB ET accreditation discussed previously, departments must document how learning outcomes, such as Criterion 2000, are implemented and assessed (Rabins, 1998). Research Questions and Interview Questions The primary research questions are listed below . The int erview questions were created to correspond with specific research questions, as to help ensure coverage in the interview of topic

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30 of interest. As the research is exploratory in nature, an additional research question emerged though the interview process, and is listed as Research Question 6. The questions listed here will be the main objective for analysis. 1. Do students gain a functional understanding of engineering ethics during their undergraduate career? If so, what experiences foster this development? 2. D o students identity societal importance to their understanding of engineering ethics education, and what framework of ethics do they use when making decisions? 3. What interest do students have in engineering ethics education, and how do they want to learn about the subject? 4. What techniques and approaches are most/least effective, from the student perspective, of conveying relevancy of engineering ethics? 5. Why may students express a disconnect between engineering ethics in the classroom and engineering ethics in their future careers? 6. of engineering ethics experiences in the classroom environment ? The interview questions were generated to correspond with the research questions above. Research Question 1 (RQ1) is in formed by Interview Question 1 (IQ1). Similarly, RQ2 informs IQ2; RQ3 informs IQ3 and IQ4; RQ4 informs IQ3, IQ4, and IQ5; finally, RQ5 informs IQ5 and IQ6. As Research Question 6 arose from the interview process, it was not directly mapped to an interview question. Below, the interview guide, including all primary interview questions , followed by probing questions used response to initial question s . 1. How would you describe engineering ethic s?

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31 Student provides descriptive, comprehensive answer: A. How did you come to that understanding? B. How long have you viewed engineering ethics in this way? Students struggles to form and articulate answer: A. How would you describe ethics in general? B. Do you think of ethics as applied to engineering, or does it seem separate most of the time? 2. What role do you think engineering ethics plays at a societal level? A. Do you think this relationship between engineering ethics and society is visible at all levels of leadership and responsibility? B. How do you think society as a whole views the responsibility and role of engineers? 3. How would you describe your first experience with this topic? A. How did you initially feel about this experience and how do you feel ab out it now? 4. What event or aspect of your education had the most/least influence role of your understanding of engineering ethics? A. Why were these events most/least impactful? B. If your classmates experience these same things, how would you describe their reaction? If student describes experiences in the classroom: A. Do any learning events stand out to you as helping you learn about engineering ethics outside the classroom?

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32 If student describes experiences outside the classroom: A. Do any learning events s tand out to you as helping you learn about engineering ethics inside the classroom? 5. What role do you think engineering ethics should play in the classroom? A. What do you think could improve the way engineering ethics is discussed in the classroom? 6. What do you think may be helpful for the transition from the classroom to the workplace regarding engineering ethics? A. Is ethical responsibility part of the role of an individual or the organization as a whole ? The first three interview q uestions a re intended to be open ended to better capture the scope of interest and importance of engineering ethics expressed by students. A more cohesive understanding of both interest and importance may inform student motivation, and may help faculty with impleme n ting effective experiences in the curriculum. Interview Question 4 narrows more specifically to the experiences of the students by parsing the most influential experiences. Retrospection may clarify how the experiences fit together and build on one another throughout development. Interview Question 5 seeks to address the reported lack of importance or applicability of engineering ethics expressed by some students in the classroom environment. Such sentiments are noted in the literature, as well as by faculty in the bioengineering department . Interview Question 6 aims to assess how students view themselves as upcoming professionals in the field. Participants

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33 Initially, p articipants were selected using typical case sampling. For the purposes of this study, age and number of semesters at CU Denver will be the guiding elements for typical case sampling (Johnson & Christensen, 2017) . The inclusion criteria for typ ical case sampling are bioengineering seniors, age of 21 23, to limit the post high school influences on cognitive development. Sampling criteria was expanded to include an additional student, identified through critical case sampling (Johnson & Christense n, 2017) . Ultimately, nine of the students interviewed meet the criteria of typical case sampling and the tenth student exceeded the anticipated age range and post high school experience initially in tended for the study. The alter ation in sampling is inten ded to explore whether older students expressed different interest and concerns regarding engineering ethics. As interviews progressed, typical case sampling produced saturation of responses throughout certain portions of the interviews. Thus, expanding to a critical case student served as an opportunity to determine whether this educational experience varied substantially from the typical case students. Due to time and coursework constraints of the students in their senior year as well as the results of th e critical case interview, no other students meeting critical case sampling criteria were interviewed. Each student is provided a pseudonym, as will be used in the findings. All but two of the ten students interviewed are interested in careers in industry following graduation. Additional demographic information collected through the survey is listed below in Table 1 .

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34 Table 1 Demographics of Student Participants Age Number of Student s 21 2 22 3 23 2 24 2 27 1 Gender Identity Number of Student s Female 4 Male 6 Ethnicity Number of Student s White 6 Asian 2 Black or African American 1 White, Hispanic/Latino 1 Academic Pathway Number of Student s Direct Admit from High School 6 Transfer (internal to university) 2 Transfer (external to university) 2 Employment Status Number of Student s Not employed 1 1 10 hr/week 2 11 20 hr/week 5 21 40 hr/week 2 Although the sample size is small, the demographic survey com pleted by the students helps provide some context for the student population within the bioengineering department . Tracking student pathway s into the bioengineering program ma y serve as some indication of post high school experiences pertaining to moral and ethical development. As seen in Table 1 , most student participants are employed at least part time. From these experiences, students may be learning about functional and dysfunctional work environments and how leadership resolves ethical dilemmas. The survey also reveals students working both on and off campus. Taking these demographic elements into account creates a more holistic view of the student participants.

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35 Data Collection Students were invited via email to participate in the interviews. The interview material and identities of the students is confidential. Student were informed during the consent process the findings of the study will be relayed to the department for curriculum and experiential improvements. If interested in participating, students scheduled a time for the interview, and completed a short demographic survey afterwards. The survey include s date of birth, ethnicity, pathway into program (directly from high school or transfer students), employment status, and plans after graduation. Interviews were conducted from late November of 2017 to early February of 2018 . The timeframe for interviews is important to note as class demands were different for some students, possibly influencing their answers for the interview. The duration of interviews was betwe en 19 minutes and 48 minutes. As a n identical structure was used for the interviews, the difference in time was the result of elaboration on the topics from some students, combined with clarifying questions. Each interview was recorded for dictation in the analysis process. Th e semi structured interview was in depth with an interview guide approach. Interview questions are framed to address the research questions listed ab ove. The interview questions were structured to map directly to a research question. P lan and Process of Analysis Transcripts of the interviews were created via a secure online transcription service. Once prepared, they were compared against the original recording to ensure accuracy. The students were provided a copy of their interview to a ssess whether they found the transcript to be analogous with their intentions in the interview. Any clarifications regarding the transcript of the interview were documented in the member checking process , with the goal of increasing validity through triang ulation (Johnson & Christensen, 2017 ; Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007) . For member

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36 checking, two complete and open coded transcripts were provided to a peer for review. The secondary reviewer reported no abject concerns regarding the open coding process. The first method of analysis was constant comparative analysis, followed by classical content analysis and word count (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007). For constant comparative analysis, the transcripts of the interviews were open coded, leading to axial coding and selective or thematic coding (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). The process of constant comparison allows for analyzing similarities in language and description in search of a fundamental structure of experience throughout an individual one time interview as well as the interviews of the entire group (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007). The transcript of each interview was chunked and open coded inductively (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007). Further study of the data includes classical content analysis and word count (Leech & On wuegbuzie, 2007). The combination of analysis methods allows for a quantitative reflection of word and phrase frequency as well as a search for thematic similarities from the students (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007). For the purposes of demonstration , one ana lysis process is displayed and discussed at length below. This process was undertaken for every question in the interview. The interview Is ethical responsibility part of the role of an individual or the organization as a whole What do you think may be helpful for the transition from the classroom to the workplace in regard to engineering ethics explore how students viewed and positioned themselves in the workplace. After reviewi ng responses from the students, the analysis process was aided by splitting this first question into its own analysis. This separation was not done with other probing questions built into the interview. The separation of content made for a more organized d emonstration of the analysis process. As this question was separated, it provided the fewest open codes generated from the constant

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37 comparative analysis process, thus is the most efficient example to demonstrate the process (Strauss & C orbin, 1998). Below, in Table 2 are brief interview excerpt s , or chunk s , from each and their corresponding open code generated in the first step of the constant comparative analysis process. The chun ks of interview text provided in Table 2 are intended to provide a better understanding of the student responses prompting the generation of the open codes seen in Table 3 . To see an terview in Appendix B. the researcher (Strauss & C orbin, 1998). Each of the open codes seen in Table 3 corresponds to a chunk of text from the interview transcri pt. As evident from the various number of open codes generated for each student, some interviewees were more engaged by Question 6A. The word count for student response per

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38 question will be assessed later to review what portions of the interview garnered t he most student interest. Table 3 Open Codes for Interview Question 6A Student Open Codes Sherri Acknowledge and work with different perspectives Ultimatum Expectation of industry leader(s) Expectation of individual and coworkers Importance of leadership view and approach to topic Leadership can provide unity Acknowledging conflict Individual opinion, if it fits with group Opposed previous statement Too many opinion will cause dysfunction Leadership creates/defines culture of organization Difficulty parsing role of engineering ethics between individual and organization Importance of leaders (higher ups) in industry Acknowledging importance and presence of individual opinions John Ethical responsibility is on the individual Ethical oversight can be helpful Nathan Organization defines ethics Dependent on behavior of individual Eric Responsibility of individual and organization Make ethical decisions in daily life Organization must consider ethics for everything at all levels Responsibility of both Ethics is part of life Admitting fault saves time and money in addressing the problem Company is responsible for individuals Company is responsible for your products and coworkers Gray area makes responsibility confusing Be cautious and assume more responsibility Fall can ruin career Responsibility of engineers to uphold Money is a tool Money can promote learning about topic Money can have positive of negative influence James Topic is responsibility of organization Easier when coworkers do this as well Collective image of organization Cannot fight with coworkers constantly Organization has to set example Bradley Intrigued by responsibility to individual or organization Society views as organizational responsibility Boxed into organizational ethics Take on ethics of organization Ethics is natural to me Presence of ethical dilemmas in all fields Engineers do no harm Uncertainty Charlotte Group is made of individuals Personal ethics and morals Individuals shape group ethics Issue when someone differs from group ethics Quit job or transform group ethics Individual responsibility towards ethics Julie Ethics and morality Organization influence informs individuals Organization sets ethical standard Kenneth Topic should be responsibility of individual and organization Company provides mission statement and guidelines Hold people to standard Dependent on ethical behavior of individual Company ethics are reliant on decisions of engineers Punishment for unethical behavior May be more important for individuals to be ethical Need ethical behavior from both levels Hannah Responsibility of individual and organization Personification of company Collective image of organization Importance of individual decisions in organization

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39 Through Table 3, the open codes help to inform how each student responded to Interview Question 6A. Below in Table 4, the se open codes are categorized, then corresponding axial codes are generated, and themes for these codes are displayed on the right side ( Gallicano, 2013). The themes created from constant comparative analysis inform the content in the Findings section. The open codes, axial codes, and themes in Table 4 are not listed in any particular order. Thus, the placement of an open code is not representative of its significance in the interviews. The placement of the open codes in the column is also not reflective of their relationship to a particular axial code in the adjacent column .

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40 Table 4 Axial Codes and Themes derived from Open Codes for Interview Question 6A Open Codes Axial Codes Theme Responsibility of individual and organization, Importance of individual decisions in organization, cannot fight with coworkers constantly, Identity ethical dilemma, Know how to research and work through ethical dilemma, Ethics impacts you day to day, Dependent on behavior of individual, Expectation of individual and coworkers, Individual opinion, if it fits with group, Acknowledging conflict, and acknowledging importance and presence of individual opinions, Ethics is part of life, Quit job or transform group ethics, Acknowledge the nuance and opinions of engineering ethics, Create holistic perspective o f problem and situation with others Personal role Personal recognition Awareness Complexity of dilemmas Expectations Personal ethical code Relationship with coworkers Individual in group setting Daily confrontation and presence of dilemmas Students provide d holistic description of what their ethical responsibility looks like day to day, as well as the importance of their actions on a larger scale. They mentioned some of the more personal obstacles they may face in work environment. Personification of compa ny, Collective image of organization, topic is responsibility of organization, easier when coworkers do this as well, organization has to set example, Organization sets ethical standard, Organization influence informs individuals, Organization defines ethics, Society views as organizational responsibility, Boxed into organizational ethics, Take on ethics of organization, Presence of ethical dilemmas in all fields, Ethical oversight can be helpful, Organization must consider ethics for everything at all levels, Company is responsible for individuals, Company provides mission statement and guidelines, Hold people to standard, Company ethics are reliant on decisions of engineers Organizational responsibility, Setting of organizational expectations, influence on individuals, inclusivity and diversity, Use of different perspectives, Not value based, Role of leadership, Unity, Leadership defines culture, Societal view o f organizational responsibility, May conflict with personal ethics, Provides oversight, Responsibility towards individuals Students generated ideas around the power an organization. This demonstrated the influence high level decisions have on the individua l, and the responsibility society assigns to these organizations. Difficulty parsing role of engineering ethics between individual and organization, Coexistence with company and individual opinions, Intrigued by responsibility to individual or organizat ion, Responsibility of individual and organization, Responsibility of both, Gray area makes responsibility confusing, Topic should be responsibility of individual and organization, Need ethical behavior from both levels Importance of organizational a nd individual commitment, Nuance of responsibilities, Impact of decisions at both levels, Assigned to both Students sometimes conceded the responsibility in certain situations could be difficult to discerned. It was universally agreed ethical responsibilit y needed to be present at both level for healthy functioning. Ethics and morality, Learn codes for career, Admitting fault saves time and money in addressing the problem, Fall can ruin career, Responsibility of engineers to uphold, Money is a tool, Money can promote learning about topic, Money can have positive of negative influence, Punishment for unethical behavior, Ultimatum Influences, Money, Professional codes, Ethics of situation, Punishment Students discussed external influences and pressure s on decisions, in terms of both positive and negative forces.

