Oregon State University

CS 391: Social and Ethical Issues in Computer Science

Oregon State University, College of Engineering

Chapter 1 ~ Prepare to Succeed

Complete Chapter 1 right away...it will prepare you for the rest of the term. OSU's College of Engineering is pleased to welcome you to Social and Ethical Issues in Computer Science, which provides an in-depth exploration of the social, psychological, political, and ethical issues surrounding the computer industry using a variety of research, writing, and collaboration activities which meet BACC Science, Technology and Society (STS) synthesis requirements. You'll explore ethical theories, the balance of power, hiring and marketing problems, the journey of a device, and ethical dilemmas. The overall goal is to improve your decision-making in the workplace of your future.

Start the following activities on the first day of the term; they are due very soon! (Check Canvas for dates and times.)

To get started, click the + Orange headlines below. Complete each numbered 1.* lesson in this chapter before the Due date. Due dates are listed in the Canvas Home or Assignments area and Calendar.

⬆ Shiftrefresh Shift-Refresh this page to see the most up-to-date instructions.

Explore Canvas

Assume you don't know everything about how Canvas works and work through these lessons to ensure you can communicate effectively and stay on track in this rigorous course.

1.1 Update Canvas settings.

Allow Canvas to notify you via email when the Instructor, Teaching Assistant, or another student has sent you a message, comment, or discussion reply.

Video: Bailey Thomas demonstrates how to adjust Canvas Notifications to alert you of important course updates. (2018)

  1. From the Canvas Account area, choose Settings. Notice that your OSU email address is already connected. You may add your personal email address here, however, the University does not recommend using personal addresses when communicating about university-related topics or assignments.
    Canvas Settings add email addresses.
  2. Check your email daily to read important course announcements, discussion replies, and grading comments.
  3. Click the Account button then Notifications button. Activate all these options: Due Date, Announcements, Grading, Submission Comment, Discussion Post, and Inbox Conversation.
    Canvas Settings Notifications to activate
  4. Contact me using the Canvas Inbox messaging area. Inbox when you have questions. If you email me from outside Canvas, then your message might look like spam. Write to me from inside Canvas for the fastest response. The person icon on this textbook's main menu above is also a quick way to get to the Inbox.

1.2 Learn about this course's Canvas functions.

  1. Click on the Announcements button to see weekly or bi-weekly messages from the instructor. These will introduce and make clarifications about the project. Read them before you write the instructor with questions. In some cases you can reply to the Announcement to ask clarifying questions. Everyone will see the answer to your question. To use the Announcement Discussion, see Discussion instructions, below.
  2. Click on the Assignment button to see a list of Chapter Assignments and Pages. An Assignment includes these components:
    • Link the Chapter web page.
    • Summary of topics.
    • Due date.
    • Available until date (grace period).
    • Submit, TurnItIn Load, or other button.
    • Commenting box.
    • File attachment link.
    • View Rubric button.
  3. Once you submit an assignment, look for the confirmation message:
    Canvas Assignment submission confirmation.
  4. If you need to resubmit, submit an additional file, or comment on a submission, then click the Submission Details option.
    Uploading a file to Canvas.
  5. Click the Grades button to view instructor feedback. A few days after each assignment is due, read the instructor and/or TA's feedback in the Grades or Assignment area. It provides a Rubric icon for viewing your score on each criterion and allows you to ask questions.
    Canvas Grades Assignment link
  6. Click the Assignment Name to respond to instructor feedback. If you want to ask a question about your score, click on the assignment name to reveal the feedback and write your comment in the box provided.
    Canvas Grades Rubric and Comments
    Once you click the assignment name, you'll see the feedback. The comment box is under the feedback.
    Using this box notifies the instructor and is the fastest way to get a response.
  7. Uncheck the Calculate button to ensure you see the actual grade based on your scores.
    Uncheck the calculate button to see the actual final grade in Canvas.
  8. View the Coming Up menu. It lists the assignments coming up in the current week. Notice the due dates so you'll never be late again.
    No excuses for being late; the Canvas Coming Up list shows the day and time items are due.
  9. Click the Calendar button. The Calendar shows all of your courses' due dates. Click one course on and off on the right to see one at a time or all of them. Notice that they are color-coded. Use the calendar with your name on it to add your own time management events, such as project start dates, office hours, club meetings, and class and work times.
    Canvas Calendar
    Add the calendar's feed of due dates to your preferred calendar app by clicking the Calendar Feed link at the lower right of Canvas Calendar screen.
    Canvas Calendar Feed link
    Copy the link provided then add it to your calendar:
    Canvas Calendar Feed URL
    • In Microsoft Outlook's Home tab, choose + Open Calendar Paste the Canvas Calendar Feed URL and submit.
      Open a Calendar from the Internet in Outlook.
    • In the Calendar app on your Mac, File > New Calendar Subscription. Paste the Canvas Calendar URL and adjust the name, color, and other options on the next screen.
      Add the Canvas calendar feed URL to Apple's calendar subscription.
      Update the Apple Calendar settings.
    • In Google Calendar, click the plus + symbol next to the Other Calendars or Add a Coworker's Calendar
      Add a URL using the Google Calendar Add Coworker menu.
      Add the URL you copied from Canvas and paste it into the field. Click Add calendar.
  10. View the class roster in the People area. Find people here to form study groups if you like.
  11. Use NetTutor when you need to have your writing reviewed. If you are a poor writer of English, then use this service to improve your work each week. Projects using poor English writing will get marked down, so take advantage of tutors via NetTutor, the OSU Writing Center, or your program's own writing support.
  12. Discussions have some useful features: Basic Canvas Discussion options.
    1. At the top there is a set of Instructions.
    2. The Rubric can be found by clicking the 3-dot menu on the top right.
      Show the Discussion Rubric by clicking the 3-dot more menu
    3. The search bar allows you to search for a keyword, key phrase, or student in the long list of threads (which will appear once others have posted).
    4. Below that, you'll see a Reply box. You'll click it to create a new thread where you can paste in writing, or write from scratch.
    5. When you want to reply to someone else's thread, use the Reply button under that student's thread, rather than the first one. This provides conversation continuity.
    6. Notice that you can expand and collapse each of the other students' threads.
    7. Hover over the middle top of the thread to see an arrow appear. This allows you to open just one thread at a time when they are all collapsed.

