Democracy in Engineering Education Do we need ethics or sustainability in engineering? How to decide on…
The development and implementation of new technologies impact society on many different levels, from the individual perspective to large-scale societal effects (Nathan et al., 2008). As acknowledged, all designs embed and manifest certain values and ethics, and may, for good and for bad, support or undermine other people’s values (Knobel & Bowker, 2011, Tromp et al., 2011). Developers of technologies play an important role in shaping the society and ought to take responsibility for their work by reflectively considering and intentionally working with values and ethical implications of their work.
The importance of creating an increased awareness of the role that values play in the design and development of technologies have previously been addressed, including initiatives such as value sensitive design (Friedman & Hendry, 2019), values in design (Nissenbaum, 2005), values at play (Belman et al., 2009), and values-led participatory design (Iversen & Leong, 2012). These have primarily been developed for research and development purposes, offering methods for professionals to practically work with values in design and development processes.
However, not only professionals but also design and engineering students should learn how to intentionally work with values to become responsible and ethical developers of future technologies. Addressing values in education is currently gaining increased attention. Still, many teachers face the challenge of how to incorporate the values perspective in the classroom. To meet this challenge, we have developed an online Open Educational Resource (OER) targeting teachers in higher education (https://teachingforvaluesindesign.eu). The OER offers a collection of teaching and assessment activities that support teachers who are interested in teaching for values in design and development as part of their pedagogical practices.
The OER is developed by the project Value sensitive design in higher education (VASE, http://vase.mau.se), which is based on a collaboration between teachers, researchers, and educational developers at Malmö University (Sweden), Aarhus University (Denmark) and Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands). The materials included in the OER have been iteratively developed and tested in 38 pilots involving 50 teachers and 1 563 students across four countries. Results from the pilots show that students became aware of their own and stakeholders’ values present in a project. They learned how to negotiate values with stakeholders, contextualize values in different use situations, and apply values in their process and projects. The values perspective guided students to find focus in their projects and argue for choices in their processes.
Welcome to a webinar presenting the OER
The OER will officially be launched at a webinar on August 26, 2021, 3.30-6 pm (CEST) where we will present and discuss the OER as one possible framework for how the topic of values in design and development programmes could be taught. For more information and registration link: https://vase.mau.se/final-event/
In case you are interested in joining a community of teachers interested in the topic, join the LinkedIn group “Teaching for values in design in higher education”, https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9043787/
The VASE project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.