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41 CHAPTER IV FINDINGS In this chapter, the themes derived from constant comparative analysis, the primary analysis method, were expanded and synthesized and are displayed beneath their correspo nding research question. Additional analysis methods were undertaken including , classical content analysis and word count. These methods are discussed at the end of the chapter (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007) . Research Question 1 Do students gain a functional understanding of engineering ethics during their undergraduate career? If so, what experiences foster this development? Function al understanding of engineering ethics. Each student exhibited familiarity with the topic of engineering ethics, and most all s tudent s could describe the topic in their own terms. As argued by some researchers, awareness and understanding of jargon and vernacular used in ethical arguments is essential to holistic understanding for students (Haws, 2001). Even with this knowledge ga p, students did not appear at a loss for words to describe engineering ethics. James , for example, centered his response more around the idea of morals as seen here, M putting yourself and the company before w hoever is gonna use your device. Julie addressed the subject by speaking more direc tly about the role of engineers, I would say an engineer's obl . Some students did hesitate briefly when asked to describe engineering ethics before responding . This reaction usually stemmed from some uncertainty for describing the applied ethics field, while other students contemplated how it may or may not be different fro m their personal definition of ethics in general. For instance, Kenneth began by saying,

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42 That's an interesting question. My first instinct is to try and differentiate it from another kind of ethics. But I'm not sure that I can, because the ethics required in engineering are the ethics that are required in a lot of fields, and that means being conscious and thoughtful about safety, and about the responsibility we have to stakeholders, as well as users. Most student s eventually prov id ed a definition or concept centered around the role and responsibility of engineers. They noted the obligation of safety and cognizance towards the end user. Approximately half the students used the opportunity of describing engineering ethics to frankly point to the direct impact engineering decisions have at a societal level. Three of the ten students noted the importance of morals and values in the initial discussions around engineering ethics . The distinction between a skills based and a values based approach to engineeri ng ethics is important to note, as a strictly values based educational model can disengage and discourage some students (Clarkeburn, 2010). Students were usually quick to acknowledge a lack of personal consideration for the topic of engineering ethics, eve n once t hey began studying engineering as seen in Sherri about it more in class, so probably about a year ago When prompted to discuss how long they have viewed engineer ethics in this way, most all students relayed their understanding and exposure to engineering ethics began within the last year to two years. They noted the once illusive topic was something they now considered more frequently, a nd valued as a tool for them to use as engineers. Along with the awareness of personal growth, most student s mentioned gray areas or nuance in ethical situations. Previously, they viewed these dilemmas as more transparent and obvious; not a topic worthy of discuss. Julie described the first influential class discussion, It's like , obviously, you don't want to make some building that's going to fall down on people. That's kind of obvious and when that doesn't happen, it's usually due to people not checking a nd all that, but [this professor] was the first one to really bring in,

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43 especially with new developments, like genetic engineering and everything the ethics beh ind that where it's not really black and white . Many student s now understood the idea that there were arguments on either side of a dilemma. By personally recognizing the complexities of these dilemmas, students expressed a newfound interest in the topic of engineering ethics. First experiences with engineering ethics. Considering the experience s contributing to to start with the first impactful experience . Asking students about their first encounter with the subject provides retrospective insight of this learn ing experience. For some students, this first experience seems have risen to greater importance after they learned more about engineering ethics, while for others, it was a notable event in their development when it originally occurred. Within the last few semesters, students ci ted the importance of a few key faculty and courses in their ethical development. Required design courses and a required cell and molecular course were mentioned as being the most impactful. In describing the role of these classes in their education, the impact seemed to be the result of both faculty involvement and facilitation as well and instru ctional and curriculum practices . Hannah , James , and John did attribute some ethical development and awareness in core curriculum classes e arlier in their college careers. Other students, like Bradley , were quick to indicate they had no exposure to ethics of any kind in core curriculum classes. Most briefly mentioned specific examples of engineering disaster s as both a way to communicate the significance of engineering ethics, as well as demonstrated what impacted their personal learning . The literature reflects a close connection between engineering disasters in case studies, and impact on students (Rabins, 1998; McPhail, 2001; Loui, 2005).

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44 When asked about the first experience with engineering ethics, s even of the students quickly recalled experiences in junior year of the program, usually in class discussions. The other three students cited an experience in childhood, high school, or their first year in the bioengineering program. Each experience was viewed retrospectively as possessing some connection to engineering et hics, rather than an experience or action they attributed to engineering ethics at the time . Hannah described those initial discussions, I think it was so interesting, because everyone is very passionate about it. Everyone wanted to talk about it, and put their input in, and before given that opportunity, I don't think I'd ever had an ethics discussion with any classmates bef ore I got in enginee ring. When Kenneth was asked further about his experience during the first year of the program, as a student in a prototyping and design course, he described the task of conducting a stakeholder analysis. At the time, he thought talkin g with a potential user , or customer, was the best way to complete the task. Now, he sees the ethical importance in taking care to design for the patient and users impacted the design. A lthough this ethical responsibility was not clearly assigned to the ta sk as it would be in some later courses, he appreciated the experience nonetheless, and it influenced the w ay he has moved forward. Experiences such as the one mentioned by Kenneth are opportunities to expand ethical discussions across the curriculum for g reater collective impact (Rabin, 1998; Li & Fu, 2010; Hidi, Renninger, & Krapp, 2004). Most students elaborated on their personal experiences with in class discussions and the important role played by faculty in sparking interest and demonstrating importan ce of the topic. Generally, faculty facilitation helped the class manage contentious discussions when students struggled with personal values in applied ethics. Nathan described the impact of these experiences : Having the instructors raise the questions an d lead the discussion allowed me to see how ethics should be talked about. Yes, so that helped with shaping how I would talk about

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45 [Discussions] definitely started in the classroom, but I guess after the idea of the topic was brought up outside of class, I find myself occasionally talking about ethics more often. So , it started in class and it continued outside. Even brief discussions can be impactful for students, and engagement from the faculty is important (Colby & Sullivan, 2008; Li & Fu, 2010) . Some of these initial experiences were tied directly to a well received Socratic seminar. When asked how their peers most likely felt about the experience, many students believed there to be consensus as to the effectiveness. Some students would laugh sl ightly, and after a long exhale express that not all students seemed to find the topic relevant. Despite the uncomfortable environment this may have created during the discussions, it did not appear to completely disrupt personal learning. Regardless, environmental and social stimuli are important classroom considerations (Hidi, Renninger, & Krapp, 2004). Regardless, students appreciated new points of view. Generally, personal interest in the topic of engineering ethics grew over time with this newfound awareness. Students were learning to appreciate and expect nuance in ethical dilemmas, and in some regards, expected to see engineering ethics content their courses. They see engineering ethics awareness as an important pillar of prevention for engineerin g disasters. As Loui (2005) described the potential disconnect between awareness and action, building awareness in the classroom is a positive first step. Hannah describes the shift in thinking about ethical dilemmas: Initially, I think I was kinda like "W ell, duh, you already know that you should be ethical in your engineering." And now I think you kinda see the smaller issues like "Yes, it's clear, you shouldn't design a device that's gonna hurt somebody." But small decision could lead to those things. So , I guess, now I'm more aware of consciously thinking about it while you're doing your engineering work instead of this backseat thing like , "Don't harm others . R eflecting upon this first experience, Sherri transparently discussed her complete unawareness of the topic and recognized this attitude generally with STEM students. The lack of recognition seemed universal amongst her peers. Then, when they did learn about it, the attitude

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46 was often dismissive. She speculates this reaction is also fueled by disco mfort in the nuance of ethical dilemmas. With more time and more exposure, this attitude changed. Research Question 2 Do students identity a societal importance to their understanding of engineering ethics education, and what framework of ethics do they us e when making decisions? Relationship between engineers and society . Students were quick to identify and acknowledge the connection between engineering ethics and societal impact. As previously discussed, there was not a highly developed ethical framework used to evaluate dilemmas. Rather, most students spoke about nuance when evaluating dilemmas and contemplated the value of outside opinions when considering these issues. If students were asked whether their personal moral framework was bas ed more on care or justice, most students would probably choose care. Across the interviews, students spoke often of the patient or user who would be impacted by their work, the ob the lives of others. These ideas would appear to ali gn more smoothly with a care based moral orientation. Comparing their responses and the context of the conversations, they do not readily align with the levels and transitions of moral development proposed by Gilligan (Gilligan & Attanucci, 1988). The inte rviews with students align more with a justice based model of moral development because of the progression to social and external influences, and less focus on the self (Kohlberg & Hersh, 1977). This contrast begs the question as to which moral development models are most useful in assessment development of engineering students. Most assessment instruments are based around Kohlberg moral development (Self & Elli son, 1998). Regardless the models of moral development and the

