ERIC Number: ED348676
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-May
Reference Count: N/A
An Experiment in Computer Ethics: Clustering Composition with Computer Applications.
Babson College (a school of business and management in Wellesley, Massachusetts) attempted to make a group of first-year students computer literate through "clustering." The same group of students were enrolled in two courses: a special section of "Composition" which stressed word processing as a composition aid and a regular section of "Introduction to Information Systems" (a course in which students learn various software packages). The composition course was structured around four sub-themes: technology and the shaping of society; gender issues; issues in education; and ethics and computers in business. Students wrote one essay on each sub-theme. Students were allowed to write on computer-related topics or to branch out to other related issues. Students were introduced to some of the legal and ethical issues brought about by computers (and were encouraged to write informally as much as possible) by using electronic mail (e-mail) as much as possible. Students developed close, friendly relationships through e-mail. As a result of taking the cluster, students believed they were introduced and sensitized to ethical, legal, and moral implications of computer use. The faculty found livelier and more informed class discussions than in non-clustered classes as well as an improvement in the quality of student papers. Students also became enthusiastic users of e-mail, unlike their fellow students who did not take the cluster courses. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Babson College MA; Computer Ethics
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on Computers and Writing (8th, Indianapolis, IN, May 1-3, 1992).