The role of role-play in student awareness of the social dimension of the engineering profession

Diana Adela Martin, Eddie Conlon, Brian Bowe

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Abstract

The article aims to expand upon traditional case based instruction through role-play and to explore the effectiveness of the approach in raising students’ awareness of the social dimension of the engineering profession. For this purpose, we added a contextual description to the case study Cutting Roadside Trees driven by a macroethical outlook. Our contribution draws on an exercise based on the contextualised case study in which 80 students at Technological University Dublin participated. The results gathered show that role-playing contributed to complex student responses to the scenario and an awareness of the social factors that are part of engineering practice and which can constrain or enable decision-making. We suggest that exposing students to the perspectives of the different stakeholders that are involved in engineering professional practice can contribute to their understanding of the social context of engineering practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)882-905
Number of pages24
JournalEuropean Journal of Engineering Education
Volume44
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ethics education
  • Case studies
  • Stakeholders
  • Professional education
  • Engineering ethics
  • professional practice
  • case studies
  • macroethics
  • role-play

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