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Using Case Studies to Teach Engineering Design and Ethics

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1 Using Case Studies to Teach Engineering Design and Ethics
Larry G. Richards and Michael E. Gorman University of Virginia ASEE 2004: Session 3441

2 Case Studies What are Cases?
a narrative account of a situation, problem, or decision usually derived from actual experience reflect real-world concerns

3 And why should we use them?
Case Studies And why should we use them? To develop higher level thinking skills beyond rote learning require analysis, judgment, decisions perspective taking, role playing independent thought, critical thinking

4 And why should we use them?
Case Studies And why should we use them? To expose students to realistic situations open ended problems multiple possible answers key decision points tradeoffs involved in practice

5 Approaches to developing knowledge and skills (Shapiro)
Lectures and readings “acquiring knowledge and becoming informed about techniques” Exercises and problem sets “the initial tools for exploring the applications and limitations of techniques”

6 Approaches to developing knowledge and skills (Shapiro)
Case method “development of philosophies, approaches and skills” Extend the learning experience beyond the classroom and laboratory.

7 University of Virginia Cases
Darden case library Invention and design Environmental design Ethics Systems engineering Integrated Product Development

8 Focus on Ethics Moral reasoning Mental Models Moral Imagination

9 Mental models Mental representations, internal images or verbal codings of experience, cognitive frameworks Set the parameters through which experience is filtered and organized “May limit us to familiar ways of thinking and acting” “inhibit consideration of alternatives”

10 Limited perspectives Standard solutions Accepted ways of doing things
Compartmentalized expertise Corporate culture

11 Moral imagination “Moral imagination involves recognizing the role, scheme, or mental model that one is adopting, disengaging from it, and evaluating alternative perspectives and courses of action.” Gorman, Mehalik, Werhane, p.2

12 Real life cases “…students need to see multiple examples of how ethical dilemmas are handled in the real world” “They also need to see the kind of detailed information available to actual decision makers.” Gorman, Mehalik, Werhane, p.1

13 Case study approach “Cases constitute a kind of virtual apprenticeship, in which students can apply ethical principles to actual situations and discuss the outcomes with each other and with a faculty mentor.” Gorman, Mehalik, Werhane, p.2

14 Some Ethical Issues in Engineering Practice
Best design standards Patent infringement Product liability Environmental Sustainability Appropriate technology Engineering disasters

15 The Westinghouse Example
John Kamauff (graduate student) Landel and Richards (faculty advisors) Funded by National Consortium for Technology in Business (ASEE and AACSB)

16 Westinghouse Case Introduce new philosophy
Integrated product development Mandated by management Required organizational changes within the company How to build trust among all the parties

17 Westinghouse Case Traditional functional areas
Marketing Manufacturing Design Engineering Systems design and development Quality assurance Different roles; different perspectives Now must work on multidisciplinary teams.

18 DesignTex, Inc Matt Mehalik (graduate student)
Mike Gorman, Andrea Larson, Patricia Werhane (faculty) Based on the work of William McDonough Design of environmentally friendly fabrics.

19 McDonough Former Dean of Architecture at UVA
Major proponent of sustainable design Two principles: Waste equals food Cradle to cradle design Environmentally intelligent

20 Details of the DesignTex case
Design and manufacture of textiles for commercial interiors Steelcase office furniture Portfolio collection Rohner Textil Suppliers (dyes, materials)

21 DesignTex case Sue Lyons (VP of DesignTex)
William McDonough (architect/designer) Michael Braungart (chemist) Albin Kalin (Rohner Textil)

22 Issues involved in the case
Sustainability Aesthetics Standards Industrial ecology Production processes Costs Tradeoffs

23 Changing jobs Mini-cases developed by B. Garrey and M. Gorman, 2002.
An engineer moving from one company to another A group of engineers moving from one company to another.

24 Changing jobs Initial description seems to lead to a fairly clear cut decision. But as details are added, the situation becomes murkier. At the end of the discussion, Mr. Garrey gives students: Tips on how to change jobs without getting sued. Tips on working for your new employer

25 “..case method is the best pedagogy to teach design, environmental engineering, managerial, and engineering ethics” Gorman, Mehalik, Werhane (2000)

26 Books about Cases Aldridge, M.D. and Swamidass, P.M. (1996) Cross-Functional Management of Technology: Cases and Readings Richard D. Irwin, Chicago. Bruner, Robert F. (2003) Socrates’ Muse: Reflections on Effective Case Discussion Leadership, McGraw-Hill/Irwin Christensen, C. R. and Hansen, A.J. (1987) Teaching and the Case Method Harvard Business School, Boston. Gorman, M. E., Mehalik, M. M., and Werhane, P. H. (2000) Ethical and Environmental Challenges to Engineering Prentice Hall

27 Articles on Engineering Cases
Petroski, Henry (1991). Human Error and the Case for Case Histories in Design. Journal of Engineering Design Vol. 2, No. 1, pgs Raju, P.K. and Sankar, C.S. (1999) Teaching Real – World Issues through Case Studies. Journal of Engineering Education October Pgs 501 – 508. Richards, L.G. Gorman, M.E., Scherer, W.T. and Landel, R.D. (1995) Promoting Active Learning with Cases and Instructional Modules Journal of Engineering Education Vol. 84, No. 4, pgs

28 Resources on Engineering Ethics
Harris, C.E., Pritchard, M.S., and Rabins, M.J. (1999) Engineering Ethics: Concepts and Cases Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Lynch, W.T. (1997) “Teaching Engineering Ethics in the United States” IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, (Winter), Self, D.J. and Ellison, E.M. (1998) “Teaching Engineering Ethics: Assessment of its Effects on Moral Reasoning Skills” Journal of Engineering Education 87(1), Werhane, P. (1999) Moral Imagination and Managerial Decision-Making, New York : Oxford University Press.

29 Additional resources Evan, William M. and Manion, Mark (2002) Minding the Machines: Preventing Technological Disasters Prentice Hall PTR, Upper Saddle River, N.J. Chapter 8 provides “Twelve Exemplary Case Studies of Technological Disasters”, coupled with Chapter 9 these could be used as cases. Fitzgerald, Neil “Teaching with Cases” ASEE Prism, March 1995, Vol. 4, # 7,  Petroski, Henry (1994) Design Paradigms: Case Histories of Error and Judgment in Engineering, Cambridge University Press.


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