Ethics and Technical Assessment after a Disaster: An Ongoing Case Study

TitleEthics and Technical Assessment after a Disaster: An Ongoing Case Study
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsMattei, N
Book TitleStructures Congress 2009
Date Published2009
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number978-0-7844-1031-8
AbstractA method to evaluate students’ application of sustainability principles into engineering design and problem solving was developed. Students were presented with two challenge questions that each posed a scenario. Students responded to one question and their answers were scored using a rubric that combined both analytic and holistic scoring criteria to account for sustainability principles. The rubric was iteratively developed and met standard measures of reliability and validity. Based on responses from primarily civil and environmental engineering students at three institutions, it was found that male students, seniors, and participants in many diverse learning activities (extracurricular service, internships, undergraduate research, and engineering design courses) achieved higher rubric scores. Scores on the challenge questions did not correlate to students’ interests in sustainable engineering, which were measured using a Likert-based survey. A challenge-question approach to formative assessment may enable instructors to adapt curricula to foster student learning of implicit sustainability issues in engineering. The rubric may be used with a diversity of content-focused challenge questions as a tool for assessing students’ holistic, sustainability-focused approaches to engineering.