The course prepares students to think critically about ethical debates surrounding information and technology in their personal and professional futures. Drawing from classical ethical frameworks and more current and diverse concepts of justice that focus on race, class, and gender, we analyze case studies from real-life situations to discuss, understand, and critique the value systems and power structures embedded in information work. Cases examine how information technologies shape and are shaped by cultural, societal, professional, community, and individual values, including an exploration of the impact of such values on professional practice, decision-making, and public policy.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Identify ethical dilemmas that may arise in professional or workplace situations related to information, technology, or data work;
- Demonstrate an ability to apply different ethical frames to real-world problems that arise in information professions;
- Evaluate how cultural norms have shaped the study of information ethics and values;
- Articulate how power operates within information society and identify avenues for change;
- Apply critical thinking skills in identifying the stakeholders involved in an organization’s decision making as well as the implications of a decision;
- Provide research, factual information, and the impact on stakeholders in arguing a case;
- Distinguish the relationship between ethical principles and codes of ethics in making sound decisions.