Dowling College First Year Seminar
FYE 1055A ETHICS IN THE CYBER AGE
MW 1:00-2:20PM. CRN 99807 RC 312
Dr. Christian Perring, Department of Philosophy, Dowling College
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [All email to me should have "FYE" in the subject line]
Office Phone: 244-3349
Office: 330B RC (next to the computer lab)
Office Hours: M 2:30-5:00PM, T 4:30-5:30PM, W 11:30AM-12:50PM
Read this syllabus carefully! It is a contract between the professor and students and contains important details about this course. Note that some details are subject to change.
In this seminar, students will be taught the skills necessary for college success by examining the ethical issues raised by the advances in computer technology and the Internet. Topics studied will include free speech and censorship, privacy of information, government regulation, ownership of intellectual property and plagiarism, the quality of life in human relationships mediated by technology, and the role of the marketplace of ideas in democracy. The course will focus on the skills of reading, listening, researching, writing college-level papers, integrating research in papers, working in groups, doing presentations, managing time, and being independent.
Richard Spinello: Cyberethics: Morality and Law in Cyberspace (Third Edition). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett, 2006 [Note that it is essential that you have the 2006 Third Edition]
Laurie L. Hazard, Jean-Paul Nadeau, Foundations for Learning and Planner. Prentice Hall, 2006
[Note that the Foundations for Learning and the PH Planner come wrapped together. You need both, and these will be available through the Dowling Book Store, and it is also possible to buy them online through the links provided.]
Associated website: Prentice Hall’s Student Success
· Ability to do research in at least one topic
· Understanding of research methods, including web-based research
· Ability to do a presentation to a class
· Ability to write a college-level paper
· Ability to engage in class discussion and understand other people's views.
· Ability to read college-level texts with understanding
· Ability to explain college-level texts to others
· Ability to cite references in APA style
· Ability to plan work schedule.
· Understanding of academic honesty and how to avoid plagiarism.
6 pop quizzes on assigned reading: 10%
Definitions assignment: 2%
Assessing Scholarly Articles assignment: 3%
Submission of schedule planning: 2%
First paper: 8%
Second paper: 20%
Third paper: 30%
Personal reflections (4): 8%
Note: All students must attend TWO FYE workshops and make sure that they get their name on the attendance sheet. The workshops are listed at http://www.dowling.edu/admissions/fyeworkshop.htm This is a requirement in order to pass the course.
Note: If I instruct you to get tutoring for your writing, you must start seeing a writing tutor on a regular basis until your writing has improved sufficiently to be college level. If you do not do this, you will fail the course.
Reading assignments: The reading is listed in the syllabus below. You must do the reading before that week. You should be familiar with the main ideas in each assigned chapter, and you should make notes of those parts that are hard to follow. There will be 6 pop quizzes during the semester on the readings. You either get credit for these or you don't.
All students will meet with me in at least two one-on-one tutorials, to discuss their papers, how their first semesters are coming along, and what courses to take in the next semester.
Plagiarism detection and prevention: All papers should be submitted via Turnitin.com or sent to me by email as an attachment in MS Word or RTF. I will give you information about how to use Turnitin.com. Note that I view any form of academic dishonesty very seriously, and if I find that you have engaged in any significant form of plagiarism or cheating I will fail you in this course and report my action to the Dean of Students.
The class ID for turnitin.com is "1984770 "
The password is "robot"
Presentations: You must sign up to do a presentation in by the end of the Week 2. You can do a 5-minute presentation on your own, or a 10-minute presentation with another person. If you do a joint presentation, you will both get the same grade. You can use Powerpoint to do your presentation, but it is not required. However you do your presentation, you must keep it lively and interesting, and you should not simply read out from a pre-written text. You should provide some information that is not available in the course textbook. Your presentation will be assessed using the form available by clicking here.
Attendance: Attendance is required. You need to be in the classroom by the start of the class period, when I will take attendance. If you are late, you only get half-credit for attendance that day. If you are late to class, you need to speak to me at the end of class to explain why you were late and ask me to record your presence on my roster. If you need to miss a class, you should notify me by phone or email before the class. If you are ill and see a medical professional, or you have an unavoidable legal obligation, you should show me some documentation as evidence. Your attendance grade will suffer significantly if you miss classes without excuse. If you miss classes, you should write a 600 word summary of the reading assigned for that class, or arrange some alternative make-up work. If you miss more than 5 classes without excuse, you will fail the course.