    When editing a thread, notice that you can:
    1. Make numbered or bulleted lists, add bold, italic, color, floating, etc. These features work when you have text selected.
    2. To make a hyperlinked article title, select the title, click the link icon, then paste source's URL.
      Basic Canvas Discussion editing options.
    3. To learn more, consult the Canvas Discussion tutorials: Canvas Student Guides for Discussions.

Explore Topics: course logistics and requirements

The following lessons include software setup, reading, research, and writing activities to help you understand how this course works.

1.3 Use multiple tabs.

Set up multiple tabs in a window to reduce the time you spend launching Canvas, the textbook, and the Library.

Set up multiple tabs in the Chrome browser window.

Keeping too many browser tabs and extensions active will slow down your machine. Read How to Stop Web Browsers from Slowing Down Your Computer

  1. Click the person_pin Instructor button, which launches the Canvas Inbox.
  2. Click the Chat with a librariain at Answerland. button to launch a chat session with a librarian. This service is available 24/7.
  3. Click the homeHome button to read the introduction. Other important news or links may be provided here.
  4. Click the info Syllabus button and read it thoroughly.
  5. Click the library_booksChapter buttons to work on each week/module's requirements.
  6. This week's objectives lists the major lessons of the chapter and allow you to jump down to them.
  7. Red messages are...important; read them. ;-)
  8. + Orange headlines can be opened to reveal blue numbered lessons and closed to shorten the content for scrolling and printing.

1.5 Choose a listening tool.

Listening Tools

If you are an auditory learner, or your eyes are tired, I recommend listening to the course materials and readings to help improve information retention. Set up your computer now so you can listen to the remaining sections of this page.

Choose the Chrome extension first. If you don't like it, then use a built-in option for your laptop, desktop, or try a phone app.

    1. Click the 3-dot menu at the top right of the Chrome browser window, then choose More Tools.
    2. Choose Extensions from the popup list.
    3. Scroll to the bottom of your list of extensions (if any) on the left to click on Get More Extensions or Open Chrome Web Store.
    4. Search for Select and Speak and add it to Chrome. The Select and Speak logo will show up in the Chrome Extension Toolbar to the right of the Address/Search box.
    5. Test the voice on a selection of text provided in the options, or in a browser tab.
    6. Right-click on the icon to choose Options. If you are able to, change languages/accents, volume, and other settings.
    1. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences then Accessibility.
    2. Click the Speech option.
    3. Choose a new voice from the System Voice dropdown menu. If you like Siri's voice, choose Samantha.
    4. Use the Optionesc keystroke provided, or choose a new one.
      Change the system settings accessibility speech preferences to Samantha.
    5. Test the voice on a selection of text in a browser tab.
    1. Follow instructions for set-up and use of Speech/Text-to-Speech and the Narrator controls:
    2. To read an entire window, click the window and then press CtrlShiftspacebar.
      • To silence the speech, press Ctrl.
    3. Test the voice on a selection of text in a browser tab.
    4. Alternatively, try the Natural Reader application for your Windows phone. UNTESTED; use at your own risk.

