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  1. This Innovative Practice Full Paper presents a novel, narrative, game-based approach to introducing first-year engineering students to concepts in ethical decision making. Approximately 250 first-year engineering students at the University of Connecticut played through our adventure, titled Mars: An Ethical Expedition, by voting weekly as a class on a presented dilemma. Literature shows that case studies still dominate learning sciences research on engineering ethical education, and that novel, active learning-based techniques, such as games, are infrequently used but can have a positive impact on both student engagement and learning. In this work, we suggest that games are a form of situated (context-based) learning, where the game setting provides learners with an authentic but safe space in which to explore engineering ethical choices and their consequences. As games normalize learning through failure, they present a unique opportunity for students to explore ethical decision making in a non-judgmental, playful, and safe way.We explored the situated nature of ethical decision making through a qualitative deconstruction of the weekly scenarios that students engaged with over the course of the twelve-week narrative. To assess their ethical reasoning, students took the Engineering Ethics Reasoning Instrument (EERI), a quantitative engineering ethics reasoning survey, at the beginning and end of the semester. The EERI scenarios were deconstructed to reveal their core ethical dilemmas, and then common elements between the EERI and our Mars adventure were compared to determine how students responded to similar ethical dilemmas presented in each context.We noted that students' responses to the ethical decisions in the Mars adventure scenarios were sometimes substantially different both from their response to the EERI scenario as well as from other decisions they made within the context of the game, despite the core ethical dilemma being the same. This suggests that they make ethical decisions in some situations that differ from a presumed abstract understanding of post-conventional moral reasoning. This has implications for how ethical reasoning can be taught and scaffolded in educational settings. 
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  2. Process safety is at the heart of operation of many chemical processing companies. However, the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has still documented over 800 investigations of process safety failures since the year 2000. While not all of these incidents were severe, some did lead to employee injuries or death and environmental harm. As a result, chemical engineering companies are increasingly dedicated to process safety through training programs and detailed vigilance as part of their operations practice. AIChE and OSHA also offer courses in process safety to help support the industry. These efforts illustrate the paramount importance that chemical engineering graduates have an appreciation and understanding of process safety as they transition from their degree program into industrial positions. Previous studies have shown that despite difficulties due to course load constraints, process safety has been incorporated into chemical engineering curriculum through either the addition of new courses, incorporation of the content within existing classes, or a combination of the two methods. A review performed in Process Safety Progress suggested that a key step for departments moving forward is to perform an assessment of the process safety culture within their institution in order to determine how faculty and students view process safety. An issue with completing this task is the lack of assessment tools that can be used to determine how students are developing their understanding of process safety decision making. This observation led to the development of the Engineering Process Safety Research Instrument (EPSRI). This instrument is modeled after the Defining Issues Test version 2 (DIT2) and the Engineering Ethical Reasoning Instrument (EERI). Similar to these instruments, the EPSRI provides dilemmas, three decisions, and 12 additional considerations that individuals must rate based on their relative importance to their decision making process. The dilemmas developed in the EPSRI are based on case studies and investigations from process safety failures that have occurred in industry to provide a realistic context for the decision making decisions that engineers may be faced with upon employment. The considerations provided after the scenario are derived to reflect pre-conventional, conventional, and post-conventional decision making thinking as described by Kohlberg’s Moral Development Theory. Pre-conventional decision making thinking focuses particularly on what is right/wrong or good/bad from an individual level, whereas post-conventional thinking seeks to determine what is correct from moral and value perspectives at the society level. This WIP paper describes the content validity study conducted while developing the EPSRI. Dilemmas were examined by context experts including professionals in the process industry, chemical engineering departments, and learning sciences field. Content experts reviewed the dilemmas and determined whether they represented accurate examples of process safety decision making that individuals may face in real-world engineering settings. The experts also reviewed the 12 considerations for each dilemma for their accuracy in capturing pre-conventional, conventional and post-conventional thinking. This work represents the first step in the overall instrument validation that will take place over the next academic year. 
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