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47 implications they carry, justice based versus care based, should be a consideration in future research. A few students indicate d level, expressing ideas toward punishment and obedience (Kohlberg & Hersh, 1977). For example, Bradley I don't think that ethics really applied in this situation because it wasn't The statement suggests there must be negat ive intention, and perhaps concern for punishment, for an ethical dilemma to be present. However, this simplified sentiment was not seen in responses from most students. Their responses were framed more often a social contract and social expectations (Kohlberg & Hersh, 1977). When asked about the role of engineering ethics at a societal level, many students articulated their thoughts using specific engineering example s and disaster s . Discussing disas ters and engineering failures are a common way to discuss the relationship of engineering work with society at large (Loui, 2005). Some students found it easiest to first mention examples from civil engineering disasters , s uch as a bridge collapsing. Perhaps th ese examples are easier to cite as they are highly visible and require no technical knowledge to com prehend the scale of the issue (Clarkeburn, 2010). Student s would generall y transition to more discipline specific concerns, describing the dilemmas faced by bioengineers. Charlotte , among other students, adamantly described how bioengineers faced greater ethical dilemmas, resulting in more substantial societal It's the humanistic side of engineering t hat directly deals with people and medicine. So , it's almost like the stakes are higher She also described the profound effect genetic engineering has on the indi vidual and the repercussion s it can all have on society as a whole.

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48 T ew of engineers a nd their professional obligations, most students noted a lack of awareness or interest . Many students identified a personal lack of awareness towards engineering ethics or the dilemmas faced by engineers prior to exposure in class. They al so expressed some deficit in knowledge of dilemmas faced by engineers in disciplines outside of bioengineering . Students , like John , highlighted the expectation and trust afforded to j ust in general ... I mean, there is trust relatio nship between general public and engineers and that sort of thing and I think just part of that is an implied ethical part of that A few students directly attribute this trust to the education level needed for the profession. Many students conceded the more education someone needs for their job, the more they are trust ed and respected by the public. The low visib ility of engineering to those in the public meant there was little societal pressure towards ethical action. For instance, Kenneth provided the distinct ion of society only thinking of leadership and not considering the engineers more likely responsible for a disaster. Bradley described the engineer and s ociety relationship: Until something tragic happens, like a bridge failure or something like that due to said people's responsibilities. They didn't fulfill certain requirements, and then there's a big failure and then it comes to the attention of the soci ety. Whereas prior to that failure I don't think the society really looks into ethics under engineering whatsoever. Charlotte and Eric also discussed the role of media, including social media , for increasing awareness of engineering related social concern s. They did not specify whether the role of media was always a positive influence, but Charlotte talked about this level of perceived transparency increasing the accountabilit y of engineering organizations. Students often attributed the social disconnect f rom a lack of awareness on both the part of the public as well as the engineers themselves. As Sherri said, because think about it that much until it was brought to my atte ntion in class.

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49 A consensus from students reflected the idea that e ngineers are often far removed from the direct impact of their design decisions; thus, it can be difficult to predict the significance of seemingly small decisions. Lack of foresight cont inues to lead to reactive measures instead of engineers implementing preventative measures. The hierarchy within an organization combined with financial pressures, by no means unique to the engineering profession , will often contribute to engineers not following ethical guidelines. A few students expressed a sentiment of not prioritizing engineering ethics , and that design constraints were paramount. James even cited the ability to communicate technical information as a pote ntial barr ier to ethical decision you have to find a way to communicate what your ethical rules are and kinda state them rationally and logically, and tell th Students acknowledge d their passive view of engineering ethics, and generally seemed to appreciate their newfound knowledge. Eric even attributed this education as providing a new way to see the world: I'm grateful that I had that experience because it really opened my mind to different levels of thinking and it definitely made me take into account everything that goes into an engineering project, not just the product itself. A few students cited professional codes and case studies as a means of structuring their opinion. The impact of discussions combined wit h awareness of professional codes may give students a solid foundation for emotional engagement with the subject (Newberry, 2004; Loui, 2005; Colby & Sullivan, 2008). Occasionally, students e xpressed hesitation around the ideas of these professional guidel ines . This uncertainty of the role of ethics as a professional in industry generally appeared to stem from a lack of practical workplace understanding of the topic , as is to be expected .

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50 Research Question 3 What interest do students have in engineering et hics education, and how do they want to learn about the subject? Methods of classroom learning . A few students expressed uncertainty around ways to improve the way engineering ethics in taught in the classroom, though they were able to indicate what was and was not effective for them personally. About half the students specifically mentioned the importance and desire to see engineering ethics spread throughout the curriculum, especially introduce d to them during the first year, which is widely acknowledged as a best practice (Rabins, 1998; Li & Fu, 2010) John even said he was shocked when he first learned about the topic junior year, as it had never b een explicitly discussed before. For students, this matter of timing and exposure was important for developing their understanding of engineering ethics (Colby & Sullivan, 2008) . Students acknowledged the importance of sharing perspectives with their peers and saw these discussions as instrumental in shaping or solidify their own opinions and views (Loui, 2005; Colby & Sullivan, 2008) . Kenneth described the discussions: We just sat down as a class and spoke about, spoke from the heart about what our impression of these experiences were. I found that very helpful for me, and really impactful because I got to hear the perspective, not just from professionals who have written a lot about ethical engineering, or from the code of ethics that we have as eng ineers, but from my fellow students, and my fellow engineers, young engineers, to get an idea about how they were forming their opinions, and what values did they hold that they were using to guide themselves ethically. Though this growth sometimes result ed in classroom tension, students seemed grateful for the experie nce and trusted the experie nce, as seen in Nathan As the discussion went on, it was easier for everyone to sp eak their opinions and yeah. So, I think it was hard at first, but it got better. I think people became more used to it . They welcomed the opportunity to shift their focus of the technical rigor of the courses to something more foreign and nuanced .

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51 As previously mentioned , certain faculty were acknowledged for positive cont ributions Through class discussions, faculty int roduced nuance into situations when these dilemmas without guidance. Faculty sometimes shared personal experiences wit h engineering ethics in class, which proved to be memorable. James mentioned several times he though t more engagement from the faculty and adding transparency from their experiences would be a helpful teaching approach for himself and his classmates. Effec tive facilitation of in class discussions by faculty required everyone in the class to speak and provided some level of challenge and support in the discussion. Class discussions were a preferred method of engaging with the topic for almost all students. T hese in class discussions allowed students to better discern their own opinions, as well as learn from other perspectives (Perlman & Varma, 2001; Colby & Sullivan, 2008; Finelli, et al., 2012) . A few students even noted the continuation of these discussions outside of class. Many discussions were also tied to the Socratic seminar in a design class , mentioned previously, as being an important intervention of their education. It was important for the ethical dilemmas discussed in class to be open ended, even inviting debate. Students generally felt uninterested and disengaged with the dilemma when it was obvious or Discussions last ing no more than ten minutes at the end of class seemed to still leave a lasting impact on the students. Overall, students seemed to agree that awareness and thought process were among the most important learning outcomes. Sherri summarized, I think just being aware of it tangible you can b understanding how there can be overwhelming evidence on both sides of a story, or understanding the decisions of the decisions you make.

