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Ethical Case Analysis of Your Current Events Topic

Ethical Case Analysis of Your Current Events Topic

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Ethical Case Analysis of Your Current Events Topic

Ethical Case Analysis of Your Current Events Topic

Due Dates

  • Report due in Moodle.  Due date posted in Moodle.


  1. Confirm that you are able to conduct an ethical analysis of a socio-technical scenario
    (a computing-related issue that affects people).
  2. Confirm that you are able to use the ethical theories and professional codes of ethics we have learned to analyze a socio-technical scenario.

Final Project

This ethical analysis will count as the IS 350 Final.  You will write a full analysis of the scenario that was approved for your current event topic.  This is an individual examination project, not a group project.  Each person will first do the full analysis (all parts) on your own, submitting that analysis to Moodle as your Final.

Scenario Notes:  You must have had your scenario approved by the instructor in advance BEFORE you can do the Final.  The Final analyzes the current events scenario that you needed to post in the current events topic approval forum.  You can tweak the approved scenario somewhat if necessary, but if you foresee major changes, you must ask the instructor first for approval.


Review Module week 2 slides on doing an ethical analysis then practice doing an ethical case analysis on some cases from class or the Quinn text.

Project – Analysis Format

Citation Note:  If you utilize materials you’ve found, be sure use inline citations (e.g., [1] or superscripts1) at the appropriate places within your statement and analysis sections that refer to the references in a bibliography.

Identification Section

Include “IS 350 Final”, and your name, section of IS 350 and current events topic, as part of the first page.

Statement Section

Describe your Current Events scenario, giving any necessary background on your current events topic.  This section should be at least two full paragraphs.

  1. Present and explain your scenario in enough detail so the rest of the analysis is clear. Include any additional information necessary for understanding the rest of your analysis (including, if necessary, any background information regarding your current events topic).  You may modify and use appropriate text from your midterm.
  2. Present the ethical dilemma
  3. Let the reader know why your topic is an important topic to the Computing field.
  4. Clearly state the ethical issue(s) that arise in your scenario.

Analysis Sections

Format: As you know, an ethical analysis includes the following 8-9 sections.  Write each section separately, marked with its own section title.  You must include your Scenario and Ethical Dilemma in the beginning of the document.

Unique Analysis: Everyone’s analysis will be different.  Your scenario will lead you to identify its particular moral agents, stakeholder, courses of action and consequences.  You will uniquely apply the ethical theories to your scenario and choose the most relevant codes of ethics for it.

  1. Identify the moral agents (agency).
  2. What of value is at stake?
  3. Who/what are the stakeholders?
  4. At least 2 possible courses of action (identify at least 2).
    • Start a new paragraph for each. Begin that paragraph by stating: “A possible course of action is XXX”.
    • Describe the course of action clearly enough for the reader to understand your analysis.
    • Be sure that one course of action is the action in the scenario and another course of action is not doing the action in the scenario.
  5. Consequences associated with each course of action.
    • For each, state: “A(nother) consequence of the action XXX is YYY”.
  6. Analyze the scenario using the 5 objective ethical theories
    • You will need 5 clearly marked subsections, one for each theory (Kantianism, Act Utilitarianism, Rule Utilitarianism, Social Contract Theory, Virtue Theory).
  7. Identify and Apply any clauses in the two codes of ethics
    • You will need 2 clearly marked subsections, one for the ACM Code of Ethics and the other for the Software Engineering Code of Ethics.
    • You must have a minimum of three (3) clauses from each Code of Ethics.
    • Give the clause number and the actual clause and then state how and why each would apply to this situation.
    • The clauses in the codes are generic enough that several codes can apply.

      (Warning: Do not state that no codes apply because they are software related if your case study is not about software.  There are broader principles that do apply because your ethics scenario does concern computing and/or the design of systems with socio-technical aspects.

  8. Which concrete action do you would recommend (supported by your analysis). This must be one of the actions proposed in number 4.  Justify by clearly explaining why. 
  9. Bibliography: The bibliography is not part of your page count.    Use APA or MLA format – see the “Understanding Citations” link on Moodle.

Deliverables, Length, Format, Timing – What to Submit on Moodle

Your analysis deliverable may be any length up to 9 pages (not counting the bibliography).  Format this double-spaced with one-inch margins all around, 12-point font, Times New Roman.

Late submissions will not be accepted unless there are extenuating circumstances and prior approval of the instructor has been received.




  • Use the Grading Rubric (posted on Moodle and repeated on the next page) as a checklist to double check your report.
  • You must use the subject headings and subheadings from sections 1-9 above
  • Late submissions WILL NOT be accepted and will be given a grade of zero.

Grading Rubric



Max Points

Your Points

Grader Comments

Statement (describe topic detailed enough for analysis, importance, ethical issue, scenario, ethical dilemma)

Points off if missing



Identify the moral agents (agency)





What is at stake?






Who are the stakeholders?





Possible courses of action (at least 2)
For each state “A possible course of action is XXX”.





Consequences associated with each course of action
For each state “A(nother) consequence of the action XXX is YYY”.





Apply the 5 objective theories, 5 points each (Act Utilitarianism, Rule Utilitarianism, Kantianism, Social Contract Theory, and Virtue Theory)




Identify ALL relevant clauses in the ACM Code of Ethics and SE Code of Ethics and state how/why they apply
Give the clause number and the actual clause and then state how and why each would apply.




Concrete action you would recommend as stated in #4 and based on your analysis.

Explain why.






Points off if missing



Misc. points off for not following instructions, formatting, etc.










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