Course Outline

Course TitleEthical and Social Issues in Information Systems
Course CodeITEC317
TypeFull Time
CategoryAC (Area Core)
Workload90 Hours
EMU Credit(3,0,0) 3
Level Third Year
Teaching Format3 Hours Lecture
ECTS Credit3
Course Web Site


Instructor(s)Mobina BeheshtiOffice Tel+90 392 630 1669 No



Course Description

Main objectives of the course are basic understanding of history of IT, awareness of current issues, and familiarity with ethics. The course provides an overview of ethical theories and related problems such as privacy, networking, security and reliability. The course presents issues such as government supervision, computer crimes, and intellectual property from all points of view. Global issues such as cyberspace, cybernetics, social networking, and online crimes will be reviewed. This course aims to challenge students to think critically and enables them to draw their own conclusion. Besides they will learn to balance divergent thoughts which eventually prepare them to become responsible and ethical professionals as a team, as well as individual users of innovative technologies.


General Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  • Discuss what ethics is and what constitutes an ethical issue in information and computer ethics;
  • Develop awareness of ethical issues in different contexts;
  • İdentify and discuss ethical issues that arise in general public media, and in particular in individuals everyday professional practice;
  • Discuss how negotiation might resolve apparent ethical differences;
  • Apply ethical theories to interpret personal and group behavior to use a variety of information technology tools;
  • Evaluate the ethical decisions that can be made by individual and others when various roles that expose social and multicultural differences are served.
  • Develop written arguments on the evolving nature of ethical norms relating to innovative technologies.


Teaching Methodology / Classroom Procedures

In the beginning of each class there will be a short lecture about the importance of the topic.

Students will form teams and choose a project from the specified topics to be presented in class.

Case Studies, drama and dialogue will be used as powerful tools to help IT students to identify, discuss and understand the role of ethics in their professional practice.

Students are encouraged to use internet to research and present various related topics in a team work. 
Lecture notes and announcements will be posted on the web site.
Students are responsible to know and use all the course material placed on the web ( and track the designated dates for timely submission of the assignment and for timely attendance to all quizzes.


There is a project assignments as follows:

  • A project that will be select from students related topic.

    There are two written quiz as follows:
  • Quiz1-(before midterm week)
  • Quiz2-(before final week)
    There is written midterm exam which covers Catalysts for Change, Introduction to Ethics, Intellectual Property and Privacy  

    There is a written final exam which covers all topics.

Course Materials / Main References

Text Book:
Michael J. Quinn, Ethics in the Information Age, Sixth Edition, Pearson Prentice-Hall, 2015.

Resource Books:

- George Reynolds, Ethics in Information Technology, Fourth Edition, Course Technology, 2011.
- Albert Bayet, Bilim Ahlakı, Türkiye İş Bankası Kültür Yayınları, 2000.

Lecture Notes:

  • Lecture , Lab and tutorial notes on web link :


Weekly Schedule / Summary of Topics
Week 1-2

Catalysts for Change:

Introduction, Milestones in computing, Milestones in networking, Milestones in information storage and retrieval, Information technology issues.

Week 3Introduction to Ethics:
Defining Terms, Overview of ethical theories, Comparing workable ethical theories, Morality of breaking the law.
Week 4-5

Intellectual Property:

Intellectual property rights, Protecting intellectual property, Fair use, New restrictions on use.

Week 6-7Privacy: 
Perspectives on privacy, Disclosing information, Public information.
Week 8-9Midterm Exams
Week 10-11Privacy: 
Government Surveillance, Data Mining.
Week 12-13Professional Ethics: 
Computer experts as professionals, Software engineering code of ethics.
Week 14-15Professional Ethics: 
Analysis of the code, Case studies, Whistleblowing.
Week 16Work and Wealth:
Automation and unemployment, Workplace changes.
Week 17-18Final Exams



  • Each student can have only one make-up exam. One who misses an exam should provide a medical report within 3 days after the missed exam. The make-up exam will be organized at the end of the term after the finals and will cover all the topics. No make-up exam will be given for the quizzes.
  • Students who do not pass the course and fail to attend the lectures regularly may be given NG grade.
Method of Assessment
Evaluation and GradingPresentationActivity & Attendance QuizzesMidterm ExamFinal Exam
Percentage15%5%10 %30 %40 %


Grading Criteria *
90 -10085 - 8980 - 8475 - 7970 - 7465 - 6960 - 6456 - 5953 - 5550 - 5240 - 490 – 39

* Letter grades will be decided upon after calculating the averages at the end of the semester and distribution of the averages will play a significant role in the evaluation of the letter grades.