Delta Brownbag Discussion with Kristyn Masters

The Delta Teaching Adventures and Outcomes Brownbag Series takes place monthly, and provides a forum for science educators across campus to present their "teaching experiments" and instructional materials, discuss issues around teaching, share valuable resources, and get to know many other instructors who are interested in innovative teaching. Here's the information about this monthÕs brownbag, and we hope to see you there!

Professor Kristyn Masters
Department of Biomedical Engineering, UW-Madison

"Adventures in Teaching Ethics to Engineers: Finding Ways to Incorporate Discussions of Ethical and Social Issues into STEM Courses"

Wednesday, October 24, 2007 (12:00 - 1:00pm)
Location: Science House, 1645 Linden Drive (next to Babcock Dairy)

Abstract: There is a significant demand by many levels of individuals - ranging from undergraduate students to accreditation boards and future employers - to educate students about the ethical, social, and global implications of their actions as engineers/scientists. However, in the absence of formalized ethics education, most students graduate from STEM fields with only a cursory understanding of these issues and little experience in making ethical decisions related to their discipline/profession. While many STEM instructors have a strong desire to incorporate ethical, social, and global issues into their courses, there are many challenges to doing so, including:

1) Instructor hesitancy to teach about issues in which they may have little or no training,
2) The difficulty of finding out the 'best' ways to teach these topics and subsequent development of new course materials, and
3) Already-packed syllabi that allow little room for introduction of new (and non-technical) topics.

In this presentation, I will discuss my experiences in teaching a class on political, ethical, and social issues in biomedical engineering, and how I have translated some of those experiences to develop easy-to-use content modules which address the aforementioned obstacles and may be useful in achieving ethics education across the curriculum.

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Tags: Presentation, Ethics