All class activities (including online activities)
must be in compliance with the
GMU Honor Code.
Students with disabilities and in need of accommodations
must register with the
of Disability Services (ODS).
You will receive a "Faculty Contact Sheet" letter
documenting your need.
Students are responsible for providing this letter
to the faculty member in the course.
Accommodations can only be provided to students
who register with the
All IT Ethics and IT Gen Ed courses are being evaluated and assessed
this semester (SPRING 2011), for the University SACS Accreditation
(SACS = Southern Association of Colleges and Schools).
Most of the burden of work for this assessment is on the instructor.
However, some of you will receive an email from the University
Office of Institutional Assessment (OIA) ...
You will be asked to complete a very simple survey:
Did this course meet the minimum requirements for an IT Ethics Gen Ed course?
In other words ......
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.
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.
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 HSR
Board Certification through completion of the free on-line
GMU Human Subjects Research (HSR) training course.
20% = Homework (5% each for 4 assignments)***
20% = Class Participation (total scores from 9 in-class exercises)***
***NOTE: the lowest 3 scores on Homeworks and
In-Class Exercises will be dropped in the final course grade calculation.
to develop an understanding of the following: open data policies; access and
use of private versus public data sources; data ownership and
proprietary rights; proper use versus misuse and abuse of statistics;
deduction, induction, and inference from scientific data;
objectivity versus bias in the interpretation of scientific data;
data falsification and cases of scientific fraud; the proper
referencing of sources versus plagiarism; and the ethical (and legal)
handling and use of human subjects research data.
Week 1: Summary of Course, Introduction to Data Ethics
Week 2: Statistics: Use, Abuse, and Misuse
Week 3: Statistics: Mean, Medians, and Modes -- Telling Lies with Statistics
Week 4: Statistical Concepts -- Ethical Concerns
Week 5: Drawing Conclusions -- Inference and Deduction -- Relationship to IT Ethics
Week 6: The Rules of IT Ethics
Week 7: IT Ethics in Practice -- What we should do vs. What the hackers do
Week 8: Whose Information is it anyway? -- Part 1: Proliferation of On-line Information
Week 9: Whose Information is it anyway? -- Part 2: Data Privacy and Privacy Laws
Week 10: Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR): Scientific Ethics and Integrity in Research
Week 11: Human Subjects Research (HSR): Principles and Applications
Week 12: InfoGraphics -- Visual Displays for Reasoning