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52 Julie continued along a similar line of thought: Pretty much just making sure we know the thought process or if you, being able to identify ethical problems and the th ought process to go through and how to get multiple, like do the research and figure out what to do versus just here's what not to do. It's not the, here's what not to do, it's a here's how to do it. Here's what you should do instead and here's the thought process to go through. James postulated internship experience would most likely be beneficial in helping to learn about ethics in the work place, while Nathan strongly advocated for more case studies. In general, students supported and enjoyed the use of certain case studies in class. The perceived effectiveness of these case studies varied across the students, but no one seemed to find the exercise s without value. Some students preferred more open ended case studies. A desire t o see increasingly modern ca se studies was mentioned as a way to see a more accurate reflect ion of the ethical dilemmas they may encounter in their career. Kenneth even suggested the use of role playing in class to help students practice expressing their concerns and defending their ethical decisions. Research Question 4 What techniques and approaches are most/least effective, from the student perspective, of conveying relevancy of engineering ethics? Influences on understanding of engineering ethics . As previously discussed, in class discussions were the m ost prominent response for impactful learning event(s). These discussions, though difficult and uncomfortable for some students initially , proved to be the most significant learning events with a resonating impact ( Clarkebur n, 2002; Loui, 2005; Colby & Sullivan, 2008) . Students appreciated the honest y and respect in these open conversations. The preferred framework for discussions was built around an open ended and nuance ethical dilemma. Students recalled this format allowed for student to express and challenge their

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53 own opinions, and contrast them directly with the ideas of other students. The level of engagement from students at this point in the interview serve s as an indicator of the lasting impact the se conversations had on their understanding and processing of engineering ethics. All the most signifi cant learning experiences, usually in the form of class discussions, came from either the design courses or cell and molecular classes . Students generally appreciated these opportunities to view engineering from a novel lens, and believed it should more often be ma de a priority in the classroom. When asked about the least impactful elements of their engineering ethics education, several students noted the u se of ineffective case studies. Though the literature supports and promotes the use of case studies in the classroom, they need to be carefully curated to fit the interest and learning objectives of the students (Rabins, 1998) . Students often expressed par ticular case studies to be unengaging, and did not see them as a way to debate and explore nuance in ethical dilemmas. Julie described unengaging case studies: That was one that was super obvious out of which was kind of an ethically wrong. It was just eve ryone reiterated each other's point of view. It wasn't really anyone disagreeing or having a constructive argument, it was just kind of everyone agreeing on the same thing, which I don't really think there was a point in taking a whole class period to have everyone agree on something. Case studies generally serve a post mortem role , and help to identify what decisions and actions culminated in the engineering incident or disaster. Though this can be a va luable exercise, students did not always feel the case studies were facilitated effectively . Sometimes, the facilitation around the case study tried to produce an ethical dilemma worthy of debate the students did not see. For instance, many students ref erenced the Socratic seminar a desig n course to be an important learning event with valuable discussion. However, the facilitation of conversations later in the course was not as impactful. Despite contention regarding case studies

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54 and discussions, about half the students easily referenced s pecific engineering disaster s which seemed to resonate with them personally. Some of these were engineering dis asters mentioned in the classes, while other s came framing and how this presence can impact engineering. Generally, students found the ethics assignment s to be less engaging and not as impactful for learning about engineering ethics. For many students, exchanging ideas with their classmates was a high impa ct practice in the classroom, and this exchange of ideas was not present in the written assignments. Although ethics assignments may be needed as part of curriculum for evaluation and accreditation purposes, these assignments may not be contributing as muc h to ethical development and exploration as in class discussions . Students often expressed the assignments did not provide opportunity for them to explore the dilemma, rather a task of describing what went wrong . Throughout this portion of the interview, m any students continued to make note of their own personal development. Whether this development grew from experiences in the classroom or external life events, students demonstrated a level of maturity in their responses. They appeared to understand the hi gh responsibility of their chosen profession, and an appreciation of how seemingly small decisions and actions can culminate into a much more serious situation. They noted the importance of considering and respecting future application s of present day tech nology. Several students described how engineer s often does not have control over how their design or technology i s used by others in the future. Some students discussed personal morals and values and how those had been helpfully challenged throughout thei r time in college. They valued the opportunity to speak openly with other students, and enter these conversations with an open mind. As previously discussed, t he

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55 impact of core curriculum or general education classes received mixed feedback when it comes t o ethics education. Elective courses in senior year covering topics in regulatory affairs, assistive technology, and laboratory animal research were also referenced as important to engineering ethics education. Some experiences in these classes seemed to explicitly mention ethics in the curriculum, while other tied to the subject is a less defined way. It was almost universally noted engineering ethics education should be a priority of the department, as stated below by Kenneth : What I can say i s that I think engineering ethics should be a priority. I don't think this department would be doing its job if it sent, if it graduated and sent engineers to companies who were technically proficient, could design a circuit, could solve it, put it togethe r, work it all out, do all the math, approve all their equations, but not be able to consider safety. Research Question 5 Why may students express a disconnect between engineering ethics in the classroom and engineering ethics in their future careers? Eng ineer ethics in the profession . Considering whether ethical responsibility fell upon the individual or the organization, opinions from the students were split. Kenneth and Eric promptly insisted the responsibility belonged at both levels, while other s waiv ered throughout their answer. When describing individual ethical responsibility, most student s acknowledged the importance of personal decisions and frameworks used to make evaluate ethical dilemmas. Still others saw little difference between ethical dilem mas in their day to day life and ethical dilemmas they expect to face in the workplace. Before connecting individual actions to the functioning of a large organization, most students noted accountability in bot h directions between themselves and their cowo rkers. Eric described the relationship: Like the company being responsible for all its employees as an individual, it should also be responsible for your coworkers and your products that you put out. I think there's a lot of gray area between where a lot o f people don't take responsibility.

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56 After further discussion, these students more closely linked the ethical responsibility of the individuals to the ethical performance of the organization. Whether the student s started from a bottom up or top down approa ch to engineering ethics, most all students determined responsibility at all levels was important. James suggested the responsibility was that of the organization, and talked about the importance of the organization setting expectations and standar ds. With out this, he elaborated, the team would not function well and there would be less consensus around ethics. Student s described the role of the organization as a unifying force prov iding a mission and expectations for employees. The organization holds a responsibility towards the individuals as well. Students noted there can be conflict when the expectations of the company do not align with personal values. Charlotte spoke strongly about th is potential disconnect and presented it as a challenge to overcome. As an engineer, she believed it is your responsibility to uphold ethical standards and push back when necessary. She provided this scenario, If I show up to work one day and oh, what we'r e doing is not ethical, I'm going to quit, well someone else is just going to take my spot. So that's kind of the mentality where I'm not responsible. Other students discussed this dichotomy with less conviction, and talked about the resolving the conflict internally as necessary in order to do the job. Leadership within the organization was noted to be a significant contributing factor to how the organization and individuals operate. Lastly, students spoke to external influences on decisions made w ithin an organization. Professional codes were touted as a crucial guide for making decisions. The role of money in decision s was of considerable concern to some students. They acknowledged the influence of money and how this should be prevented, and remov ed from the ethical evaluation calculations, not conjecturing as to whether this a reasonable expectation. There was also further

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57 talk of punishm ent for those mishandling decisions. In reconciling the role of these influences, students appreciate personal experiences shared by faculty. Thinking to how learning could be improved, James summarized: I guess if some of the professors were in industry, they might be able to tell us some of those stories. So, if they had some of those experiences. Some of them ha ve done that. Depending on the context of this comment by the student, punishment was either seen as a fear while in the workplace or as a force to hold others to account. Thinking of this transition to the professional workforce, most students understand ably struggled to move beyond hypotheticals. Although they have long been part of a school system with ethical standards, and many students are currently employed, they did not often make the leap from their current environment to the professional environm ent. Perhaps an effective way to bridge the gaps between these two environments would be to help students see the connections to the challenges they face day to day and how those are similar and different from the dilemmas they will face as engineers in th e workforce. Research Question 6 classroom environment? A controversial case study. One particular case study garnered more intensive responses from students. The assig nment was centered around Essure, a permanent contraceptive device for women (Block, 2017). In her Washington Post article, Block says the device is considered by dev specifically. Two of these students were female, and three were male. Of the two female students who mentioned the Essure case study, one repo rted it to be the most in fluential experience she