Participation: You should participate in class discussion, both answering questions that are put to the class, raising questions when you do not fully understand an idea or a part of the text, or what someone in the class says. There is a Blackboard site for this course, and you can also participate and discuss issues there.
Personal Reflections: These should be at least 400 words, in grammatical English. They will not be graded, but I will give you some feedback on them. You either get credit for them or you don't. They are not meant to be academically challenging, but are meant to give you the opportunity to link the topics of the class to your own life and ideas you have about how best to make decisions. It is up to you how much of your own personal experience you include, but you are encouraged to do so link your own life with philosophical discussions.
Classroom Etiquette. All cell phones ringers should be turned off and you should never talk on your cell phone in class. You should not eat any food in class, especially food that others will notice through sound or smell. You should turn up on time to all classes. You are free to express your views and question the views of others, including your professor, and you can be passionate about your opinions. However, you must always treat others in the class with respect; you can criticize the views and arguments of others, but you cannot criticize them as persons. You should also make sure you are not dominating classroom discussion to the exclusion of other class members.
Extra Credit. There will be a few extra credit options such as going to talks by visiting speakers or going to plays and writing 600 words about it afterwards. All extra credit options will be available to all students. If you want an extra credit option or have an idea for a task to perform to get extra credit. Extra credit options normally provide 2% added to your total grade. No student can receive more than 4% extra credit.
Academic and Personal Problems. If you have problems that cause you to be late with work or to miss a number of classes, please stay in communication by phone, email, or by meeting with me in person. I will be willing to work with you and sort out a way for you to still stay in the class and get a fair grade. If you miss a number of classes or fail to hand in work on time but don't give me any explanation then you risk failing the class. Most people experience some sort of crisis during their college career, and you need to find ways to make sure that such problems don't ruin your college career.
Keeping Copies of Your Work. It is your responsibility to keep copies of all your work in this course until your final grade is submitted. You need to keep copies of your work in at least 3 different places, because all storage methods are fallible. Floppy disks are very unreliable and I recommend you don't use them. If you do use them, back them up every day. Better methods of storage are CD-ROMS, flashdrives or jumpdrives, zip-drives, hard disks, and emails to yourself with your work attached to the emails. It can be a good idea to print out your work and keep a hard copy. But remember that no method of data storage is perfect, which is why you should keep your work stored in at least 3 separate places.
Final Deadline: All work is due by December 15, when I will calculate final grades. You must make sure that you have given me:
· a draft version of your final paper
· electronic copies of all the papers
· If required, proof that you consulted with a writing tutor.
If I don't have all of these, you will fail the course.
Paper One. 800 words. Summarize one article on the regulation of the Internet. Start your paper with a paragraph describing how you found the article. End your paper with a paragraph assessing whether the article is scholarly, explaining your answer. Attach the original article to your paper. Submit your paper to Turnitin.com.
Note: your paper will be assessed not just for the quality of the writing, but also how interesting and informative the article you discuss is. You will do better to avoid the most obvious sources.
Answer ONE of the following questions.
1. Consider this news item.
Filter policy snags Rochester: County official threatens budget if library continues unblocking.
Library Journal 132.6 (April 1, 2007): p15(1).
The budget of the Monroe County Library System, Rochester, NY, is under threat from County Executive Maggie Brooks, who was on the warpath after a television report on "porn at the library." If the library doesn't make its filtering policy--which is guided by the American Library Association stand regarding the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)--more stringent, Brooks said that she'd pull $6.6 million in funding for the Central Library in Rochester and its services to 34 member libraries.
In response, the library agreed to stop disabling the filter during a 60-day policy review, up to April 28. The Central Library previously disabled the filter upon request by adults, no questions asked, though it required privacy screens for unfiltered viewing. Some of the town-governed branches in the system, however, don't unblock sites on request, or do so only if a site was clearly blocked in error, according to the Democrat and Chronicle.
The American Civil Liberties Union criticized Brooks and also said the library had been "knuckling under" to her in response to her threatened funding cut. Brooks said that her legal advisors don't think the library is required to unblock sites--an issue being tested in court in a lawsuit filed in Washington state (see News, LJ 1/07, p. 18ff.). Library spokeswoman Patricia Uttaro told LJ that the public was split; no one favors porn in libraries, but many people don't like Brooks's tactics.
