Developing a computer ethics module for it Students within an e-learning environment
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ELearning technologies and platforms have widely been adopted by educational institutes, such as universities and schools, either to facilitate traditional teaching methods or to provide autonomous distance learning modules. Teaching material and methods have accordingly been developed for several academic disciplines, especially within the computer science. Since students of computing schools and departments are the most familiar with information technology, they are potentially the most receptive ones to eLearning technology as well. However, not every topic can be easily implemented within an eLearning environment and taught in online mode. Computer ethics is such a topic, which despite its significance for future professionals in the IT domain has not benefited from recent developments. In this paper we demonstrate our methodology and architecture for teaching a computer ethics course within an eLearning environment. It is a work towards an autonomous module, which is oriented towards improving students’ ethical decision making. Despite the debate on whether such a topic can be even taught and consequently influence students towards a more ethical behaviour overcoming their motivation and perspective towards ethics, we argue that such training can create the necessary familiarity with ethical issues and develop awareness on cases that might raise possible ethical issues. In addition, the proposed analysis path helps students handle and analyze such issues, improving thus their critical thinking and ethical decision making.