Engineering Ethics Toolkit: Get involved

Welcome

Thank you for your interest in being part of the EPC’s Engineering Ethics toolkit, produced in partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering. Please read on to find out how you can get involved.


“When I started to teach ethics, many years ago now, I felt alone… today we are a community who help and support each other. Together we can make ethics in engineering the core of the way we teach and practice engineering. This is why I would like to invite you to join such a vibrant and inclusive community.” – Raffaella Ocone, Chair of the Engineering Ethics Advisory Group

 

There are several ways that you can get involved and help to further develop this important resource:

  • Join our community of practice and become an ethics champion.
  • Contribute a teaching resource in the form of a guidance article, case study, case enhancement or other activity.
  • Become a reviewer.
  • Write a blog post.
  • Submit a testimonial or give feedback on our resources.
  • Suggest a link or other resource that we can add to the toolkit.

Join our community of practice

Could you be an ethics champion? Join our Ethics Ambassadors community.


The Ethics Ambassadors community was created in March 2023, to expand and develop the work and recommendations of the Engineering Ethics Advisory Group, on their completion of Phase 2 of the Engineering Ethics Toolkit.

The aims of the community are:

  • to champion the teaching of ethics within engineering courses and modules
  • to support educators integrating ethics teaching within engineering courses and modules
  • to share best practice in engineering ethics teaching
  • to identify and address needs within engineering ethics teaching
  • to source, review, develop and publish new materials for the Engineering Ethics Toolkit

To join Ethics Ambassadors, please complete this membership application form.

Contribute a case study

Contributors are sought to create fresh new case studies on current issues related to engineering ethics.


Case studies are one tool that can be used to address the context and impact of engineering ethics, and have been proven to be an effective teaching and learning method. We are seeking original case studies on current issues to add to our Engineering Ethics Toolkit.

Case study contributors will become part of the growing community of educators who are helping to ensure that tomorrow’s engineering professionals have the grounding in ethics that they need to provide a just and sustainable future for us all. Contributors will be fully credited for their work on any relevant Toolkit materials, and will be acknowledged as authors should the resources be published in any form. We also encourage contributors to submit their bio and photo to be published on our Contributors page

To ensure that everyone can use and adapt the Toolkit resources in a way that best fits their teaching or purpose, this work will be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Under this licence users are free to share and adapt this material, under terms that they must give appropriate credit and attribution to the original material and indicate if any changes are made.

Case studies on any topics related to engineering ethics are welcome. You may select or adapt one of these shown below, or choose your own.

  • Design / disposal of medical waste such as home Covid tests or masks, pill packaging, etc;
  • Genetically engineering mosquitoes or other animals to reduce or eliminate their reproduction;
  • Design / implantation of devices that control human health or biology, such as sleep/wake cycles, etc. (or another transhumanist topic);
  • Balancing human safety in public spaces at night with dark sky or animal health initiatives;
  • Transport issues (infrastructure, access, safety, etc.);
  • Artisanal or deep-sea mining and the connection to indigenous rights;
  • Equity and impact of flood or erosion mitigation solutions.

 

Guidelines for contributing a case study

Research:

You may develop the case study in any way you see fit, but you should mimic the length, style, and tone of existing case studies. Please review a couple case studies to get a feel for the format and the approach. Remember that the audience for these case studies is educators seeking to embed ethics within their engineering teaching.

Please see the current research on good practice in writing case studies, which you may find helpful as you develop your case, as well as our article on creating the perfect recipe for a case study.

Overview:

The case study should be presented as a narrative about an ethical issue in engineering. This issue should allow educators to address macroethical concerns (large-scale social, cultural, economic, environmental or political concerns) as well as microethical concerns (individual issues such as personal choices, professional practice, relationships, etc.). Additionally, there should be enough emphasis on the engineering part of the case so that technical material could be introduced. 

Authenticity:

Case studies are most effective when they feel like they are realistic, with characters that you can identify or empathise with, and with situations that do not feel fake or staged. Giving characters names and backgrounds, including emotional responses, and referencing real-life experiences help to increase authenticity.

Complexity of dilemma:

Many cases are either overly complicated so that they become overwhelming, or too straightforward so that they can be “solved” quickly. A good strategy is to try to develop multiple dimensions of a case, but not too many that it becomes unwieldy. Additionally, complexity can be added through different parts of the case so that instructors can choose a simpler or more complicated version.

Activities and resources:

You should provide a variety of suggestions for discussion points and activities to engage learners, as well as a list of reliable, authoritative open source online resources, to both help educators prepare and to enhance students’ learning. 

