SI 410 - Ethics and Information Technology
Section: 001
Term: WN 2019
Subject: Information (SI)
Department: School of Information
Requirements & Distribution:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Course Overview

Ethics and Information Technology concerns the ethical dilemmas that exist where human beings, information objects, and social computing technologies interact. The course introduces students to a variety of ethical models from historical and cross-cultural perspectives and then explores the relevance of these models to a variety of new and emerging technologies that are inherently social in their construction and use. Initial examples of issues that the course covers in discrete modules include:

  • interpersonal engagement through online games and virtual environments
  • the integrity of digital content in a networked world

Students examine the technological underpinnings of associated technology systems, experiment with individual and group interaction with technologies, and examine the mechanics of ethical and unethical behaviors. Writing assignments reinforce learning through the construction of a code of ethical behavior, collaborative editing, an essay on the notion that traditional ethical norms may or may not be relevant in the new technology environment.

Course Objectives

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate knowledge of current models of information and computer ethics.
  • Apply ethical theories to interpret personal and group behavior when using a variety of information technology tools.
  • Evaluate the nature of ethical choices made by self and others when serving various roles that expose social and multicultural differences.
  • Construct written arguments in a variety of formats on the evolving nature of ethical norms relating to new technologies.

Instructional objectives

  • Integrate opportunities for direct hands-on technical experiences, in order to enhance understanding of ethical challenges presented by new information technologies.
  • Foster intense participation in course learning activities via in-class discussions, posts submitted to an online discussion boards, and longer written assignments; in order to encourage multimodal contributions by students.

Grading Overview

  • Overall participation in class 20%
    • Preparation, discussion, pre-and post-test
  • Module 1 25%
    • In-class exercises
    • Lab exercises (avatars, gaming)
  • Module 2 25%
    • In-class exercises
    • Lab exercises (image manipulation, wikis)
  • Written assignments 30%
    • Code of gaming ethics
    • Collaborative drafting and editing
    • Essay on ethical norms and new technology

SI 410 - Ethics and Information Technology
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 8:30AM - 10:00AM
002 (DIS)
W 5:30PM - 6:30PM
003 (DIS)
W 6:30PM - 7:30PM
004 (DIS)
Th 5:30PM - 6:30PM
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