1.6 Access Library Services.

Library Services

Some projects will require library research. Contact a librarian for help if your search is taking more than 15 minutes. Get familiar with these two options:

  1. The OSU Valley Library
    Use multiple contact options to get help finding what you need.
  2. Answerland 24/7 library chat service
    Oregon Libraries Network is open all night.
  3. Before asking for help, formulate specific questions that describe the area of research you're trying to locate so that the Librarian will be able to provide a targeted response.
    Ask a vague question and get a vague answer back. Ask a specific question and get a specific question back.

    Choose more than one method of contact to ask very specific questions (but do not ask two different librarians to answer the same question). If you don't know how to use the Library's databases, then consult with librarians to learn how!

    Research tips

    1.7 Test bibliography apps.

    Bibliography tools

    The following bibliographic tools will help you track and properly cite articles, images, and movies to use in each of the assignments. If you already use a tool you like, then you don't need to set up another one.

    If you have never tracked sources with an app, you are required to try one of the following options. It will save you a lot of time!

    Using an app will also keep your computer from crashing due to too many browser tabs being active simultaneously.

    Choose one to set up:
    • Zotero For Windows or Google
    • Endnote For MS Office
    • Mendeley For MS Office
    • Easybib Online tool
    • Cite this for Me Chrome extension
    • Microsoft Word
    • Citation Machine logo Online tool

    It doesn't matter which style you use for each bibliography (IEEE, MLA, APA, etc.) but each one must include: author last name, author first name, title, publisher, publication date, page number (optional), and the URL. Here is an example:

    Desjardins, Jeff. 2016. "The Extraordinary Raw Materials In An Iphone 6S". Visual Capitalist. https://www.visualcapitalist.com/extraordinary-raw-materials-iphone-6s/.

    1. If a source does not have an author, use the title.
    2. If a source lacks a date, use the copyright date of the web page or publication (usually found in the footer).
    3. If a source is not online, then a URL is not required.

    1.8 Learn to use the Explore Topics Templates.

    Use the following template link to complete this research and writing assignment. It is similar to templates required in future chapters.

    1. Login to your OSU Google Account.
    2. Launch this chapter's Explore Topics Template.
    3. Do not request permission to use the file. Login to your OSU Google Account.
    4. Once you have the file open:
      1. FileMake a copy.
      2. Rename the new file so it includes your "First and Last name" in place of "Template".
      3. Move the file into a folder for this course.
    5. Notice that we're using a Google Slide presentation file rather than a word processing file. Each slide will be referred to as a page because we will be writing in formal research style (rather than watered-down phrases with little meaning).
    6. Add your name to the cover page.
    7. Read instructions on the cover page. When in doubt about how to write in the templates, refer back to this page for clarification.
    8. Notice the green instructions below each page. Drag the notes pane up so you can read all of its text. These are the reading/research and writing prompts that you must adhere to. Be sure that you can read all of them before you begin the work so you don't miss any requirements.
      • Once you open the template, it will refer to articles or research you need to complete.
      • Keep both the template and the articles open simultaneously.
      • Most pages require research.
      • The last page requires a bibliography.

      The green notes below each page of the template tells you which article to write about.
    9. Reading List (open each article in a new browser tab):

    1.9 Edit, download, and submit the Explore Topics file.

    1. Ctrlc or c Copy the bibliographic entries you made during the Explore Topics reading and research. On the last page of the template, Ctrlv or v paste in the bibliographic entries. Select the list and apply the bullet or numbered list icon. Update the font size to 14 if necessary. Add more pages if necessary.
    2. Check and correct grammar and spelling using the built-in functions.
    3. From the File menu, choose Download as PDF.
    4. Check to confirm that hyperlinks work in the new PDF file. If they do not work, then in the Assignment Commenting Box, leave a note stating which platform, operating system, and browser you used to print or download the PDF file.
    5. Copy of the file to a backup folder on your hard drive.
    6. Submit the PDF file by uploading it in the Canvas Assignment screen.
    7. Confirm that your file has uploaded by looking for the document icon in the Grades area.

Examine a Case Discussion: Modern Learning

Examine cases of modern learning techniques to write/discuss from a factual and critical perspective.