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58 had for engineering ethics. T he other female student expressed appreciation for the case study, and identified it as her first engineering ethics experience. One female student described learning about the case study: I think our written assignment about a medical device called Essure, which is an implantable sterilization device for women, and digging through the history of the device, its clinically studies, and all of the adverse events that happened, and then the company's resp onse or initial lack thereof, was really eye opening for me. It really blew my mind how little care there was for the major ethical violations with that product. The other female student described her first engineering ethics experience: We were looking at, oh did the company know before they started selling it that there of tho se things like where we never drew any conclusions from it but we did a lot of like pros and cons, so we tried to keep a really unbiased perspectives. But it really made me think how there are two sides, there really are two sides to every story, there rea lly are. ethics. All three male students referenced the Essure case study when asked about the least influential experience for their engineering ethics educati on. One student began by saying his experience of the Essure case study: It was a device for birth control. It just wasn't ... I don't know. I guess I didn't u nderstand the ethics of it. It was more so a design flaw, which, again, plays into ethics, but I don't know that it was something that could've been taken care of in the timeframe that the product was developed because we just didn't know certain things wh en it was knew would work but they were cutting corners to maybe cut cost s or cut down work or cut down the amount of employees they needed to develop this device. It was more so about engineering ethics that were around that time that mayb e they just hit home with more than that one did particularly . Setting up the experience, one student responded:

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59 We did have a case study assignment, but I'm not really sure how much it helped with understanding ethics. I felt like it was a pretty clear situation that we were studying in terms of we're supposed to kind of approach it from a neutral standpoint, but I felt like there was kind of a clear answer I think part of the issue is that we're kind of looking at it after the fact. So, for me at least , I went into it with already an idea in mind about what's right and wrong and what they should've done Another student responded: W e were looking at that, trying to decide did the company act ethically? Did the government act ethically? It was a good assignment to challenge our critical thinking and about how we gathered resources, where we get our information from, and how can we as young scientists, identify bias? But ultimately, I didn't find it that helpful as an ethical education. I found it very helpful as an ability to gather good information, and when you gather bad information, to recognize it, and call it out. I didn't, however, think it really taught me much about ethics outside of reading the code of ethics, most of the times, and familiariz ing myself with that. Unfortunately, no follow up interviews were requested for any students regarding the Essure case study, thus it is difficult to conclude whether this difference in perception would be seen in most of the senior class. The discrepancy may serve as an indicator for more targeted facilitation for this case study, and others like it, in the future. These differences in the interviews were the only instance where gender presented any potential bias in the responses. Numerous studies cite l ittle to no differe nce between genders in regard t o moral development when applied to engineering ethics dilemmas ( Self & Ellison, 1998; Drake, et al., 2005; Borenstein, et al., 2009; Loui & Hashemian, 2010; Finelli, et al., 2012) . These studies provide en gineering ethical dilemmas more closely associated with other disciplines such as civil engineering and electrical engineering . T he topics of study in these dilemmas from other disciplines would not be expected to necessarily produce a gender bias. Bioengineering relates so closely human health, it may face different gender bias challenges than the rest of engineering.

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60 Complimentary Analysis Methods As previously mentioned, classical content analysis and word count were conducted to provide furthe r insight into student perceptions of engineering ethics education. Classical content analysis and word count can serve as complimentary analysis methods following constant comparative analysis (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007) . Classical content analysis. For e ach interview question , the open codes were categorized , similar to the designation represented in axial coding category in Table 4 . The number of times the concept or category was present within the open codes generated from constant comparative analysis are tallied for each interview question. The results of classical content analysis are displayed in Table 5.

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61 Table 5 Classical Content Analysis Results Interview Question 1: How would you describe engineering ethics? Content Occurrence of Concept in Open Codes Learning experiences and examples 82 Personal awareness and development 54 Role and responsibility of engineers 39 Impact on society 25 Morals 6 Interview Question 2: What role do you think engineering ethics plays at a societal level? Content Occurrence of Concept in Open Codes Responsibility and importance to society 113 Lack of foresight, issues, and ramifications 55 Extreme case and/or engineering disaster 37 Learning events and influences 26 Progress and optimism 21 Interview Question 3: How would you describe your first experience with this topic? Content Occurrence of Concept in Open Codes Personal growth and recognition 44 Time and reaction of first experience 31 Classroom and curriculum influences 27 Essure example 24 Attitude of STEM students 12 Interview Question 4: What event or aspect of your education had the most/least influence role of your understanding of engineering ethics? Content Occurrence of Concept in Open Codes Class specific experiences 81 Personal learning and growth 73 Impression and reaction to learning experiences 69 Case study experiences 47 Discipline specific examples/disasters 36 Feedback on learning experiences 23 Influence of media 7 Interview Question 5: What role do you think engineering ethics should play in the classroom? Content Occurrence of Concept in Open Codes Methods of increasing ethics content 44 Personal view of experiences 44 Personal growth and recognition 37 Specific classroom experiences 32 Specific examples/disasters 10 Timing of exposure to ethics 8 Interview Question 6: What do you think may be helpful for the transition from the classroom to the workplace regarding engineering ethics? Content Occurrence of Concept in Open Codes Personal perspective 29 Timing of ethics content in curriculum 25 Best practices in classroom 26 Faculty sharing experiences 5 Interview Question 6A: Is ethical responsibility part of the role of an individual or the organization as a whole? Content Occurrence of Concept in Open Codes Responsibility of organization 25 Personal responsibility and values 22 Influences on decisions and actions 9 Responsibility at both levels 8

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62 The student responses are organized by highlighting central areas of interest or concern (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007). As seen through classical content analysis, many themes were repeated throughout the interview. Whether the intention of the interview question or not, there is feelings and experience with the top ic as part of their explanation. Student were willing to sharing their experiences, and did not avoid expressing themselves or omitting their own opinion . The topic receiving the most attention may be interpreted as the areas students understood most. Topics with the fe west occurrences are sometimes representative of an idea referenced multiple times by one of two students, and may present a new avenue for future study. In general, the categories provide insight as to how students expressed the ideas synthesizing previou sly in findings. While this is a helpful overview of student responses, it is important to not e some of the figures are skewed by the response of one or two students. For example, if one student focused very heavily on case studies in their response to Int erview Question 4, this should be considered when viewing the occurrences holistically. There is not necessarily an even distribution from each student in classical content analysis. It is still helpful in recognizing student spoke frequently about experie nces in the classroom. Media was almost the only external influence mentioned for engineering ethics education. Though it was not mentioned across all interviews, the occurrences indicate this was still an important topic for one to two students. This info rmation can be paired with word count to further triangulate the focus of student responses. As discussed with Research Question 6, there may be gender discrepancies in the way bioengineering ethics information is perceived by students. Looking to classica l content analysis, no open codes directly address gender in the classroom. Open codes related to Essure occur in high volume for Interview Question 2, are scattered through the remainder of the questions as to

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63 not register as a common category for open co des. There are no other open codes which suggest gender differences throughout the interviews. Word count. The third and final process of analysis is word count from the interview responses of each student. Word analysis may be conducted in multiple ways to generate a variety of information (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007). In this case, word count was utilized across the entire ty of each interview to better understand which topic s were most engaging for individual students to discuss. To tal word count for the student responses was tallied, and then subdivided by interview question. Some students generated more follow up questions during particular portions of the interviews, and may be interpreted as greater involvement by the student for the corresponding por tion of the interview. As seen below in Table 6 , there is a wide range in word count for the interviews. Due to the structure of the interview, it can be expected the responses to Question 4 would solicit the highest number of words. This holds true for m ost, but not all students. Looking at the remaining questions, there is not a singular portion of the interview garnering the most interest from students. For instance, Hannah spend a considerable amount of time describing engineering ethics, while Intervi ew Question 1 represented little of Bradley gradient of responses to each question may provide some insight into what aspects of engineering ethics each student found most compelling.

