Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 263–286 | Cite as

Strategies for Teaching Professional Ethics to IT Engineering Degree Students and Evaluating the Result

  • Rafael MiñanoEmail author
  • Ángel Uruburu
  • Ana Moreno-Romero
  • Diego Pérez-López
Original Paper


This paper presents an experience in developing professional ethics by an approach that integrates knowledge, teaching methodologies and assessment coherently. It has been implemented for students in both the Software Engineering and Computer Engineering degree programs of the Technical University of Madrid, in which professional ethics is studied as a part of a required course. Our contribution of this paper is a model for formative assessment that clarifies the learning goals, enhances the results, simplifies the scoring and can be replicated in other contexts. A quasi-experimental study that involves many of the students of the required course has been developed. To test the effectiveness of the teaching process, the analysis of ethical dilemmas and the use of deontological codes have been integrated, and a scoring rubric has been designed. Currently, this model is also being used to develop skills related to social responsibility and sustainability for undergraduate and postgraduate students of diverse academic context.


Engineering education Engineering ethics Formative assessment Professional codes of ethics 



This research was conducted within the National Program of Projects Fundamental Research under the Sixth National Program for Scientific Research, Development and Technological Innovation (Reference No. EDU2012-31080). It was funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation of Spain. We thank also the Educational Innovations Projects of the UPM. They had supported and funded since 2012 several experiences for developing competences of ethical, social and environmental responsibility for students of IT engineering degrees. In addition, the first author would like to acknowledge María Jesús Sánchez Naranjo for her comments on previous drafts of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rafael Miñano
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ángel Uruburu
    • 2
  • Ana Moreno-Romero
    • 2
  • Diego Pérez-López
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Applied Mathematics to ICT, School of Computer Systems EngineeringTechnical University of Madrid (UPM)MadridSpain
  2. 2.Department of Engineering Organization, Business Administration and Applied Statistics, School of Industrial EngineeringTechnical University of Madrid (UPM)MadridSpain

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