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Title:Ethical decision-making processes among students in computing and implications for their professional development
Author(s):Hedayati Mehdiabadi, Amir
Director of Research:Li, Jessica
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Li, Jessica
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Loui, Michael; Huang, David; Kuchinke, Peter
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Human Resource Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):computer ethics, ethical development, ethical decision-making, professional ethics, human resource development
Abstract:Computing professionals influence modern societies significantly due to the prevalent usage of computer-based technologies. The impact of these technologies necessitates development of professionals in the field who are aware of the consequences of their practice and capable to make ethical decisions. Developing ethical decision-making skills among computing students can be informed by knowing how they make decisions when they face ethical challenges. This dissertation is a qualitative grounded theory research with the focus on ethical decision-making processes among computing students. The data consist of postings of 33 undergraduate computing majors (26 males and 7 females) in online discussion forums in response to three ethical scenarios and the comments they provided on their peers’ responses, along with the follow up interviews with 19 of these students. The findings indicate that when students use real-world stories to build their reasoning, show care for end users, and recognize and avoid biases they make more desirable ethical decisions. On the other hand, falling for different biases and minimalistic view of professional responsibilities are identified as two of the main reasons for making less desirable ethical decisions. This study suggests computer ethics educators to teach students to recognize fallacies and biases in ethical reasoning. Moreover, using real-world stories as well as the introduction of ethics of care to students can help them in making more ethical decisions.
Issue Date:2018-04-17
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Amir Hedayati Mehdiabadi
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-09-04
Date Deposited:2018-05

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