Ethics education and the drive to produce ethical professional engineers is an important focus of one body of research on engineering education. This research often defines the positive outcome of ethics education as students and professional engineers choosing not to engage in unethical behavior. This paper discusses a portion of a larger research project and details efforts to identify and validate a definition of ethical behavior that includes the decision to engage in a positive behavior, defined as a service to a larger community. Through a series of interviews and focus groups with engineering administrators, faculty, and students, the authors attempt to confirm the construct validity of service participation as ethical behavior. They also investigate the validity of the aspects of service participation to be included as a part of a national survey on engineering ethics education practices and outcomes. They then discuss the final steps that will be taken to test and further validate the development of the service participation portion of the survey.


Materials Science and Engineering

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