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Title:Case in point: understanding how macro and micro cases impact students' ability to identify ethical issues in computer science
Author(s):Bullock, Beleicia
Advisor(s):Karahalios, Karrie
Department / Program:Computer Science
Discipline:Computer Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):computer science ethics
case based learning
case studies
micro and macro cases
computer science ethics education
Abstract:While researchers have long touted the benefits of case-based learning in engineering and computer science ethics instruction, there is little empirical evidence supporting the approach's effectiveness in helping students to achieve key learning outcomes. This issue is further augmented by the lack of standardization around case development, making it even more challenging to understand what students are learning from these cases. As such, this paper presents a between-subject study that explores how macro cases (cases that feature the actions of large-scale organizations which impact multiple stakeholders) and micro cases (cases that feature the actions of individuals who impact a handful of stakeholders) impact students' ability to identify ethical issues. Through this survey, I find that micro cases may help students to identify the primary ethical issue across both case types better than macro cases. I use these findings to not only provide guidelines for departments and instructors looking to improve their computer science ethics curriculum, but also to advance the conversation on how we prepare students for the ethical challenges they will face in the computing profession.
Issue Date:2021-07-23
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Beleicia Bullock
Date Available in IDEALS:2022-01-12
Date Deposited:2021-08

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