1.10 Participate in the Group Discussion

Groups will not be assigned until the official second day of class. Please wait to submit your intial thread until the third day to avoid having to copy it from one group to another.
  1. Four days before the Due date, start writing in a word processing document to introduce yourself and synthesize what you learned about modern learning:
    • In paragraph 1, describe where you are from (without giving away private data).
    • In paragraph 2, name the degree you are seeking and the type of job you hope to land when you graduate.
    • In paragraph 3, describe at least three concepts you hope to learn about in this course.
      • Hint 1: what specific ethical issues relate to your degree or area of focus?
      • Hint 2: what course topics are interesting to you?
    • Read the following article about modern learning and in paragraph 4, synthesize what you discovered:
      Modern Learning ~ Van Londen, Pam, OSU 2020
      Modern Learning

      Google's search box has become a powerful dictionary over the last several years. You can type: define [word] and get an instant answer! Ask Google to define learning and it'll tell you that it is, "the acquisition of knowledge or skills through experience and study..."

      In the class, you'll do just that...gain knowledge through experience and study... it won't be poured into you via lectures or an expensive textbook. Instead, you'll discover important answers by searching, reading, writing, learning new technical skills, and responding to others' threads in discussion. These tasks will allow you to think critically to inform your decisions and opinions.

      Richard Baraniuk, The birth of the open-source learning revolution. © 2006 TED

      In Richard Baraniuk's (Rice University), TED Talk, The birth of the open-source learning revolution (2006), he recommends we "cut out the middleman of textbook publishing" and instead, create a "knowledge ecosystem" where we can become our own "educational DJs."

      Baraniuk's teaching philosophy, which I share, is that teaching is about creating "interconnection of ideas." I guide students through a process where they discover new concepts themselves through research. When students broaden or narrow their searches to meet a set of guidelines or requirements, they are connecting ideas. When they write about those new ideas in their own words, they are synthesizing that material. This form of learning may induce struggle or take more time, but it ensures students retain what they learned, as noted by Carol Dweck on Struggle. To merely learn a fact so you can choose it on an exam is low-level learning. (Refer to Iowa State's Bloom's Taxonomy for levels of learning.) Employers in your future will want you to take limitations, look at them from many sides, evaluate, and communicate them in a professional manner. So that is what we'll practice in this course.

      The role of a teacher is to arrange victories for the students

      Marcus Fabius Quintilianus, Roman Rhetorician

      As an online instructor, my job is to facilitate this learning process. I've provided experiences to jump-start the work of researching devices, history, events, people, companies, tragedies, buzzwords, laws, acts, and countries, etc. The experiences (projects) will be what John Green, author of Nerd's guide to learning everything online, refers to as not a set of "arbitrary hurdles but points on a map to see more maps." I will provide a map and you will find more maps!

      In a 2011 study, Designing for Productive Failure, authors Kapur and Bielaczyc determined that there is a "hidden efficacy" when groups solve problems together. They begin to understand not just correct solutions, but the structure of solutions, and they outperform those that participated in overly prescribed teachings. This notion that students working together to solve problems is better than the standard lecture/test format is why I've structured the course the way I have.

      Can you Crowdsource Learning?
      Jeff Howe - Crowdsourcing © 2008 Bright Sight Group

      I like the idea that students create content that is meaningful to them. In some of my courses, you will share your writing, collaborate and review others' writings to improve it, then analyze the major issues in discussion. I call this crowdlearning. In some of my other courses, you'll be encouraged to learn skills together...side by side. This option allows immediate feedback when you need clarification.

      In 2008, Jeff Howe coined the phrase Crowdsourcing and talks about its power in, Why the Power of Crowdsourcing is Driving the Future of Business. Crowdsourcing takes the notion of open-source and applies it to any field outside of computer science, such as research and reporting by journalists, scientists, and other authors. A company called Crowdlearn uses the notion as their business model. Other startups are following their lead. Crowdlearning has become a common way to learn.

      How education is delivered and received is changing rapidly and many students prefer the new ways of learning, such as through crowdlearning, TED talks, Khan Academy, and Code School. Or by working together with others to solve a problem...making new discoveries. About 10 years ago, I heard about the Minimally Invasive Education (MIE) pedagogy created by Dr. Sugat Mitra. His delivery system for MIE is the Hole-in-the Wall Education Project (HIWEP), wherein under-served communities are provided a computer in a public wall area, so that anyone can step up to the wall and learn whatever they want. Students began to teach themselves and each other. "That children could learn on their own, was something not many people would have imagined and that too in such a cost-effective manner with benefits like improved group dynamics..." (Mitra 2007) This project now has computers in walls in more than 24 locations in India and Cambodia. The initial 4-year study shows improvement in not only test scores, but the assimilation of concepts.

