By the end of this class, you should be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of major issues in information ethics such as free speech, copyright, and privacy.
- Demonstrate an understanding of how technology impacts each of these issues.
- Demonstrate an understanding of a variety of ethical approaches and how they can be utilized to discuss information ethics issues.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the legal context within which debate about information issues takes place.
You will be graded by the following:
Participation in class (35% of the grade)
- Attend class sessions
- Read the assigned readings before class
- Participate in discussion groups
- Follow discussion guidelines
- Show active interest and involvement
- Bring 2-3 sentences that summarize the main idea of the reading
- Bring 2 points of discussion (these can either be questions or point of disagreement/agreement)
- In small groups, participate at least once in each of the following
- Keep the group focused on the reading
- Seek participation from all of the group members
- When necessary, remind the group to follow the discussion guidelines
- Summarize the discussion
- Write neatly for the presenter
- Briefly summarize the article
- Summarize the discussion using the notes from the recorder
- Answer any questions from the class
- Participate in class exercises
There will be one short topic paper on each of the following topics:
- Free Speech: What is your position on free speech and/or censorship? You can talk about this in the abstract or focus on a concrete example.
- Intellectual Property: What is your position on intellectual property? I will leave it up to you to figure out how you'd like to focus this topic.
These topic papers will be graded by awarding up to 5 points for each of the following criteria:
- The length should be 3-4 pages double-spaced using 10-12 point type and standard margins.
- Use good grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
- Using MLA or APA style, properly cite 3-4 sources (these can be from class readings, but there will be 5 bonus points for citing a scholarly article, chapter, or book not read in class).
- Use good essay structure (the essay should be clear and well organized with an introduction (including a clear position/thesis statement), supportive statements, and conclusion).
- Provide appropriate support for your position/statements.
- Exhibit critical thinking.
- Show awareness of the appropriate laws.
- Show ethical criteria for the position taken.
Overriding concerns include evidence of plagiarism or a failure to address
the paper topic.
Late papers will receive 2 points off for each day that it's late (these add up quickly!).
The group presentation will be graded by awarding up to 5 points for each of the following criteria:
- The length should be 15 minutes for 2-person groups and 20 minutes for 3-person groups (plus/minus a couple of minutes is allowable but it should come as close as possible to the time limit--this means you should practice; there will also hopefully be about 5 additional minutes for questions)
- Show involvement of all group members.
- Be informative and reflect a good comprehension of the subject matter. Check your facts and make sure that they're accurate.
- Go beyond what we've learned in class.
- Show at least two sides of the issue (this is expositional so you should try to be fair and unbiased for the presentation)
- Discuss either the legal component, the ethical component, or both (whichever way is the most relevant for your topic)
- Be well organized and clear.
- Make a good use of visuals.
- Use good presentation skills that are engaging to the audience.
The final paper will be graded by awarding points for each of the following criteria:
- The length should be 7-8 pages double-spaced using 10-12 point type and standard margins. (5 points)
- Use good grammar, spelling, and punctuation. (5 points)
- Using MLA or APA style, properly cite a minimum of 5 sources (these should be readings from outside the class and at least 3 need to be from scholarly sources; any source that is found on the Web should be evaluated for good quality--see Dale Vidmar's Evaluating Web Resources). (10 points)
- Use good essay structure (the essay should be clear and well organized with an introduction (including a clear thesis statement), supportive statements, and conclusion). (10 points)
- Provide appropriate support for your claims. (10 points)
- Exhibit original critical thinking--each paper from your group should be different. (10 points)
- Go beyond the presentation and give more depth to an aspect of your topic. (5 points)
- Show the legal component of your topic. (5-10 points)
- Show the ethical component of your topic. (5-10 points--whichever is more relevant to your topic, ethics or law, will be worth 10 points and the other will be worth 5 points)
Overriding concerns include evidence of plagiarism or a failure to address the paper topic.
Due dates are on the syllabus.