Examination of ethical issues related to access and use of information
and data in the Internet age, for the general student, with special
emphasis on ethical issues that apply to the proper use and
interpretation of scientific and technical information. (1 credit)
This course is designed to present and to engage students in activities
and discussion related to the serious ethical issues arising from the
widespread distribution of data and information in the Internet age.
Students will gain a deeper understanding of ethics as it applies to
the use and interpretation of data in the sciences. In addition to
statistical and scientific case studies, students will be presented
with practical ethical challenges that they may face in their future
corporate, government, or academic employment.
As an added benefit, students will acquire RCR
(Responsible Conduct in Research) Certification or else HSR
(Human Subjects in Research) Certification, available through
completion of the free on-line GMU training courses.
Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes:
to develop an understanding of the following:
access and use of private versus public data sources;
data ownership and proprietary rights;
differences between secure, private, confidential, and open data;
proper use versus the abuse and misuse of statistics, maps, and graphs;
fallacious reasoning; deduction versus inference from data;
bias versus objectivity in the interpretation of data;
data falsification and cases of scientific fraud;
the proper referencing of sources versus plagiarism;
the ethical (and legal) handling and use of human subjects research data.
Instructors may submit Exam Papers, Homework solutions,
or any other student assignment to either
or the SafeAssign
plagiarism-detection services, in compliance with all of the following:
GMU policy, Provost approval, and the
GMU Honor Code.
Online Course Material:
This course is taught entirely online. There will
be assignments, activities, and discussion topics
each week! Please log into
at least two times
each week to participate in the required weekly activities,
to get announcements, to read weekly lecture slides,
to view any videos from the instructor,
and to complete your online assignments.
The class week will begin on Wednesday mornings,
and will conclude on Tuesday evenings. Assignments for
a given week must be submitted within that week's time window,
unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor.
Courses designed to meet the IT Ethics Gen Ed requirement must address
both of these 2 outcomes:
Students will understand many of the key ethical, legal and social issues related to information technology and how to interpret and comply with ethical principles, laws, regulations, and institutional policies.
Students will understand the essential issues related to information security, how to take precautions and use techniques and tools to defend against computer crimes.
Lecture Day/Time:NO SPECIFIC TIME
-- This is an asynchronous
distance education course, taught entirely online.
*Asynchronous* means that you may complete your weekly activities
at any time that you choose during that week.