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ERIC Number: EJ971765
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-2165-3151
Incorporating Knowledge of Legal and Ethical Aspects into Computing Curricula of South African Universities
Wayman, Ian; Kyobe, Michael
Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice, v11 p139-157 2012
As students in computing disciplines are introduced to modern information technologies, numerous unethical practices also escalate. With the increase in stringent legislations on use of IT, users of technology could easily be held liable for violation of this legislation. There is however lack of understanding of social aspects of computing, and institutions have not integrated many of these aspects into their curricula. The present study investigates the extent to which legal and ethical issues relating to IT are integrated in the undergraduate curricula in South African Universities. It also examines the factors that impede such integration. A review of literature on ethics, computing legislation, and curriculum development was conducted. Research questions were formulated and mixed methods consisting of the study of handbooks, a survey, and follow-up interviews were employed to collect data from different universities in South Africa offering computing disciplines. The main findings suggest low levels of knowledge of especially legal aspects which constrains their incorporation into the curriculum. The process of integration is mainly influenced by departmental policies and politics. Most institutions have, however, integrated legal and ethical aspects as add-ons topics to existing computing curriculum courses as opposed to running separate courses focusing on the subjects. A guide is being developed to facilitate the incorporation of legal content elements into undergraduate computing curricula. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa