This course invokes the following eight assignments:
Set Your Own Goals Assignment
Due: 9:00 PM on Jan 26, Mar. 8, Apr. 26 (phases one, two, and three)
Format and Length: Goals are a few sentences each, and your final assessment is about a paragraph per goal (email all of this information to both instructors)
Collaboration: Do this one on your own
Our course offers you a lot of autonomy, and we want you to get as much as possible out of it. In addition to all the flexibility you have in choosing your projects, we also want you to identify goals that matter to you, and see those goals to fruition.
In previously-taught Olin courses, students have set goals such as...
For this course you can think even bigger if you like – if you have career goals related to engineering education, or if you want to make a difference by creating materials that improve the way one or more Olin courses are taught, we can make that happen (especially in the final project!). How cool is that? (Please don’t answer.)
The Set Your Own Goals assignment takes place in three phases.
Phase One: Goal Setting
On January 26, you will send an email to both instructors containing two to five goals that you would like to achieve this semester. Define each goal in about a sentence, and include a second sentence explaining why it is important. Finally, in a third sentence for each goal, suggest a few strategies you might use to achieve it.
Phase Two: Revisit Goals and Define Metrics
On March 28, you will send an email to both instructors that does two things:
Phase Three: Assess Results
On April 26 you will send a final email to both instructors that includes a self-assessment of your progress towards each goal. Follow the metric you created in phase two, and tell us how you think you did. Also, what can you do in the future to build on your progress or respond to what you learned? This should occupy about a paragraph per goal. Finally, use this opportunity to reflect briefly on the overall course in another paragraph or two.
Phase One Homework
Due: February 2 prior to the start of class
Format and Length: Word document emailed to both instructors, written response to questions, about a page total
Collaboration: Feel free to talk to others but think about it and write it up on your own
Your first homework assignment is short and simple. Prior to our February 2 class you will have read six chapters of Giving Voice to Values (GVV), as well as several examples of ways that it was applied to non- business applications and contexts. As we wrap up phase one of our course we will begin thinking about the main objective of our studies: how might we apply GVV to an engineering setting?
For this problem set please write brief responses to the following two prompts. Email them to both instructors prior to class and also have a copy with you so we can talk about them.
Phase Two Homework
Due: February 9, before class
As with problem set one, this assignment should be emailed to both instructors before class, and you should have a copy with you in class so we can all have a discussion. You have two prompts:
Phase Two Project Report
Due: February 23, by the start of class
Format and Length: A written report. About three pages or so.
Collaboration: Do this as a group. Seek any help that you like.
Project Two is an opportunity for us as a class to better understand the challenge that motivated this course in the first place! If all of us are going to take concrete steps towards modifying or developing a new engineering ethics/leadership framework and application strategy in project three, it might help to understand the “problem statement” first. How can we collectively understand the challenges and opportunities present in the application of ethics into an engineering education setting? Enter Project Two!
Following the early work begun in the Phase Two Homework, we will form teams to “divide and conquer” this open ended question. Each team will select one of the many values-driven challenges faced by engineers, and conduct some research to better understand it. In addition to explaining the nature of the challenge, each team will also propose an educational strategy that can help to address it.
The Project Two Report is a single document that your team will collectively research and write. It should be around three pages but this is just an estimate – we aren’t counting pages or marking off for being too long or short. Make sure that you address the following:
This report needs a combination of NARRATIVE and ANALYSIS. Make specific assertions, use detailed evidence (citations!!!), and organize your paper via clear topic sentences, transitions, and conclusions.
Phase Two Project Presentation
Due: February 23, in class
Format and Length: Assume that you have 10 minutes to speak, followed by a q/a session (we will confirm this when we see how many teams we have)
We will use our February 23 class session to hear all of your research findings. Each team has 10 minutes to share some of your results with the class. This is not a lot of time, so your biggest challenge is selecting a subset of your materials and managing your time wisely – make sure that you make specific points and support assertions with evidence, but also make sure that you don’t try to rush through too much content and reduce us to quivering slabs of Sodexho leftovers!
We will assess both the paper and the presentation according to the following criteria:
Final Project Proposal
Due: March 1 (draft) and March 8 (final), prior to the start of class
Format and Length: each proposal is about 1-2 pages? (rough estimate)
Collaboration: Do the draft proposal on your own (unless you have a team in mind already, in which case you are welcome to work with them) and do the final proposal as a group. Seek any help that you like. Become one with all life on earth.
Our final project will occupy the majority of our semester, and gives you the opportunity to choose a topic, a set of activities to conduct, and a deliverable to produce. The first component of the final project is a proposal that maps out your trajectory. In effect, the proposal assignment is an opportunity for you to think through your final project experience and make plans that carry you from start to finish.
Final project mission
The mission of the final project is threefold:
Wow, that final project sure sounds fine and dandy (who actually says “dandy” these days? Seriously, can any of you think of one time when this word was used in a normal conversation over the past year? If so, please email Rob and share your experience). But how do we get started? The answer is simple, young apprentice: you will write a proposal that outlines your plan of attack! This proposal will take place in two phases, each one vastly cooler than the other.
Draft Proposal Due on March 1
Phase one is a draft proposal due in class on March 1 (finish it before class and bring it with you). We assume that you will do this assignment on your own, and use our class session to find partners, but if you already know who you would like to work with, you are welcome to write this assignment as a group.
For this assignment, you should develop AT LEAST TWO ideas that you would be willing to work on. Note that you may end up modifying one of them, or abandoning both and joining another group, but it is still helpful to brainstorm two ideas.
Each of your two proposals must include answers (a short paragraph each) to the following prompts:
Final Proposal Due on March 8
After presenting ideas in class on March 1, we will form teams and spend the next week refining our objectives and finalizing a plan of work for the remainder of the semester. Your final proposal (only one per team) should lay out this plan of work as follows:
This proposal needs to work for you – use it to plan your own work, and to help us to help you!
Final Project Deliverable(s)
Due: April 26, in class
Format and Length: Impossible to answer! Depends on your project. Ask us.
Collaboration: Do this as a group. Seek any help that you like.
The open-ended nature of this project makes it difficult, if not impossible, to list guidelines for the final deliverable or deliverables. Hopefully we were able to offer you some valuable feedback and set realistic expectations after you submitted your final proposal.
By the last day of class (April 26) all deliverables are due. We cannot offer extensions! Make sure that you plan your time effectively and prioritize the key tasks early. We value quality far above quantity, and we value magic beans far above cows.
You need to find some way to share your deliverables with your noble instructors by the last day of class. Email us any files that you produced, and make recordings of any educational or outreach activities that you conducted. Contact us if we can help you capture your great work!
We will assess the final deliverable and presentation according to the following criteria:
Final Project Presentation
Format and Length: Approximately 10 minutes to present, followed by q/a. We will revisit this time limit after we see which teams we form.
Once we know how many teams we have for the final project we will allocate time for final presentations. These presentations will occupy nearly all of our final class time. They are your opportunity to educate the rest of us (what did you do? What did you learn? What impacts did you have? What next steps might others pursue?) and to receive feedback on your progress.
The format of these presentations is entirely up to you. You are welcome to use PowerPoint but you don’t have to. If you prepared and delivered a workshop or presentation as one of your deliverables, you can use some or all of your time delivering it for us. If you produced something written or tangible, you can hand it out and use it as a talking point. As long as you educate the class and give us an opportunity to provide feedback, you are all set!