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A study of social and professional ethics in undergraduate computer science programs: Faculty perspectives

Carol Lee Spradling, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This study investigated how social and professional issues (computer ethics) are integrated into undergraduate computer science programs in the United States. Specifically, the study investigated nine research questions derived from a review of the computer science and ethics literature. (1) Are social and professional issues (computer ethics) being covered in undergraduate computer science curricula, (2) How do undergraduate computer science programs integrate social and professional issues into their curriculum, (3) Have faculty received any special training, (4) What are the perceptions of faculty concerning computer ethics, (5) How are decisions made, (6) What are the disciplines of those who teach computer ethics, (7) What pedagogy is used, (8) What topics are covered and what is the delivery method of these topics, and (9) What are the reasons for not covering computer ethics? The study answered many questions and confirmed that (1) most universities and colleges do integrate computer ethics, (2) ethics is mainly integrated into other courses, (3) few schools provide any special ethics training for faculty, (4) Most faculty agree that ethics should be taught in computer science curricula, (5) most decisions concerning how ethics are incorporated into the curriculum are made by committee, (6) computer science faculty teach ethics, (7) a variety of pedagogical instructional methods are utilized and (8) some required knowledge units in the 2001 computer science curricula are not fully covered, and (9) the major reason that schools do not teach ethics is because computer science faculty have not been trained.

Subject Area

Vocational education

Recommended Citation

Spradling, Carol Lee, "A study of social and professional ethics in undergraduate computer science programs: Faculty perspectives" (2007). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI3255458.