COPYRIGHT 2007 Reed Business Information, Inc. (US)
Discuss whether the Monroe County Library System should make its filtering policy more stringent.
2. Consider this news item.
Google Agrees to Censor Results in China
Jan 24 2006
By MICHAEL LIEDTKE
AP Business Writer
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Online search engine leader Google Inc. has agreed to censor its results in China, adhering to the country's free-speech restrictions in return for better access in the Internet's fastest growing market.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company planned to roll out a new version of its search engine bearing China's Web suffix ".cn," on Wednesday. A Chinese-language version of Google's search engine has previously been available through the company's dot-com address in the United States.
By creating a unique address for China, Google hopes to make its search engine more widely available and easier to use in the world's most populous country.
Because of government barriers set up to suppress information, Google's China users previously have been blocked from using the search engine or encountered lengthy delays in response time.
The service troubles have frustrated many Chinese users, hobbling Google's efforts to expand its market share in a country that expected to emerge as an Internet gold mine over the next decade.
China already has more than 100 million Web surfers and the audience is expected to swell substantially?an alluring prospect for Google as it tries to boost its already rapidly rising profits.
Discuss whether Google should agree to such self-censorship.
College Fall 2007
FYE 1055 Ethics in the Cyber Age
Final paper topics
Draft of 1000 words is due
2 of your 3 scholarly sources
Final version must have 3 scholarly sources. You must discuss them thoroughly in the text of your paper. Note that it may also be useful to use other non-scholarly sources for your paper, to get current information and for opinions you may want to discuss.
Draft due 11:59PM Nov 19.
Your third paper will lose 1% for each day you are late with the draft.
Final version due 11:59PM Dec 3.
Your paper will lose 3% for each day you are late with the final version.
Your paper should start with a paragraph describing how you did your research and your assessment of the quality of your 3 scholarly sources.
Chose one of these topics.
1. On Nov 2, the NY Times reported that the Writers Guide of America would be going on strike against studios and networks. "Ultimately, the two sides gridlocked over the writers? insistence on a sharp increase in their residuals payments for the re-use of movies and shows on DVDs and on new payments for the distribution of such works on the Internet, over cell phones and elsewhere. Producers refused to boost the DVD payments and rebuffed demands related to electronic distribution, arguing that industry economics and still-shifting technology made accommodation impossible."
Discuss whether writers of entertainment shows should get financial compensation for their works when they are broadcast via the Internet, iPods, or cell phones and other new media. Make sure to include substantial discussion of intellectual property and the ethics of creators of content getting paid for their work.
Writers Guild of America East New Media FAQ: http://web1.wgaeast.org/index.php/articles/914?wgpf=1
2. Is there reason to think that in the future many humans will have electronic components implanted into their brains? In such a future, would being human have a fundamentally different meaning from what it means now. Would you welcome such a future? [Suggestion: find scholarly discussions of the concepts of implantable brain chips, posthuman, transhuman, and cyborgs.]
3. Discuss whether wiki websites which are open to editing by anyone can be reliable sources of information. In your paper, address some of the following questions: How does the information available on Wikipedia compare with that available in published scholarly books or articles? Is there any good reason to believe that scholarly articles are more reliable than those found on Wikipedia? Could wiki websites become trustworthy sources of information in the future?
4. Read the hypothetical Newport Electronics case on pages 178 - 180 of CyberEthics. Discuss the ethical issues involved in this particular case and explain whether you would support legislation that prevented employees being monitored electronically by their employers.
5. Is there any evidence that it is possible for people to become addicted to viewing web pages, going to Internet chat rooms, or playing computer games? If it is possible, then how many Americans are addicted to cyber technology? Are there ways to end or avoid cyber addiction? Assess the strength of the evidence, and discuss whether having such an addiction is any different from being lazy, self-indulgent or stupid. Most importantly, discuss whether people should be able to use their addiction as an excuse for not fulfilling their other responsibilities, comparable to a medical excuse.
APA Citation Style
9/5 First Day: Introduction to the course.
