A CSCL script for supporting moral reasoning in the ethics classroom

Claudio Alvarez*, Gustavo Zurita, Nelson Baloian, Oscar Jerez, Sergio Peñafiel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In many engineering schools around the world, ethics is a compulsory subject. However, teaching ethics in engineering is not a simple duty, as engineering students usually attribute less value to learning ethics than to other subjects. Hereby, we report on our initial efforts towards developing a CSCL script for fostering meaningful ethical discussions among engineering students in the classroom. The script comprises successive phases in which the students conduct ethical judgments individually, in a small group and in a teacher-mediated class group discussion. The process seeks that students cast their judgments without inhibitions, so it maintains students’ anonymity in all phases. A trial with 35 engineering students confirmed that the tool offers a good usability, averaging a 79.9 score in the System Usability Scale (SUS). Furthermore, the trial cohort highlighted the convenience of anonymity when discussing ethical cases. Analysis of student behavior revealed that ethical judgments tend to be stable across the activity. However, judgments changed mostly in groups where more discussion was generated. In the future, we will study whether group composition that maximizes the heterogeneity of the students in the groups according to their individual ethical appraisals increases the likelihood of students varying their ethical judgments, as a result of argumentative and reflexive processes in discussions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCollaboration Technologies and Social Computing - 25th International Conference, CRIWG+CollabTech 2019, Proceedings
EditorsHideyuki Nakanishi, Hironori Egi, Irene-Angelica Chounta, Hideyuki Takada, Satoshi Ichimura, Ulrich Hoppe
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9783030280109
StatePublished - 2019
Event25th International Conference on Collaboration Technologies and Social Computing, CRIWG+CollabTech 2019 - Kyoto, Japan
Duration: 3 Sep 20195 Sep 2019

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11677 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference25th International Conference on Collaboration Technologies and Social Computing, CRIWG+CollabTech 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019.


  • CSCL script
  • Engineering education
  • Mobile CSCL
  • Moral reasoning


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