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Computer Ethics Curriculum

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Hughes Aircraft

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Learning Objectives. (Hughes Reporting System)

Comments on Developmental Goals

Make students aware of ethical issues. This exercise certainly helps make students aware of the issues involved in how to handle a whistleblowing incident, but more broadly how to handle rationally most other incidents of differing professional opinions. .

Give students practice in evaluation and decision making. By designing and evaluating their own system students are getting practice in making ethical decision that affect the organizational climate of their potential employers.

Lead students to actual responsible action. This exercise is a rehearsal for the sort of proposal that a student might really make when employed at an organization that has an inadequate (or missing) reporting system.

ImpactCS Elements and Skills

ES1.2 Why be ethical?

ES1.3 Major ethical models.

ES1.5 Codes of ethics and professional responsibility for computer professionals.

ES2.1 Ethical claims can and should be discussed rationally.

ES2.2 Ethical choices cannot be avoided.

ES2.3 Some easy ethical approaches are questionable:

  • Naive Relativism
  • Naive Egoism
  • Naive Agency
  • Naive Legalism

ES3.1 Arguing from example, analogy, and counter-example.

ES3.2 Identifying stakeholders in concrete situations.

ES3.2 Identifying ethical issues in concrete situations.

ES3.4 Applying ethical codes to concrete situations.

ES3.5 Identifying and evaluating possible courses of action.

ES4.2 Power relations are central in all social interaction.

ES4.4 Populations are always diverse.


ImpactCS grid


Ethical Issues

Quality of Life

Use of Power

Risk and Reliability

Property Rights


Equity and Access

Honesty and Deception

Levels of Social Analysis










CC 2002 Social, Ethical, and Professional Issues

SP 4 Professional and ethical responsibilities [core]

  • Community values and the laws by which we live
  • The nature of professionalism
  • The role of the professional in public policy
  • Maintaining awareness of consequences
  • Ethical dissent and whistle-blowing
  • Codes of ethics, conduct, and practice (IEEE, ACM, SE, AITP, and so forth)
  • Dealing with harassment and discrimination