Flipped Classroom Storytelling with Deep Media: “Ethics in Engineering” from Purdue University and the University of Central Florida

Concurrent Session 11
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

Engineering has philosophical underpinnings, when it comes to the ethics of design and development of our built world. University of Central Florida Assistant Professor of Philosophy Jonathan Beever teamed up with professors from Engineering professors at Purdue University to create a flipped classroom curriculum called “Ethics of Engineering Design and Development”. With underwriting from the National Science Foundation, the inter-university team worked with Boulder-based media producer Jeff Larsen and his team at www.narrasys.com to produce and deliver the online components through deep media storytelling. These hybrid courses have been delivered to engineering and philosophy students at Purdue and other universities since March, 2014.

This session focuses on how the team translated their philosophical framework into deep media storytelling combined with facilitated student engagement. Through a six-stage pedagogy, with interactive video and deep media storytelling as the foundation for establishing knowledge and scaffolding, their flipped classroom experience helps students analyze ethical dilemmas that are complementary to the engineering process. This ethical methodology, called Reflexive Principlism, is based on a set of common moral principles as ethical starting places. In this broadly applicable framework, the common ethical principles are applied in an iterative process of analysis and decision making that is similar to an engineering design process.

Each learning module requires students to engage with course content via an online environment and includes assignments for written reflection and assessment. As an entirely online format, students are facilitated in engaging with the ideas of peers, colleagues, and experts as part of analyzing the case studies through asynchronous activities and synchronous online activities. The enhanced course design should also allow for “flipped classroom” experiences where some activities are completed in person as a group.

Presenters

Interactive video storytelling is passion for Jeff Larsen, a successful ed-tech entrepreneur from Silicon Valley who moved to Boulder, Colorado in 2000. Intellectual historian Ph.D. ABD from CU Boulder, Jeff started the interactive video studio called "In The Telling" after passing his graduate exams in 2012. InTheTelling.com became Narrasys.com in 2017, stressing the company direction toward software licensing with fee-for-managed services. Jeff, his wife Lauren, and daughter Clare (freshman at Chapman University) enjoy reading together, yoga, meditation, backpacking, and binge watching shows like Handmaid's Tale.
Jonathan Beever is currently an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and faculty member in the Texts & Technology Program at The University of Central Florida. He was formerly a Post-Doctoral Scholar at The Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State University. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Purdue University and held an NSF-funded postdoctoral research appointment in biomedical engineering at Purdue. In his current position he continues ongoing work and is developing new research projects around issues in ethics, science, and the environment. He has held fellowships with the Kaufmann Foundation in entrepreneurship, the Aldo Leopold Foundation in conservation ethics, and the Global Sustainable Soundscape Network in soundscape ethics, among others. Beever is a member of the team from Purdue awarded one of the NSF’s 2012 competitive multi-year grants within their Ethics Education for Science and Engineering program and was recently awarded funding from the Mellon Institute intended to springboard a multi-institutional grant proposal in soundscape studies. Beever publishes, teaches, and speaks on a wide range of interrelated topics including ethics and science, ethics education pedagogy, environmental ethics, and bioethics.

Extended Abstract

Purdue University NSF ESEE Grant Project December 2013 – March 2014

Faculty:

  • Jonathan Beever, PhD, Department of Philosophy, University of Florida
  • Andrew Brightman, PhD, Assistant Head, Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University
  • Michael Hiles, PhD, VP for R&D, Cook Biotech Inc., Purdue University
  • Matthew Krane, PhD, Assoc. Professor of Materials Engineering, Purdue University

Overview

Students will begin the revised Ethics of Engineering Design and Development course by learning to use a framework for analyzing ethical dilemmas that is complementary to the engineering process through a six-stage pedagogy with documentary film as the foundation for establishing knowledge and scaffolding. This ethical methodology, called Reflexive Principlism, is based on a set of common moral principles as ethical starting places. In this broadly applicable framework, the common ethical principles are applied in an iterative process of analysis and decision making that is similar to an engineering design process.

Each learning module requires students to engage with course content via an online environment and includes assignments for written reflection and assessment. As an entirely online format, students are facilitated in engaging with the ideas of peers, colleagues, and experts as part of analyzing the case studies through asynchronous activities and synchronous online activities. The enhanced course design should also allow for “flipped classroom” experiences where some activities are completed in person as a group.

Narrasys Episodes would produce the foundation elements of the course scaffolding—those that establish knowledge and provide context for integrating the remaining five stages of the pedagogical framework. The duration of each Story Episode would be roughly five-minutes of elapsed time for the main video, plus the time students would spend reviewing and interacting with transmedia resources—websites, PDF files, discussion threads, that are synchronized with the five-minute main video and its transcript. Story Episodes would be designed for phase 1 Establish Knowledge, the first level of course scaffolding, and to create the frameworks for containing contextualized links to other materials assembled above this level for Perspective Taking, Compare and Contrast, Inducing Conflict, Decision and Justification, and Reflection.

