Collaborative learning in engineering ethics

Joseph R. Herkert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


This paper discusses collaborative learning and its use in an elective course on ethics in engineering. Collaborative learning is a form of active learning in which students learn with and from one another in small groups. The benefits of collaborative learning include improved student performance and enthusiasm for learning, development of communication skills, and greater student appreciation of the importance of judgment and collaboration in solving real-world problems such as those encountered in engineering ethics. Collaborative learning strategies employed in the course include informal small group discussions/problem solving, role-playing exercises, and cooperative student group projects, including peer grading. Student response to these techniques has been highly favorable. Realizing the benefits of collaborative learning is a challenge to both teachers, who must give up some control in the classroom, and students, who must be willing to take greater responsibility for their learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-462
Number of pages16
JournalScience and engineering ethics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997


  • Case studies
  • Collaborative learning
  • Cooperative learning
  • Engineering ethics
  • Group projects
  • Peer grading
  • Role-playing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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