Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 789–807

Validity and Reliability of an Instrument for Assessing Case Analyses in Bioengineering Ethics Education

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11948-015-9644-2

Cite this article as:
Goldin, I.M., Pinkus, R.L. & Ashley, K. Sci Eng Ethics (2015) 21: 789. doi:10.1007/s11948-015-9644-2


Assessment in ethics education faces a challenge. From the perspectives of teachers, students, and third-party evaluators like the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology and the National Institutes of Health, assessment of student performance is essential. Because of the complexity of ethical case analysis, however, it is difficult to formulate assessment criteria, and to recognize when students fulfill them. Improvement in students’ moral reasoning skills can serve as the focus of assessment. In previous work, Rosa Lynn Pinkus and Claire Gloeckner developed a novel instrument for assessing moral reasoning skills in bioengineering ethics. In this paper, we compare that approach to existing assessment techniques, and evaluate its validity and reliability. We find that it is sensitive to knowledge gain and that independent coders agree on how to apply it.


Moral reasoning Assessment Ethics case analysis Mixed methods Validity Reliability 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ilya M. Goldin
    • 1
  • Rosa Lynn Pinkus
    • 2
  • Kevin Ashley
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Digital Data, Analytics & Adaptive LearningPearsonPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of BioengineeringUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Learning Research and Development CenterUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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