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Work is described on a National Science Foundation grant that supports the development, assessment, and dissemination of ldquomicro-insertionrdquo problems designed to integrate ethics into the graduate engineering curriculum. In contrast to traditional modular approaches to ethics pedagogy, micro-insertions introduce ethical issues by means of a ldquolow-doserdquo approach. Following a description of the micro-insertion approach, we outline the workshop structure being used to teach engineering faculty and graduate students how to write micro-insertions for graduate engineering courses, with particular attention to how the grant develops engineering students' (and faculty members') ability to communicate across disciplinary boundaries. We also describe previous and planned methods for assessing the effectiveness of micro-insertions. Finally, we explain the role that technical communication faculty and graduate students are playing as part of the grant team, specifically in developing an Ethics In-Basket that will disseminate micro-insertions developed during the grant.
Date of Publication: March 2009