How to integrate ethical aspects in a technical course - The example Project semester including the bachelor thesis project: Secure Mobile Systems

How to integrate ethical aspects in a technical course - The example Project semester including the bachelor thesis project: Secure Mobile Systems

E. Palm, E. Törnqvist (2015).  How to integrate ethical aspects in a technical course - The example Project semester including the bachelor thesis project: Secure Mobile Systems. 9.

The aim of the course is to create understanding for how to be an engineer; this is achieved by imitating the situation many engineers face when they are introduced into the workplace. As a new employee at a company, it is often many things the student need to learn in a short amount of time.

In the course the students are expected to take on the role of a new employee in a company. They are expected to learn about the technical-, group-and project aspects that are needed for working within the company. The student is expected to live up to the company's requirements for technical solutions, professional communication with customers and internal requirements.

They learn to cooperate actively with the project members/customers/experts with different backgrounds and knowledge and see how organizations influence the structure of the team and the individual's freedom of action. In addition, they must learn to see the big picture and thus reflect on societal and ethical aspects.

They also gain knowledge of the organization's significance from an economic perspective and how organization affects the team structure and process which in turn can affect an individual's freedom of action and behavior.

The course is connected the CDIO Syllabus v2.0 in that sense that the student shall • construct an architectural plan for a large technological system taking into account, inter alia, economic (in terms of time frames)-, social-ethical-, business-and business conditions. • create a larger technical system based on analyses and evaluations of existing partial solutions. • evaluate a subset of an implemented project deeper into an independent project. • describe some basic normative ethical theories, principles and concepts. • describe and reflect on social science theories of risk and communication, especially in relation to technology and technological development. • apply the ethical, psychological and social sciences perspective on group a concrete case. • apply basic normative ethical theories, principles and concepts on societal information technology cases satisfactorily. • from an ethical perspective, reflect on societal issues related to the use of information technology, particularly with respect to issues of priority, security and risk.

Keywords: applied ethics, learning to be, CDIO Syllabus v.2.0, integration, project course, soft skills.

Proceedings of the 11th International CDIO Conference, Chengdu, China, June 8-11 2015

Authors (New): 
Elin Palm
Eva Törnqvist
Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
applied ethics
learning to be
project courses
Soft Skills
CDIO Standard 2
Denning, P. J. (2006a): Hastily Formed Networks. Communication of the ACM. April 2006/Vol. 49. No. 4.: 
Denning, P. J. & Hayes-Roth, R. (2006b): Decision Making in Very Large Networks. Communication of the ACM. November 2006/Vol. 49. No. 11: 
Lundberg, J., Törnqvist, E. & Nadjm-Tehrani, S. (2014): Establishing conversation spaces in hastily formed networks: the worst fire in modern Swedish history. Disasters. October 2014/Vol 38. No 4: 
Myndigheten för samhällsskydd och beredskap (Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency), MSB (2006): Skogsbrand i focus. Seminar documentation 28−29 November 2006: 
Palm, E., Nordgren, A., Verweij, M. & Collste, G. (2013): Ethically Sound Technology? Guidelines for interactive ethical assessment of personal health monitoring. In: Schmidt S & Rienhoff O (eds). Interdisciplinary Assessment of Personal Health Monitoring. Amsterdam: IOS Press, pp. 105-114, 2013: 
Palm, E. and S.O. Hansson (2006), The Case for Ethical Technology Assessment (eTA), Technological Forecasting and Social Change 73, 543–558.: 
Schot, S. (2001), Constructive Technology Assessment as Reflexive Technology Politics, In: Technology and ethics: a European quest for responsible engineering, Peeters, Leuven.: 
Go to top