Report sneak peak! – Existing Competencies in the Teaching of Ethics in Computer Science Faculties

Our report on Existing Competencies in the Teaching of Ethics in Computer Science Faculties has been sent to external reviewers and will soon be published!

In the meanwhile, here’s a sneak peak of what we have worked on!

Our has been devised with the goal of better understanding the current landscape of Ethics teaching in Computer Science higher education institutions across Europe. It is of central importance to the project to understand if and how Ethics is currently taught in Computer Science programmes, the background of the teaching staff, the scope of the curricula, the teaching practices and learning methods, assessment and learning outcomes.

Our study builds on a previous investigation from one of the project partners (Informatics Europe) where a selected group of experts from European Universities contributed to a discussion addressing issues like the perceived importance, relevance and possible implementation of the teaching of ethical/social impact of Computer in university degree programmes in this discipline. We extended and amplified that study, surveying more universities and adding more specific questions with the purpose of acquiring a broader understanding of the current practices for the teaching of Ethics in Computer Science across Europe.

Our study started in December 2019 when TU Dublin, together with Informatics Europe and Mälardalen University, developed the first draft of an online questionnaire. In January 2020, the online questionnaire was sent to all members and networking partners of Informatics Europe and European Digital Learning Network (D-Learn) reaching over 150 European Universities from more than 30 European countries.

The survey was structured in three parts. The first part consisted of demographic questions (Section A) answered by all 61 respondents. The rest of the questionnaire was split into two parts based on whether the respondent’s institution teaches Ethics as part of any Computer Science or related programmes. The second part (Section B) was addressed only to those that replied their institutions do not teach Ethics as part of any Computer Science or related programmes, 22 out of 61 respondents. The third part (Section C) was completed by the 39 participants who responded their institutions teaches Ethics as part of any Computer Science or related programmes.

The final goal of our study was to gain a better understanding and some guidelines on how to develop off-the-shelf teaching and assessment content and a Community of Practice that makes it easy for any Computer Science lecturer to deliver lessons on the topic of Digital Ethics.

The full report will be available soon at the outcomes section of the website!
A must-read for any lecturer, professor, head of School/Department that wish to implement or ameliorate the teaching of Ethics in their institution.