In-class writing sample (one page): What does the Internet mean to you? How large a role does it play in your life? When did you first start using the Internet? Note: pay careful attention to spelling and grammar for this writing sample.
9/11 & 9/13
Send me an email from your Dowling email account with the follow information: Your name, your phone number, High School, your probable major, your previous AP and/or college experiences, what job you have, how many hours you work each week at your job, what town you live in and how you get to college, any information about special needs for teaching or test-taking, and any concerns you have about this course.
Using Dowling email.
Reading: Foundations, Ch 1. Becoming Part of a Scholarly Community
Will give out list of terms for which students need to find definitions.
9/17 & 9/19
Etiquette and Netiquette
Treating other people with respect. Expectations at Dowling.
Defining Terms. One page giving the most useful definition of your assigned word, explaining where you got it and why you think it is good. This must be posted to the Blackboard class discussion page. (Worth 2%)
Reading: Foundations: Chapter 2. Developing Academic Self-Concept
Reading: Foundations: Chapter 3: Planning and Prioritizing
Due: Use the Prentice Hall Planner to create a Semester Schedule for this semester and a Weekly Schedule for the Week of Oct 21-27 as described in this chapter. This needs to be a schedule of everything you can plan for, including class assignments, work obligations, and other commitments, such as sports, family events and whatever else will take your time. Use both the “Monthly Schedules” and the “Daily Schedules” in the Planner to do this. 2%
Start keeping a lie log, as described in Activity 3.4 (p.48)
Reading: Cyberethics Chapter One: The Internet and Ethical Values.
Assignment: Take notes on pages 1-11. Hand them in.
Zippy Scenarios for Teaching Internet Ethics
Reading: Foundations: Chapter 4: Developing Metacognitive Skills
Due. Personal Reflection 1. Your lie log plus your answers to the questions given in Activity 3.4 (p. 48)
Reading: Cyberethics: Chapter Two: Regulating and Governing the Internet.
10/8 & 10/10
Reading: Foundations: Chapter 5: Developing Communication Skills
Plagiarism, Copyright, and Academic Honesty.
Academic Sources, Expertise. Wikipedia
Possible presentation topics:
Reading: Cyberethics: Chapter Three. Free Speech and Content Controls in Cyberspace.
Paper One due. 800 words.
Reading: Foundations: Chapter 6: Combining Readings and Notes for Optimal Performance in Lectures and on Exams
Paper writing skills. Time management.
Due: Personal Reflection 2. Do Activities 4.2 & 4.3 (p. 76) from Foundations.
Using footnotes and citing sources in APA format.
Reading: Cyberethics: Chapter Four: Intellectual Property in Cyberspace
Paper Two due. 1200 words. Must use 2 scholarly sources.
Reading: Cyberethics: Chapter Five: Regulating Internet Privacy
Doing research: Finding sources
Due: Personal Reflection 3: Activity 4.5 (p. 76 from Foundations)
More on CyberEthics Ch 5
Integrating research into your paper.
Reading: Cyberethics: Securing the Electronic Frontier Ch 6
Due: Assessing Scholarly Articles assignment:
You need to find 2 articles from scholarly journals potentially relevant to your final paper. You can use the print hard-copy journals or journals accessible through the Library databases. For each article:
Reading: Cyberethics: Securing the Electronic Frontier Ch 6
Draft of Paper Three due. 1000 words.
Human Relationships in the Virtual World
11/26 & 11/28
Reading: Wikipedia Entry on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia
History of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Wikipedia
Reliability of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reliability_of_Wikipedia
Know It All: Can Wikipedia conquer expertise? by Stacy Schiff. New Yorker, 2006. http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/07/31/060731fa_fact
Reading: "Can Wikipedia Ever Make the Grade?" and "Building an Encyclopedia, With or Without Scholars", by Brock Read (available on Blackboard Course Documents)
Due: Personal Reflection 4: Create an academic autobiography as described in Activity 2.2 of Foundations (p. 26) from kindergarten through to now.
Due: Paper Three. 1800 words. The final paper should have an introduction which includes a description of research methods used.
Article Title: Cyborgs and moral identity. Gillett, Grant. Journal of Medical Ethics, Vol. 32, No. 2, Date: 2/1/2006 (Available on Blackboard Course Documents)
12/10 Last Day. Course Wrap Up.