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64 Table 6 Word Count Results across all Interviews Sherri Bradley Word Count % of Interview Word Count % of Interview I Q1 153 8.84 I Q1 156 6.74 I Q2 417 24.09 I Q2 644 27.81 I Q3 277 16.00 I Q3 546 23.58 I Q4 370 21.37 I Q4 206 8.89 I Q5 214 12.36 I Q5 493 21.29 I Q6 300 17.33 I Q6 271 11.70 Total 1731 Total 2316 John Charlotte Word Count % of Interview Word Count % of Interview I Q1 105 8.13 I Q1 846 21.85 I Q2 318 24.61 I Q2 708 18.29 I Q3 196 15.17 I Q3 422 10.90 I Q4 289 22.37 I Q4 1378 35.60 I Q5 117 9.06 I Q5 208 5.37 I Q6 267 20.67 I Q6 309 7.98 Total 1292 Total 3871 Nathan Julie Word Count % of Interview Word Count % of Interview I Q1 189 12.82 I Q1 372 12.66 I Q2 290 19.67 I Q2 371 12.62 I Q3 216 14.65 I Q3 375 12.76 I Q4 306 20.76 I Q4 921 31.34 I Q5 313 21.23 I Q5 748 25.45 I Q6 160 10.85 I Q6 152 5.17 Total 1474 Total 2939 Eric Kenneth Word Count % of Interview Word Count % of Interview I Q1 139 7.73 I Q1 412 8.32 I Q2 337 18.74 I Q2 755 15.26 I Q3 112 6.23 I Q3 556 11.23 I Q4 597 33.20 I Q4 2018 40.78 I Q5 113 6.28 I Q5 669 13.52 I Q6 500 27.81 I Q6 539 10.89 Total 1798 Total 4949 James Hannah Word Count % of Interview Word Count % of Interview I Q1 343 19.37 I Q1 477 27.40 I Q2 373 21.06 I Q2 288 16.54 I Q3 133 7.51 I Q3 275 15.80 I Q4 305 17.22 I Q4 483 27.74 I Q5 341 19.25 I Q5 95 5.46 I Q6 276 15.58 I Q6 123 7.06 Total 1771 Total 1741 Word count helps to provide insight for the personalized areas of interests. Looking at the total word percentage each interview question represents in the total word count reveals what topics students may have found to be most engaging. For some students, societal impact was paramount while other students expressed greater engagement when asked about improving engineering ethics education in the classroom. Considering the possiblly skewed appearance in

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65 some code categories through classical content analysis, word count informs whether one or two students may have fixated on that topic more than o thers. Classical content analysis and word count conducted as supplementary methods of analysis to constant comparative analysis provide more shape and context to the collection of interviews.

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66 CHAPTER V DISCUSSION AND IMPLC ATIONS FOR RESEARCH Discussion It is important to note the findings in this study are meant to provide a richer understanding of a sample of the students in this program. The educational context and experience of the sample of students in this program may not be generalizable to stude nts in other bioengineering or biomedical engineering programs. Ideally, this study may pr ovide useful base knowledge for faculty and administration in similar programs. The current study found that these s tudents demonstrated an awareness and appreciation for their chosen profession, and the impact it has on society (Grasso & Helble, 2000 ; Shuman, Besterfield Sacre, & McGourty, 2005 ) . The direct connection of bioengineering on human h ealth was readily acknowledged as was the cascading impact of seemingly small decisions (Heckert, 2000; McPhail, 2001) . Students respond ed positively when faculty share d professional ethical dilemmas in the classroom (Li & Fu, 2010) . Students are listening to these stories, mulling over quest ions raised in class, and taking the curiosity with them outside of the classroom. In many ways, the bioengineering department is responsible in helping to educate the next generation o f engineers, valuing knowledge of health , safety, and social implicatio ns. The findings and discussions in the study are important for the bioengineering department at this Midwestern university as the program is newly developed , and seeking to assess and implement new curriculum and practices. F ocus should be directed more towards engaging students in the subject of engineering ethics earlier in the program , and promoting awareness (Rabins, 1998; Li & Fu, 2010) . Although evaluating efficacy of classroom practices by measuring developmental ethical outcomes is valuable, it is not the onl y avenue worthy of investigation . Perhaps by first seek i ng to understand

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67 what interests students, program s can develop curriculum interventions resonating more with st udents, and possibly stimulate more personal ethical development (Holsapple et al., 2012) . Experiences in the classroom can be focused on facilitating awareness for engineering ethics, and providing positive learning experiences so students are motivated to learn more throughout their careers (Lynch, 1998) . Several of the most impactful experiences for students were brief discussions towards the end of the class, thus helping to downplay the idea curriculum must be massively overhauled to incorporate ethics (Clarkeburn, 2002; Loui, 2005; Colby & Sullivan, 2008; Li & Fu, 2010) . An engineering department culture which embrac es ethics education can build in brief learning moments throughout the curriculum by faculty engagement (li & Fu, 2010) . As a few students mentioned in their interviews, knowledge does not control actio ns (Clarkeburn, 2002) . Departments may seek for more effective engineering ethics education, but they cannot control the impact this will have once s tudents are in industry. T he objective should be to educate , encourage, and empower students to face the et hical dilemmas confronting them in their career. Perhaps the most valuable knowledge on the topic faculty can provide is conveying that ethics are important in engineerin g. They can help instill confidence in their students to confront and resolve these di lemmas . Faculty can introduce students to nuance in ethical dilemmas, and help student s mov e away from a confined, limited, and straightforward view of these problems ( Perlman & Varma, 2001; Loui, 2005; Shuman, Besterfield Sacre, & McGourty, 2005 ; Colby & Sullivan, 2008 ) . Creating a positive culture towards engineering ethics within a department may have a resonating effect on the students . Finally, incidence of gender discrepancies in engineering curriculum th r ough the use of the Essure case study are worth noting considering gender differences in response to moral

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68 dilemmas is not often noted in the literature (Self & Ellison, 1998; Drake, et al., 2005; Borenstein, et al., 2009; Loui & Hashemian, 2010; Finelli, et al., 2012) . As previous discussed, the sample size and occurrence of these discrepanc ies are too small to draw conclusions, but provide a powerful glimpse into why diversity in engineering is important. If women or any minoritized population are not part of the decisions effecting their he alth and safety, the modern environment wil l continue to be a place not designed for everyone. Limitations The limitations in this study include the sample size of students interviewed, and the uniform education experience of the students . While interviewi ng students from the same program helps to eliminate some external variables, the applicability of these findings may be narrow. Given the demographics and limited number of student participants in the study, it does not provide evidence to help increas e a nd support diversity within engineering program s . Given different cultural understandings of leadership and ethics, accounting for these varying viewpoints could provide useful data in improving inclusivity of programs (Northouse, 2016). The retrospective nature of the protocol could serve as both a strength and a weakness. As all students were interviewed during their senior year in the program , this prov ides a comprehensive view of their experience and what was most impactful to them and what experiences demonstrated longevity. Counter to this, only interviewing students in the senior year may be losing pivotal learning experiences that trigger interest, but are not remembered as relevant . If students were interviewed throughout t heir undergraduate degree, it could pr ovide data to support more minor changes in ethical development, and capture the catalyst of these changes. Additionally, some students may have more in depth responses when responding to

