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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 23, 2024
  2. This Work-In-Progress paper seeks to continue the development of a framework with which to organize engineering ethics instructional approaches. We build on a recent coding framework that was developed as part of a systematic review of US post-secondary engineering ethics education literature. We apply and iterate on the framework by analyzing the 2016 National Academy of Engineering report, “Infusing Ethics into the Development of Engineers: Exemplary Education Activities and Programs,” which includes two-page synopses of 25 exemplary ethics programs. By applying the framework to these exemplars, we aim to identify prominent instructional approaches utilized across NAE exemplars and the extent to which NAE exemplars’ instructional approaches differ from those identified in the prior systematic review. This WIP has three preliminary outcomes: (1) identification of trends in instructional design approaches across the NAE exemplars, (2) comparison of the instructional design approaches of NAE exemplars with the prior systematic review, and (3) identification of next steps needed to develop a more holistic picture of how ethics is taught in US post-secondary engineering contexts. Example revisions to the coding framework involved combining community-engagement and real-world exposure, broadening micro-insertion to sociotechnical integration, and coding for explicit mentoring components of instruction. A future research step involves further specification of these codes to detail how the NAE exemplars applied select instructional approaches, including heuristics, ethical theories, and case studies, and real-world engagement. 
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  3. This WIP paper describes a team approach to phenomenography on ethical engineering practice in the health products industry and its potential impact on research quality. Although qualitative researchers often conduct phenomenography collaboratively, most often a single individual leads the data collection and analysis; others primarily serve as critical reviewers. However, quality may be enhanced by involving collaborators as data analysts in “sustained cycles of scrutiny, debate and testing against the data” [1, p. 88], thus interweaving unique perspectives and insights throughout the analysis process. Nonetheless, collaborating in this intensive data analysis process also presents unique challenges. In this paper, we (1) describe the processes we are applying in an integrated team-based phenomenographic study, (2) identify how the team approach affects research quality, and (3) reflect on the challenges inherent to this process. We ground this reflective case study in the methodological literature on phenomenography. Our team strategies include multiple interviewers (and, when possible, two interviewers per inter-view), team communication through reflective memos, and integration of individual and team-based data analysis with peer critique of individual analyses. We compare our team approach with typical individual phenomenographic approaches, and we align our procedures with the five strategies of the Qualifying Qualitative Research Quality Framework, or Q3, designed by Walther, Sochacka, and Kellam [2]. In aligning strategies, we consider benefits and trade-offs. 
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  4. This Work-in-Progress Research paper describes (1) the contemporary research space on ethics education in engineering; (2) our long-term research plan; (3) the theoretical underpinnings of Phase 1 of our research plan (phenomenography); and (4) the design and developmental process of a phenomenographic interview protocol to explore engineers’ experiences with ethics. Ethical behavior is a complex phenomenon that is complicated by the institutional and cultural contexts in which it occurs. Engineers also have varied roles and often work in a myriad of capacities that influence their experiences with and understanding of ethics in practice. We are using phenomenography, a qualitative research approach, to explore and categorize the ways engineers experience and understand ethical engineering practice. Specifically, phenomenography will allow us to systematically investigate the range and complexity of ways that engineers experience ethics in professional practice in the health products industry. Phenomenographic data will be obtained through a specialized type of semi-structured interview. Here we introduce the design of our interview protocol and its four sections: Background, Experience, Conceptual, and Summative. We also describe our iterative process for framing questions throughout each section. 
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