Social Impact Analysis
Ethics in Computing Links
Don't get stuck in just one way of discussing
There are many different ways of discussing cases.
Cases provide a flexible, highly adaptable tool for raising ethical and
technical issues. For example, there are many different ways to teach
- Discuss the case in an unstructured, informal way.
- Hold a structured discussion of the case using
ethical approaches and a case analysis framework.
- Write a social impact statement based on the case.
- Write and present a formal document related to
the case. Students could write the CAPcorrective action planrequired
by the FDA in the Therac-25 case or a memo in the Hughes or Machado
- Role-play. For example, recreate the meetings held
between AECL and the Therac-25 operators. The class could be divided
into groups of 4 or 5 and assigned the following stakeholder roles:
AECL (management, legal department, board of directors), the AECL team
that wrote the program for the Therac-25, FDA officials, operators from
the hospitals who have purchased the machine, the AECL team responsible
for writing the Corrective Action Plan.
- Have students write a script that dramatizes the
problem presented by the case.
- Have students write a script that dramatizes how
they would carry out the solution they have devised for the case.
- Use cases to evaluate past actions.
- Use cases to practice making decisions in the present.
- Rewrite textbook exercises (in computer science
courses) to connect them to a case.
- Rewrite ethics cases to raise technical issues.
Our point is that you should not consider the exercises
we provide for the cases as the only way to teach them. Use your imagination.