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Semester 1

Professional Issues (Level 10) (INFR10022)

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Course Summary

The aim of the course is to highlight and allow students to develop understanding of key aspects of the wider context in which their practice as Informatics professionals will occur.  Students will develop individual capabilities that complement the technical capacities developed elsewhere in Informatics programmes.  These include communication, reflection, reasoning and analysis skills that consider the broader ethical and social implications of their work.

Course Description

The course will be structured around professional and ethical behaviour, and the wider context in which technologies are developed and deployed. Beginning with the ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, the course will consider the wider context technologies are developed within and teach students to be considerate in their role as ICT professionals. A standard breakdown of the course can be expected to be:- Introduction (week 1 - gives an overview of the course)- Responsibility (2 weeks, ACM principles 1.1, 1.2, 1.4): this will cover the responsibility of computing professionals. It will explore the notion of harms in the context of complex, multi-stakeholder situations, where benefit and harm are contested.- Personal Attributes (2 weeks, ACM principles 1.3, 1.5, 1.6 and 1.7): this will cover personal attributes and why these are important by covering a range of situations that challenge professional integrity and work out how to respond to such challenges.- Society (3 weeks, ACM principles 3.1, 3.2, 3.6 and 3.7) this will cover the obligations of computing professionals to recognise broader social requirements on their actions, particularly in areas where decisions involve the creation of new infrastructures that will underpin the delivery of public services or they are likely to be incorporated into widely used privately-owned platforms.- Leadership (2 weeks, ACM principles 3.3, 3.4 and 3.5) will cover leadership amongst computing professionals, the obligations on leaders to ensure their leadership is fair and benefits those who are being led. This section will include a reflection on how these materials are taught.The course will use articles and research from the social sciences, alongside short case studies drawn from contemporary situations that illustrate how knowledge of the decision-making context influences professional conduct and decision-making. Students will develop analytical skills to identify the critical influences on professionals in a range of real-world situations.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 100%, Practical Exam 0%

Additional Assessment Information

Coursework 100% The summative coursework assessment will comprise the following:- Short essay portfolio (80%)- Peer writing review (10%)- Discussion contributions (10%)

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