Teaching Information Systems Students Ethics of Responsibility for Technology Design Practices

Proceedings of The World Conference on Teaching and Education

Year: 2019

DOI: https://www.doi.org/10.33422/worldcte.2019.09.564

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Teaching Information Systems Students Ethics of Responsibility for Technology Design Practices

Carolien van den Berg




The paper presents a work-in-progress project that explores the design of teaching and learning principles that will foreground an ethic of responsibility among Information Systems (IS) students. We are experiencing an urgent need to address the inequality and sustainability challenges of our time. It requires the exploration of new, responsible ways of operating, researching, and innovating that enable society to respond to these challenges. Our role in Higher Education (HE) is to prepare students to engage in Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). Technology such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, algorithms, big data, automation, and robotics are currently being applied in a wide range of fields, and designers are just beginning to understand the implications of these developments for design practice. Information Systems scholars need a deeper understanding of their role as designers of future technologies and the ethical, legal, and commercial controversies these developments are calling into question. Technology and innovation are formidable shapers of human lives and society. It is therefore very important to think about what we are doing to ourselves and to each other by means of technology. There is limited research about the study of values and ethics within Information Systems education. The available research mainly focuses on compliance and procedure rather than a broader view that encourages deeper interrogation about societal impact. This prompted a design-based research (DBR) study over three iterations to develop design principles in order to teach IS students ethics of responsibility towards the design of technology.

Keywords: design-based research; ethical principles; social innovation; scenario planning; technology design.