Format:

The case study should be structured using the following format:

  • Learning and teaching notes: This is an overview of the case and its dilemma, and how it relates to AHEP’s themes
  • Learning and teaching resources: You should provide a list of reliable, authoritative open source online resources that relate to the case and its dilemma. These can be from a variety of sources, such as academic institutions, journals, news websites, business, and so on. We suggest a minimum of five sources that help to provide context to the case and its dilemmas. You may want to flag up certain resources as suggested pre-reading for certain parts of the case, if you feel that this will enrich the learning experience.
  • Summary: This sets out the case’s initial situation and characters.
  • Dilemma – Part one: This elaborates on the case and provides the ethical dilemma for the character. 
  • Questions and activities: This is where you provide suggestions for discussions and activities related to the case and the dilemma.
  • Further dilemmas: Some case studies are sufficiently complex at one dilemma, but if the case requires it you can provide further parts (up to a maximum of six).
  • Further questions and activities: After each part, you should provide further suggestions for discussions and activities related to the case and the dilemma.
  • Assessment: If possible, suggest assessment opportunities for activities within the case, such as marking rubrics or example answers.
  • Keywords: On the submission form, you will be prompted to provide keywords as well as to choose from a menu of educational aims, ethical issues, and professional situations highlighted in the case. 

Before you submit, review this checklist:

  • Is there a strong narrative to the case? 
  • Can the topic be addressed at both a macroethical and microethical scale? 
  • Are there places where technical topics could be integrated?
  • Does the case have authentic characters and situations?
  • Is there a clear dilemma in the case? 
  • Does the case provide enough complexity to challenge users, but not so much that people might avoid engaging with it?
  • Are there sufficient activities and resources suggested?

Submitting your case study:

We suggest that you review the submission form in advance, as you create your case study, as some of the questions will help to inform your content. 

On the submission form you will be prompted to provide keywords, as well as to choose from a menu of educational aims, ethical issues, and professional situations highlighted in the case. 

Case studies should be submitted in Word file format (doc or docx). 

You may download a PDF of these guidelines here.

Contribute a case enhancement or other activity

Contributors are sought to create case enhancements that develop teaching materials for activities suggested in our case studies.


Case enhancements are teaching materials and resources that help educators to employ the ethics case studies and lead the activities referenced within them. Enhancements provide crucial guidance for those who may be teaching ethics-related material for the first time, or who are looking for new and different ways to integrate ethics into their teaching. They may take the form of discussion prompts, debate or role play scripts, technical content related to the ethical dilemma, worksheets, slides, or other similar materials. 

Case enhancement contributors will become part of the growing community of educators who are helping to ensure that tomorrow’s engineering professionals have the grounding in ethics that they need to provide a just and sustainable future for us all. Contributors will be fully credited for their work on any relevant Toolkit materials, and will be acknowledged as authors should the resources be published in any form. We also encourage contributors to submit their bio and photo to be published on our Contributors page

To ensure that everyone can use and adapt the Toolkit resources in a way that best fits their teaching or purpose, this work will be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Under this licence users are free to share and adapt this material, under terms that they must give appropriate credit and attribution to the original material and indicate if any changes are made.

Case enhancements sought for our published case studies are outlined below. You may propose additional or different enhancements according to your background and expertise. You may want to familiarise yourself with the relevant cases in order to determine where you can best contribute.

 

Guidelines for contributing a case enhancement

Research:

An enhancement can take whatever form you deem appropriate, such as a worksheet, slides, a script, or anything else. Keep in mind that your audience is an educator who wants to employ this in their classroom; what would they need to guide them in order to use the case study activity successfully? Also keep in mind that in order for us to publish the case enhancement on our website, we need a Word version.

Before you begin, you may want to review an existing case enhancement or two since we want to be consistent in style and format.

Purpose:

Imagine that you are an engineering educator who is new to ethics and new to using a case study. You turn to the case enhancement to help you employ the case study in your class. What guidance do you need to include to make this possible?

Presentation and clarity:

Depending on the enhancement, you might choose to provide worksheets, problem sets, or narrative prompts. 

Resources and guidance:

Depending on the topic, educators may need additional resources or guidance to support their use of the enhancement. For instance, background information may be required or a technical topic explained. 

Format:

The case enhancement should follow this format:

  • State which case study the enhancement applies to.
  • Overview: State which activity or discussion within the case study the enhancement expands upon. Give an overview of the activity, how it might be implemented, how long it might take, and any other relevant points.
  • Detail any specific materials or software required for the activity.
  • List any extra resources recommended in order to undertake the activity (you don’t need to list any of the resources that are already provided in  the original case study).
  • Explain the activity in as much detail as you think is required (this will vary depending on the type of content you are developing.) 
  • If possible, provide assessment guidance–marking rubrics, sample answers, etc.

Before you submit, review this checklist:

  • Does the enhancement help develop and expand on the ideas in the case study so that learners can engage with the topics more broadly or deeply? 
  • Is the enhancement explained in such a way that someone new to teaching ethics could understand how to use it? 
  • Is the material clearly introduced and described?
  • Is sufficient material provided so that educators can easily employ the enhancement?

Submitting your case enhancement:

We suggest that you review the submission form in advance, as you will be prompted to provide keywords. 

Case enhancements should be submitted in Word file format (doc or docx). 

You may download a PDF of these guidelines here.

 

Contribute a different activity

To contribute a different type of teaching and learning activity, please email Wendy Attwell with details: w.attwell@epc.ac.uk

Contribute a guidance article

Contributors are sought to create guidance articles on various topics related to engineering ethics education.