      The idea of minimally invasive education is important to me. You'll learn from each other and from many other experts...less so from me. I don't feel that my personal biases are needed for you to succeed in this class, so you won't see me interacting with the group in discussions. In the 13 years I have been teaching online, I have seen how students teach students quite well without my interference. Your interactions with other students is an effective way to learn a lot of new material.

      Modern Learning. Hyperlink the title of original sources you refer to.
    • Check the word count (150+ per paragraph, not counting the author names or article titles).
    • Check the hyperlinks (they must be in article titles, law names, or theory/approach names).
    • Spellcheck, fix grammar, then Ctrlc or c to copy the 4 or more paragraphs.
    • Click the Chapter 1 Examine a Case Discussion in Canvas.
    • Ctrlv or v to paste the copied text into a Reply thread (click the Reply field to activate the editing box).
    • Save your thread.
  2. Before the Due date, reply to at least one person in your group.
    • In paragraph 1, note which common interests you have personally and professionally.
    • In paragraph 2, describe one of the most interesting learning experiences you have had in your life.
    • Check the word count (150+ not counting the author names or article titles).
    • Save your thread.

Need Help?

Share a Google Slides file with the Instructor.

If you have questions about using the template, the research prompts, or writing conventions, you can share your file with the instructor.

  1. With your file, open, click the Sharing button at the top right of the screen.
  2. Change the settings so that only people at OSU can view the file.
  3. Copy the resulting URL/address.
    Right-click to change sharing settings.
    Change settings so that only OSU people can view. Copy the link.
  4. Paste the resulting URL into a Canvas Inbox message to the instructor (or if you have already submitted your file, provide it in the Assignment Commenting box).

Work offline without Wi-fi

If you will be out of wi-fi range, feel free to work on your files offline.

  1. Click the blue Docs icon (or orange Slides or green Sheets icon).
  2. Select the file(s) to use offline.
  3. Select the 3-dot More menu
  4. Toggle on the Available Until button.
  5. Look at the list of files to view the new Available Offline icon next to the file name.

Writing Tutors

Consult one or more of these resource for a review of the structure of your writing, grammar, and spelling. Provide the tutor with a link to the instructions as well as your project online.

NetTutor's Paper Center
Access online tutoring via Canvas. 48-hour turnaround.
OSU Online Writing Suite
Electronic feedback from home, asynchronous email consultation, or synchronous Skype consultation.
OSU Undergrad Research & Writing Studio
Drop in writing help with no wait times. Standard hours are:
Monday to Thursday → 10:00am to 10:00pm
Friday → 10:00am to 5:00pm, and
Sunday → 2:00pm to 7:00pm.
OSU Academic Integrity Tutorials
Citing sources and using TurnItIn.

Use the Service Desk if you have computer, ONID, or Canvas problems.

But first:

  1. Logout.
  2. Close the browser and relaunch it.
  3. Login to OSU.
  4. Still have problems? Contact Service Desk.

Scoring Criteria

Check Canvas Home, Assignments, and Calendar for the most current Due date and time. The Available Until date and time constitutes a grace period, which can be used in an emergency or if you are ill.

By the end of this chapter, these items must be included in the assignments to earn full points:

Explore Topics

  1. Writing Requirements page includes enough detail.
  2. Citation Methods page includes enough detail.
  3. Synthesis page includes enough detail and is properly cited.
  4. Library Research page includes enough detail and is properly cited.
  5. Illustration Requirements page includes informative media, a detailed description, and a proper copyright statement.
  6. Avoiding Plagiarism page includes enough detail.
  7. Checking Originality page includes enough detail.
  8. Bibliography page includes a list of references (3 or more expected).
  9. Each bibliographic entry includes the author name, year of publication, title, publisher, and URL.
  10. Writing is free of plagiarism.
  11. Writing is free of grammar and spelling errors.

Examine a Case Discussion

  1. Discussion thread describes where you are from (without giving away private data).
  2. Discussion thread describes the degree you are seeking and the job you hope to land when you graduate.
  3. Discussion thread lists 3 or more concepts you hope to learn about in this course.
  4. Discussion thread synthesizes the Modern Learning article.
  5. Discussion reply thread notes common interests.
  6. Discussion reply describes a personal case of an interesting learning experience.