KF6035 - Social Issues in Computing

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What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will develop a critical awareness of the social and ethical implications of the use and development of information systems in business/industry and/or the wider society. You will examine how organisations can integrate social and ethical approaches to systems development. One of the primary things you will learn on this module is to question what you see, hear and read. Critical evaluation of topics in the sphere of computing is essential to enable you to develop a professional and ethical way of thinking to help ensure developments in the computing industry consider the impacts on society. On this module you will also develop your ability to communicate, in both writing and orally, in a professional and academic manner and to demonstrate this through an investigation of a topic of your choice within the subject area.

You will learn to recognise and consider how many and varied computer systems have impacted on society in ways which weren’t properly considered during planning, design or implementation. You will also learn to structure an academic report using correct referencing techniques and written language to convey your findings. In addition you will learn to present your research in a short presentation to inform and educate the audience about a topic of your choice within the subject area, considering relevant social and ethical issues.

The syllabus of the module will cover topics such as:

• The development of social issues in computing
• Critical investigations into how social issues in computing can be integrated into the computer professional's work in systems development and the business and industry community's use of computer systems, including the social implications of Internet use
• How to raise social and ethical awareness in organisations
• Examination and critical evaluation of the strategies which can be employed by organisations in realising the need for an ethical approach in the development of systems and how to implement strategies to ensure ethical compliance.
• The application of communication and academic skills
• The application of research techniques relevant to the subject being discussed. Correct location and presentation of appropriate materials (references and other material both oral and written).

How will I learn on this module?

You will have lectures that discuss relevant concepts and theory and weekly seminars where you will discuss case studies and examples of issues within computing, and have exercises to help you develop the skills required to properly research, structure and compile a report. In addition, you will be provided with independent learning tasks designed to help you further your learning.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be given advice and opportunities to discuss suitable topics for research during the timetabled sessions. You will also be given advice and feedback on your work during the scheduled seminar sessions. Informal advice sessions with the tutor are often available after lectures.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Critically evaluate the implications (social and ethical) of the development and use of information systems

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. Demonstrate, and apply, appropriate information literacy using appropriate language, references and arguments
3. Identify and critically evaluate social issues, and their impact in computing and society from a range of viewpoints including nationally and internationally

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
4. Present information both in writing and orally to a high standard using appropriate methods and techniques

How will I be assessed?

There will be two summative assignments. The first (worth 50% of the marks available) will be a formal individual academic report of around 2000 words (not including an abstract which is an additional 200 words) regarding the social and ethical issues involved within a topic of your choice within the field of computing and technology. You will be provided with written feedback that will be distributed electronically via email. This assignment assesses MLOs 1,2,3,4.

For the second assessment (worth 50% of the marks available) you will prepare and present your findings on the social and ethical issues related to a topic of your choice within the field of computing to an audience. This presentation will be of a maximum of 10 minutes and must include an introduction/background as well as a conclusion, so there is some skill in considering the important areas to present. Verbal feedback will be provided immediately after the presentation and written feedback will be distributed electronically via email. This assignment assesses MLOs 2, 3, and 4.

Formative assessment will take the form of discussions and exercises within the seminar sessions. They are designed to help you and your tutors assess your understanding and progress. You will be provided with verbal feedback on your work.

Pre-requisite(s)

N/A

Co-requisite(s)

N/A

Module abstract

In this module you will develop a critical awareness of the social and ethical implications of the use and development of information systems in business/industry and/or the wider society. You will examine how organisations can integrate social and ethical approaches to systems development.

Communication is an essential skill which will assist you through both your academic and professional career. This module aims to give you the skills to evaluate the materials you research and the ability to present your findings, correctly and clearly, both in written and verbal form. The field of computing and technology develops at a startling rate and has the potential to do immense good – but can also be responsible for considerable harm and it will be your ability to research and recognise where technology, computers and computer software might be open to abuse that might help the computing industry avoid some of the more harmful developments in future.

Course info

UCAS Code G510

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time

Department Computer and Information Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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