Make students aware of ethical issues. Certainly this exercise can be used to make students aware of the issues associated with the design and manufacture of chips. Achieving this goal will not require an in-depth approach to the exercise, but can be accomplished with a short brush with the criteria and the decision. In fact, simply learning about the decision Saia needed to make and informally discussing it can achieve this developmental goal.
Give students practice in evaluation and decision making. The ethics tests are designed specifically to achieve this goal.
Lead students to actual responsible action. This is not a goal of this exercise, but the exercise might be extended by a follow-up decision with students asked what they would do in a class project if faced with a similar decision. Imagine, for instance that the person is a team leader in a project group in an advanced class that is designing software that will be used by a real client. The end of the semester is approaching and the students decide to forgo testing to meet the deadline. What should be done? This scenario could be worked up with a little preparation to parallel Saia's decision and to be about both making the decision for oneself and "setting the tone" for one's organization.
ImpactCS Elements and Skills
ES1.3 Major ethical models.
ES1.5 Codes of ethics and professional responsibility for computer professionals.
ES2.2 Ethical choices cannot be avoided.
ES2.3 Some easy ethical approaches are questionable:
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.
CC 2002 Social, Ethical, and Professional Issues
SP 3 Methods and tools of analysis
SP 4 Professional and ethical responsibilities