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69 written questions as opposed to one on one interviews. Ethical develop ment could also be explored via written assignments. Implications for Further Research If the avenue of continuous interviewing were to be explored , this intervention alone could impact the learning exp erience of students, as engineering ethics would repeatedly be brought to their attention . Considering time and resources, the most effective direction for further research is to continue interviewing seniors in the bioengineeri ng program with the expanded inclusion criteria . New findings from the continued analysis could again be compared against the growing body of literature. An interesting mixed methods future study could involve exploring the relationship between campus climate and population and how this understanding of engineering ethics. Given the diverse student body at t he public Midwestern university , it would be interesting to assess engineering students across the engineering college . A mixed methods approach w ould be beneficial in capturing a larger sample size, and some level of qualitative interviews would provide a level of insight often missed sole use of a survey instrument. Regardless of further study of only bioengineering students or the w hole engineeri ng college , the goal would be to better understand ethical development in engineering students and how to promote and foster this education . Conclusion Bioengineering students at t he public Midwestern university in the study appreciate the magnitude of their future professional work, a nd are now preparing to use newfound knowledge in their careers. The bioengineering department , as well as programs across the country, need to continue paying close attention to their engineerin g ethics education. The culture created inside

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70 these programs can foster great student inte rest in the subject, when led by faculty acknowledging its importance. As technology and the solution s to global problems become more complex, soci ety requires more from those willing to take on these challenges. Engineering students graduating within the twenty first century face solving even great er environmental and health problems. The conscious solution to many dilemmas presently faced by society may be rooted in the thoughtful and intentional ethical education of engineers.

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R eferences Astin, A. W., Vogelgesang, L. J., Ikeda, E. K., Yee, J. A. (2000). How service learning affects students. Higher Education, 144 . Bioengineering: A collaborative partnershi p between medicine and engineering (2017, March 23). Retrieved from http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/Engineering/Programs/bioengineering/Page s/Home.aspx Block, J. (2017, July 26). The battle over Essure . Washington Post . Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/style/2017/07/26/essure/ Borenstein, J., Drake, M., Kirkman, R., & Swann, J. (2009). The engineering and sciences issues test (ESIT): A discipline specific approach to assessing moral judgement. Science and Engineering Eth ics, 16, 387 407 . Butcher, M. P. (1984). Challenges to engineering education. IEEE Proceedings, 131 (9), 662 664. Clarkeburn, H. (2010). The aims and practices of ethics education in an undergraduate curriculum: Reasons for choosing a skills approach. Jou rnal of Further and Higher Education, 26 (4), 307 315. Colby, A., & Sullivan, W. M. (2008). Ethics teaching in undergraduate engineering education. Journal of Engineering Education, 7 , 327 338. Drake, M. J., Griffin, P. M., Kirkman, R., & Swann, J. L., (2 005). Engineering ethical curricula: Assessment and comparison of two approaches. Journal of Engineering Education , 4 , 223 231. Finelli, C. J., Holsapple, M. A., Ra, E., Bielby , R. M., Burt, B. A., Carpenter, D. D., Harding, T. S., & Sutkus , J. A. (2012). curricular and co curricular experiences and their ethical development. Journal of Engineering Education, 101 (3), 469 494. Fisher, J. (2004). Social responsibility and ethics: Clarifying the concepts. Journal of Bus iness Ethics, 52 , 391 400. Gallicano, T. (2013, July 22). An example of how to perform open coding, axial coding, and selective coding . Retrieved from https://prpost.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/an example of how to perform open coding axial coding and select ive coding/ Gilligan, C. & Attanucci, J. (1988). Two moral orientations: Gender differences and similarities. Merrill Palmer Quarterly , 34 , 223 237 .

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72 Grasso, D., & Helble, J. (2010). Holistic engineering and educational r eform. D. Grasso & M.B. Burkins (Eds.), Holistic Engineering Education (pp. 81 92). New York, NY : Springer Science. Haws, D. R. (2001). Ethics instruction in engineering education: A (mini) meta analysis. Journal of Engineering Ethics, 4 , 223 229. Hidi, S., & Anderson, V. (1992). Situational interest and its impact on reading and expository writing. In K. A. Renninger, S. Hidi, & A. Krapp (Eds.), The role of interest in learning and development ( 215 238). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Hidi, S., & Renninger, K . A. ( 2010 ). The four phase model of interest development. Educational Psychologist, 41 (2), 111 127. Hidi, S., Renninger, A., Krapp, A. (2004). Interest, a motivational variable that combines affective and cognitive functioning. In D. Y. Dai & R. J. Stern berg (Eds.), Motivation, emotion, and cognition ( 89 118). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Herkert, J. R. (2010). Engineering ethics education in the USA: Content, pedagogy, and curriculum. European Journal of Engineering Education , 2 5 (4) , 303 313. Holsapple, M. A., Carpenter, D. D., Sutkus, J. A., Finelli, C. J., & Harding, T. S. (2012). Framing faculty and student discrepancies in engineering ethics education delivery . Journal of Engineering Ethics, 101 (2), 169 186. Johnson, R. B. , & Christensen, L. (2017). Educational research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed a pproaches ( 6th ed . ) . Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage . Kohlberg, L. , & Hersh, H. H. (1977). Moral development: A r e view of the t heory. Theory Into Practice , 16 (2), 53 59. Kreiner, J., & Putcha, C. (2005). Ethical and professional issues facing engineers in global s ettings. In 4th ASEE/AaeE Global Colloquium on Engineering Education (p. 576) . Australasian Association of Engineering Education. Leech, N. L., & Onwuegbuzie , A. J. (2007). An array of qualitative data analysis tools: A call for data analysis triangulation. School Psychology Quarterly , 22 (4), 557 584. Li, J. & Fu, S. (2010). A systematic approach to engineering ethics education. Science and Engineering Ethics, 18 , 339 349. Loui, M. C. (2005). Ethics and the development of professional identities of engineering students. Journal of Engineering Ethics, 10 , 383 390.

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73 Loui, M. C., & feelings about professional responsibility?. Science and Engineering Ethics, 16 , 201 215. Lynch, W ., T. (Winter 1997/1998). Teaching engineering ethics in the United States. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine , 27 36. McPhail, K. (2001). The other objective of ethics education: Re humanising the accounting profession A study of ethics education in law, engineering, medicine and accountancy. Journal of Business Ethics, 34 , 279 298. Newberry, B. (2004) . The dilemma of ethics in engineering education. Science and Engineering Ethics, 10 (2), 343 351. Northouse, P. G. (2016). Leadership: Theory and practice (7th). Thousand Oaks, CA: S age Publications, Inc. Perlman, B., & Varma, R. (2001). Teaching engineering ethics. American Society for Engineering E ducation , 6 (1), 1 10. Rabins, M.J. (1998). Teaching engineering ethics to undergraduates: Why? What? How?. Science and Engineering Ethics , 4 (3) , 291 301. Renninger, K. A. (2000). Individual interest and its implications for understanding intrinsic motivation. In C. Sansone & J. M. Harackiewicz (Eds.), Intrinsic motivation: Controversies and new directions ( 373 404). NY : Academic Press. Renninger, K. A., & Hidi, S. (2002). Student interest and achievement: Developmental issues raised by a case study. In A. Wigfield & J. S. Eccles (Eds.), The development of achievement motivation ( 173 195). NY : Academic Press. Self, D., & Ellison, E.M. (1998). Teaching engineering ethics: Assessment of its influence on moral reasoning s kills. Journal of Engineering Education , 1 , 29 34. Shuman, L. J., Besterfield Can they be taught ? Can they be assessed?. Journal of Engineering Education, 1 , 41 55. St r auss, A., & Corbin, J. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory ( 2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage .

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74 APPENDIX A : Univers ity of Colorado Denver Colorado Multi Institutional Review Board (COMIRB) Approval

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75

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76 Appendix B : Question 6A Interview Excerpt with Open Codes The chunks are divided by topic in accordance with e chunk is delayed as a comment.