Guidance articles are intended to provide expertise in engineering ethics and how best to embed learning into teaching practice. They aim to help situate our case studies in an educational context and to signpost to additional research and resources on engineering ethics.

Guidance article contributors will become part of the growing community of educators who are helping to ensure that tomorrow’s engineering professionals have the grounding in ethics that they need to provide a just and sustainable future for us all. Contributors will be fully credited for their work on any relevant Toolkit materials, and will be acknowledged as authors should the resources be published in any form. We also encourage contributors to submit their bio and photo to be published on our Contributors page

To ensure that everyone can use and adapt the Toolkit resources in a way that best fits their teaching or purpose, this work will be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Under this licence users are free to share and adapt this material, under terms that they must give appropriate credit and attribution to the original material and indicate if any changes are made.

Guidance articles on any topics related to engineering ethics are welcome. You may select or adapt one of these shown below, or choose your own.

  • How ethics links to other competencies and skills
  • Getting comfortable with open-ended problems/questions related to ethics
  • Learning taxonomies and ethics education

 

Guidelines for contributing a guidance article

Research:

Before you begin, you may want to review the existing guidance articles, since we hope that contributions will be fairly consistent in length, style, tone, and approach. 

Guidance articles are meant to be overviews that a reader with no prior knowledge of engineering ethics could refer to in order to develop a baseline understanding and learn where to look for additional information. 

They should be approximately 500-1000 words and reference relevant resources (ideally open source), especially existing resources in the Engineering Ethics Toolkit. Use Harvard referencing.

Overview:

The articles are meant to be able to stand on their own as a piece of guidance on a topic; they are also meant to work alongside the other guidance articles so that taken together they form a sort of engineering ethics education handbook. 

Purpose:

Each article should inform, explain, and provide guidance on the topics. Put yourself in the perspective of an engineering educator who is new to ethics. 

Content:

The content of the article should be organised and well developed. That is, it should be presented in a logical way and thoroughly explained. 

References and resources:

Where additional explanation could be given, it might point to other resources, and where information is presented from another source, it needs to be properly referenced. It should especially point to other existing resources in the Toolkit. Resources should ideally be online and open source. Use Harvard referencing.

Format:

Guidance articles should follow this format:

  • Premise.
  • Body of article, divided up into headed sections as necessary.
  • Conclusion (optional).
  • References: use Harvard referencing.
  • Resources (ideally online and open source).

Before you submit, review this checklist:

  • Does the article both make sense as a single piece of guidance as well as fit in with the rest of the articles?
  • Would someone new to ethics understand the information presented and would it help them? 
  • Do you need to expand on any ideas or reorganise them to make them clearer?
  • What additional resources or references have you included? 

Submitting your guidance article:

We suggest that you review the submission form in advance, as some of the questions will help to inform your content. On the submission form you will be prompted to provide keywords.

Case studies should be submitted in Word file format (doc or docx). 

You may download a PDF of these guidelines here.

Become a reviewer

Reviewers are sought to evaluate and approve content submitted for inclusion in the Engineering Ethics Toolkit.


We are seeking academics and other engineering professionals to review the various case studies, enhancements, guidance articles and other resources that are submitted to us for publication within the Engineering Ethics Toolkit. 

To become a reviewer for the Engineering Ethics Toolkit, please complete this application form.

 

Contribute a blog

Contributors are sought to write blog posts on various topics related to engineering ethics.


We are seeking academics and other engineering professionals to write blog posts on various topics related to engineering ethics education, including their experience of using the Engineering Ethics Toolkit. Blog posts can be formal or informal, short and on a single topic, or longer and more considered. All blog contributors will be invited to submit their bio and photo to be published on our Contributors page

To suggest or discuss a blog post topic, please contact Wendy Attwell.

You can submit your blog here.

Provide a testimonial or give feedback

Testimonials are sought from educators who have used materials from the Engineering Ethics Toolkit.


If you are an educator who has used materials from the toolkit with your students, we’d love to hear from you.

Please tell us what worked, what didn’t, what you loved, what is missing, and what could be improved.

You can do this by simply sending us an email, or, if your feedback is positive and you would be happy for us to use it to promote the toolkit, you could write us a more formal testimonial or a blog post, or even submit a short video (remember to get any permissions that you might need).

You can submit feedback and testimonials by emailing Wendy Attwell at w.attwell@epc.ac.uk

If you have previously contributed an article, case study, or enhancement to the toolkit, please fill out our feedback form here.

Suggest an engineering ethics link or resource

Suggestions are sought, of resources that we can add to the Engineering Ethics Toolkit.


We are seeking online, free, and open source resources that we can add to the Engineering Ethics Toolkit.

This could be something that you’ve created to use in your teaching, a useful worksheet that you found online, a resource that we can add to a case study, or a link to an external guidance article.

Please submit engineering ethics resource and link suggestions to Wendy Attwell at w.attwell@epc.ac.uk

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