ASEE Zone 2 Conference 2017

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Synthesizing Engineering Ethics and Communication Via Active Learning Exercises

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Enriching engineering courses and curricula with ethics- and communication-related content can be a challenge for even the most accomplished educators. While some institutions devote standalone courses to one or both of these subjects, others choose to infuse these subjects into existing technical courses, meaning the vehicles for such infusion must be portable and relatively simple. This workshop will discuss several best practices for engaging students in rich discussions of professional ethics and communication and will lead workshop participants through three brief, low-stakes, active-learning exercises: “The Propeller Car Letter: Writing to a Misguided Reader,” “The Pendergrass Email: Choose Your Own Adventure!,” and “Space Shuttle Challenger Document Analysis and Discussion.” Although the workshop facilitator has devised and uses these exercises in a technical-communication course housed within a college of engineering, the exercises’ portability and simplicity mean they can be easily imported into technical courses. Workshop participants will receive copies of all workshop materials, including the active-learning exercises, along with guidance on how to incorporate the materials into their own courses and curricula.


John Brocato    
Bagley College of Engineering
Mississippi State University
United States


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