Saturday, April 12, 2014

Blogging - 7 Blogs in Ethics for IT Professionals

Over the last several years I have had the opportunity to teach a variety of Blended Learning or Hybrid Learning courses.  In a Hybrid Learning course, some of the delivery is face to face, and some is online through the LMS.  For some of these courses I have created a journal or blog assignment to help learners make connections between the readings and lecture material and their daily lives.

The goal of the activity is to provide examples either from the news, or experiences in the daily lives of the learners, pose questions for them to reflect upon and on those experiences in order to link them to the readings.

Ethics for IT Professionals Course is a 15 week course which includes topics such as logic and arguments, morality and ethics, security, privacy, intellectual property, the law, and professional standards. For each of these seven modules learners were asked to reflect upon the readings and make links to topics such as: Privacy on the Internet, Online Banking and Security, Intellectual Property and Image Sharing sites.

Mode of Delivery:
Students were provided with a Word Document with all 7 deliverables outlined in detail. Questions generally included a link to a video or article, and then specific questions which encouraged drawing links to the text. For example:

Blog #1 (Week 1) will be based upon the video lecture by Professor Janice Stein of the University of Toronto as she discusses  the ethics of responsibility and accountability and how this affects our decision making processes not only in the corporate sector but also as employees, students and citizens.

a)  Do you find that many problems today have come down to costs rather than public needs, rights or public good?

b)  Finally, consider one of the questions Prof Stein poses at the end of her lecture, "Is it enough to deal with an error as a system's failure, or is there always at the core a questions of individual responsibility, and if there is an issues of individual responsibility how do we hold individuals responsible without scape goating them?"

Key Features I had identified with regards to Journals/Blogs:

  • It is useful to provide some guiding questions to help learners focus on how ideas relate to the outcomes of the course.
  • Ensure that it is clear in advance to learners what are the expectations the content and tone for the Journal or Blog should be. Is it casual? formal? Is there a Rubric?
  • Keep the concepts straight forward. This allows for linkages and connections to be clear and allows the learner to identify their own progress.


To view the assignment instructions and rubric please feel free to download the following attachments:

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