CSC 208 Ethics in Technology

John Paulett

Office: Daley 900 (Cubicle 3)/Zoom
Winter 2022-2023
Class number: 28630
Section number: 502
MW 11:50AM - 1:20PM
LEWIS 01510 Loop Campus
Course homepage:


Computing Technology and the rapid pace in which it has advanced have had a tremendous impact on our lives. Changes have been swift and the human capacity to deal with these changes is limited. It has been said that our technology has outpaced our humanity. This course will research the new responsibilities technology presents and our ability to deal with these changes in an ethical manner. Students will employ a framework for ethical analysis, which integrates computer science and ethics, to develop the skills required to examine different sets of assumptions and question them, resulting in an informed evaluation of issues. 


Birsch, Douglas. (2014) Introduction to Ethical Theories, A Procedural Approach.

IL:Waveland Press, Inc.

ISBN: 1-4786-0670-3;

ISBN: 978-1- 4786-0670-3 


Assignments and Grading

Detailed instructions for all assignments will be posted on D2L.


Assignments are not accepted late without checking with me first. If you find difficulty meeting a deadline, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am always willing to assist.


Primary out-of-class activities will involve preparation for the next week’s class meetings. In preparation for each week, there will be reading assignments that will provide the foundation for in-class discussions, quizzes. and activities.


Ten textbook reading assignments which are assessed by in-class quizzes (usually 10-20 points.


Two  Responses. Questions on the reading assignments will be posted on the course website under D2L Content. Some Reading Response include a current event. For current events, students will be required to identify the computing ethical issue and write a short paragraph describing it. This assignment may not be submitted late without speaking to me first. 

Ten reading quizzes. Taken at home and submitted before the assigned class after each reading assignment.

Two Group Activities (Meets PID Learning outcomes #1–6). These labs are done in groups. You will be assigned a group to work with. 

Final Exam/Project (Meets PID LOs #1–6). Students will write a detailed analysis of the ethics of a technological question / issue of their choice.  (approximately 10-15 pages, double-spaced in MLA or APA format). There will be detailed directions for this given in class. The project is done in six parts, submitted over the second half of the semester and then revised and assembled.

Class Participation (PID LOs #1–6) tracked by attendance, classroom discussion, classroom activities, and periodic check-ins.

Grading Scale:

A 90–100

B   80–89

C 70–79

D 60–69

F 0–59

Plus/Minus grades are awarded based on instructor  discretion


No previous knowledge of computers or philosophy is assumed, or necessary.

School policies:

Changes to Syllabus

This syllabus is subject to change as necessary during the quarter. If a change occurs, it will be thoroughly addressed during class, posted under Announcements in D2L and sent via email.

Online Course Evaluations

Evaluations are a way for students to provide valuable feedback regarding their instructor and the course. Detailed feedback will enable the instructor to continuously tailor teaching methods and course content to meet the learning goals of the course and the academic needs of the students. They are a requirement of the course and are key to continue to provide you with the highest quality of teaching. The evaluations are anonymous; the instructor and administration do not track who entered what responses. A program is used to check if the student completed the evaluations, but the evaluation is completely separate from the student’s identity. Since 100% participation is our goal, students are sent periodic reminders over three weeks. Students do not receive reminders once they complete the evaluation. Students complete the evaluation online in CampusConnect.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

This course will be subject to the university's academic integrity policy. More information can be found at If you have any questions be sure to consult with your professor.

All students are expected to abide by the University's Academic Integrity Policy which prohibits cheating and other misconduct in student coursework. Publicly sharing or posting online any prior or current materials from this course (including exam questions or answers), is considered to be providing unauthorized assistance prohibited by the policy. Both students who share/post and students who access or use such materials are considered to be cheating under the Policy and will be subject to sanctions for violations of Academic Integrity.

Academic Policies

All students are required to manage their class schedules each term in accordance with the deadlines for enrolling and withdrawing as indicated in the University Academic Calendar. Information on enrollment, withdrawal, grading and incompletes can be found at

Students with Disabilities

Students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss their specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential.
To ensure that you receive the most appropriate accommodation based on your needs, contact the instructor as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first week of class), and make sure that you have contacted the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at:
Lewis Center 1420, 25 East Jackson Blvd.
Phone number: (312)362-8002
Fax: (312)362-6544
TTY: (773)325.7296