Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


*pedagogy, Ethics

Publication Details

Article published in the special issue "Transitions into engineering education and professional practice" of the European Journal of Engineering Education, Volume 44, 2019 - Issue 6


The article aims to expand upon traditional case based instruction through role-play and to explore the effectiveness of the approach in raising students’ awareness of the social dimension of the engineering profession. For this purpose, we added a contextual description to the case study Cutting Roadside Trees driven by a macroethical outlook. Our contribution draws on an exercise based on the contextualised case study in which 80 students at Technological University Dublin participated. The results gathered show that role-playing contributed to complex student responses to the scenario and an awareness of the social factors that are part of engineering practice and which can constrain or enable decision-making. We suggest that exposing students to the perspectives of the different stakeholders that are involved in engineering professional practice can contribute to their understanding of the social context of engineering practice.