Increasing student awareness of ethical, social, legal, and economic implications of technology

Eric J. Guilbeau, Vincent Pizziconi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The accreditation criteria for engineering programs require that the curriculum introduce students to the ethical, social, economic and safety issues arising from the practice of engineering. Graduates must also demonstrate competence in written and oral communication skills. This paper describes a bioengineering course we developed at Arizona State University to satisfy these criteria and also meet the literacy and critical inquiry requirement of the university. The primary goal of the course is to increase the students' awareness of the global `societal' issues arising from the development and use of bioengineering technology. Secondary goals include improvement of skills in literacy and critical inquiry, oral communication, and teaming. We use cooperative learning to ensure student participation, creative controversy to stimulate interest in the topics being discussed, and TQM tools to enhance team performance. This paper describes the course content, its organization and structure, the methods used to assess student performance, and the strategies we use to facilitate learning. We also discuss how students have reacted to the course and our experiences in delivering the course.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-45
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Engineering Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Engineering


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