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Engineering ethics mindset: fostering cognitive change in ICT studies
  • Aurelio Ruiz-García,
  • Mireia López Álvarez,
  • Davinia Hernández-Leo
Aurelio Ruiz-García

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Mireia López Álvarez
Davinia Hernández-Leo


1) Contribution: Course aimed at addressing the documented enculturation process in engineering education, which leads to a cognitive dissonance in students between technical and social dimensions, immobilizing the latter. From a learning design perspective, resolving this cognitive dissonance requires the development of learning strategies targeted at achieving a conceptual change. We argue that the minimum needed prior knowledge for this change to happen is already present in students. 2) Background: Engineering education does not happen in isolated but social contexts and is, subsequently, inherently sociotechnical. Despite the growing recognition of the necessity to promote a broader comprehension of engineering identities, there is a disparity in the way curricula are effectively designed and implemented, if they are. The intricate nature of ethics within engineering, encompassing individual, institutional, and cultural dimensions, requires approaches that are both transformative and feasible. 3) Intended Outcomes: The course was designed following the ICAP (Interactive, Constructive, Active, and Passive) framework on cognitive engagement with a focus on mobilizing existing prior knowledge in both technical and social realms, and assessing its impact on students' approach to learning and their identity as engineers. 4) Application Design: The examination of pre-and post-learning tasks embedded in the learning design indicates that the deliberate activation of students' pre-existing knowledge in ethical, political, cultural, and social domains enhances their awareness of their cognitive dissonance. 5) Findings: The findings suggest that the course activates students' pre-existing knowledge, fostering awareness of cognitive dissonance, and encouraging purposeful engagement with broader knowledge when tackling engineering challenges.
29 Feb 2024Submitted to TechRxiv
04 Mar 2024Published in TechRxiv