Conference Papers  |    |  February 15, 2018

Ethics Education in Context: A Case Study of Novel Ethics Activities for the CS Classroom

Conference paper by Michael Skirpan, Nathan Beard, Srinjita Bhaduri, Casey Fiesler, and Tom Yeh. Presented at SIGCSE ’18, the ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education.


Our paper offers several novel activities for teaching ethics in the context of a computer science (CS) class. Rather than approaches that teach ethics as an isolated course, we outline and discuss multiple ethics education interventions meant to work in the context of an existing technical course. We piloted these activities in an Human Centered Computing course and found strong engagement and interest from our students in ethics topics without sacrificing core course material. Using a pre/post survey and examples from student assignments, we evaluate the impact of these interventions and discuss their relevance to other CS courses. We further make suggestions for embedding ethics in other CS education contexts.