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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Suggested Learning Outcomes


Learning outcomes can help focus and guide responsible computing curriculum and activity design. We have organized these suggested learning outcomes into three categories, based on the types of courses into which they would be incorporated.

To learn the impacts and effects of ethical decision-making, students will…


1. Identify ethical issues in computing work, applications, and/or use cases, and distinguish them from technical, legal, commercial, or PR issues/challenges

2. Apply some specific concepts of normative ethics (such as duties, rights, virtues, values, justice, human flourishing, utility, risk, harm, etc.) to CS contexts

3. Identify the relevant moral stakeholders in a CS scenario

4. Identify some of the important moral values, interests, hazards, and conflicts at stake in a particular scenario

5. Apply one or several general frameworks for ethical decision-making in the context of CS projects


6. Identify and explain fundamental ethical concerns in computing (eg. privacy, security, fairness, transparency, accountability, safety, control, manipulation/deception, trust, etc.)

7. Apply some existing standards and best practices of responsible computing

8. Recognize established professional codes of computer ethics


9. Predict and describe ethically-based objections or concerns about CS from a diverse range of stakeholders inside and outside of CS

10. Justify and defend specific technical choices in CS contexts as responsible, using sound ethical reasoning to support the choice.

11. Identify specific software, hardware, or UI design choices, processes, features, implementations, and interventions that could increase or reduce the ethical risks present in computing work or uses