Ten, 5 minute filmed synthesizing Episodes (or micro-lectures) stack together into five Modules for a total amount of filmed and animated baseline content of 50 minutes. Each Module will translate into 10-minutes of elapsed time for the main video based on analysis of four case studies that include both historic cases and new cases focused on emerging technologies in several engineering disciplines, plus the time students engage in guided experiences that follow the remaining five stages of the pedagogy. Beyond the main films themselves, students are encouraged to expand the depth of their perspectives by exploring the curated transmedia resources, many of which are culled from current events and headlines.

Course Goals - Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of the course students will be able to:

  1. identify and describe ethical dilemmas in the context of historical and developing technology and engineering practice,
  2. follow a structured, iterative decision-making process for moral reasoning to reach a supported conclusion regarding ethical dilemmas, and
  3. use their own reflection on the moral reasoning process within multiple case studies to re-evaluate the coherence between the principles, codes, and theories involved in any given case.

Course Content

Cinematic Lectures

10, five minute short film Episodes, based on micro-lecture presentations from Jonathan Beever PhD, David Brightman, PhD, Michael Hiles, PhD, and Matthew Krane, PhD deliver the central course material. These Episodes would include the existing white board animations, and graphic reminders of elements from these animations, throughout the remaining episodes.

Is it anticipated that Jonathon Beever would most often provide voice over narration where require. Using IN THE TELLING’s Documentary Instruction production modalities, a five-person / three camera digital film unit records Jonathon Beever as the moderator engaged in conversation with one or more of the other professors in the ensemble, and/or any of these instructors with a small number of his students in selected settings to recreate a seminar type environment for Socratic dialogue on the cases and topics. Filmed on Purdue’s campus, the instructors and students are featured in documentary recording styles.

Course Outline

The course is made up of five modules:

  • Module 1 - Reflexive Principlism as a Framework for Ethical Decision Making/ Quiz 1
  • Module 2 - Case Study I - How a Diagnostic Device Became a Disease
  • Module 3 - Case Study II - Kansas City Hyatt Regency Skywalk Collapse/ Quiz 2
  • Module 4 - Case Study III - Designing a Tissue Engineered Pediatric Heart Valve
  • Module 5 - Case Study IV - BP Deepwater Horizon Oilrig Explosion and Leak/ Quiz 3

Course Technology System

Narrasys Platform

As a pioneering learning technology driven by video narratives, NARRASYS is a multi-platform transmedia integrator of movies, transcripts, slides, links, readings, photos, notes, and other federated web services like discussions and feeds. NARRASYS is a cloud-based version of the OS native player mechanism that works on Macintosh and PC computers via HTML5 web browsers, including Firefox, Chrome, Safari and IE Explorer. Through a variety of Java-based protocols and web services, Narrasys HTML5 dynamically generates browser-based navigation controls and media displays in communication with a highly scalable Content Management System / Content Delivery Network.

The Narrasys Platform is a state of the art video content management and publishing architecture for cloud-based delivery of Documentary Instruction content to mobile media devices ranging from desktop, laptop, tablets and smart phones. The HTML5 TELLING Player and transmedia content management system streams from a highly scalable, cloud network. It is contemplated that each module (and each pedagogical stage within each module) will have brief, formative assessment checkpoints to ensure that content is being registered and provide faculty the opportunity to catch misinterpretations or poor comprehension. Faculty will also be able to view analytic data regarding the student’s time-on-task with the video and transmedia resources. LMS-based summative pre- and post- assessments may also be developed by faculty to supplement these formative assessments that are managed in the Narrasys platform.

LMS

It is understood that one of the objectives of the Ethics of Engineering Design and Development project is to make the course universally functional within multiple LMS’s creating opportunities to license or distribute the course to other institutions interested in covering ethics soft skills training in their curriculum. IN THE TELLING will work with the team to integrate the course in Blackboard CourseSites and in Pearson’s OpenClass to showcase the adaptability of our solution and for distribution marketing purposes.

www.narrasys.com provided on a fee for service basis:

  • Pre-production consulting
  • Project scheduling
  • Technology needs analysis and recommendation
  • Outlining and scripting
  • Functional specification
  • Digital film recording
  • Transcription
  • Editing
  • Animation
  • Transmedia selection
  • Transmedia integration
  • Narrasys packaging
  • LMS and federated services integration
  • Blackboard Course development QA
  • Class testing
  • Market testing