Class Website:https://sites.google.com/site/unytcomputerethics/

 Catalog Description

This course offers extensive and topical coverage of the legal, ethical, and societal implications of information technology. Students will learn about issues such as file sharing, infringement of intellectual property, security risks, Internet crime, identity theft, employee surveillance, privacy, compliance, social networking, and ethics of IT corporations. Students will gain an excellent foundation in ethical decision making for current and future business managers and IT professionals.

Course Objective

The most important part of the syllabus of this subject is to provide the students with the tools and methodology to develop the ethical analysis skills and professional values so they are able to decide by themselves if an action related with computer science is good or bad, right or wrong. The students will be able to identify and define the components of a structured plan for solving ethical problems and, in the process, will be able to understand the basis for their own ethical system.

At the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Understand morality, law and ethics especially related to professionalism
  • Appreciate the value of technology and understand that technology is not neutral, that it creates ethical and moral muddles that must be dealt with.
  • Think carefully about the social role of computing and the responsibilities of computer professionals so that they can make informed decisions about various computer policies
  • Understand intellectual property and discuss the ethical issues of intellectual property in terms of cyberspace or Information Technology.
  • Define the major issues regarding privacy on the Internet, and the ethical issues surrounding privacy on the Internet.
  • Discuss free speech in cyberspace.
  • Define electronic commerce (e-commerce) and the ethical issues faced by both consumers and merchants.
  • Define the role of competition and ethical behaviour by technology companies.

Required Readings, Text

A Gift of Fire:  Social, legal, and ethical issues for computers and the Internet, by Sara Baase, Latest Edition, Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458, U.S.A. (required)


Suggested Readings, Text

Ethical and Social Issues in the Information Age (Texts in Computer Science) by Joseph Migga Kizza, 4th ed, Springer, Springer London Dordrecht Heidelberg New York (recommended)


Required Additional Materials

Students will be provided additional study material as and when required.

Content of the Course


  •  Introduction to the theory of ethics and codes of conduct and practice.
  • Moral problems and applying ethical reasoning skills.
  • The social impact of computers in the world.
  • Ethical responsibilities of the computing professional in upholding the ethical standards of the profession and civic responsibility.
  • Legal issues related to contracts, safety-critical systems and legal liability.
  • Freedom of information, freedom of speech, censorship, filtering, privacy, and security.
  • Ethical issues arising from software errors and with databases.
  • Ethical issues related to the Internet, viruses and spyware



Course Requirements


Participation: Participation extends beyond mere attendance. In general: this class is intensive and interactive. Missing class could seriously affect your grade!  Appropriate documentation for absences beyond the first two is necessary and is to be provided on the class day directly before or after the one you miss. Students are expected to collect materials from the course website or see the instructor upon request for appointment beyond class meetings.


Exams: Two examinations will be taken one midterm and one final. Test format may combine a mixture of Definitions, Blanks, and short answers, two or three Essay questions covering all readings, lecture, and hand-out and class discussion content. No Student may miss a scheduled exam without receiving permission before the administration of the exam. Make-up exams might be significantly different from the regular tests, and will be administered at a time of instructor own convenience.

Written Assignments: Each student prepares his/her response to regular HW assignments to be given at the end of a chapter or topic (typically once every 2 weeks).  These responses will be in essay format

Research Paper: Every student is required to choose an issue related to one of the course topics and analyze it in a written paper.The paper must be 1800-2200 words in length.It must include a “My Opinion” section. A draft version of the paper needs to be submitted first.

Make-up policy Midterm/Final exam: Only students who miss an exam for university-approved and verifiable reasons will be allowed to take a make-up exam. Even then, except in the most extreme circumstances, no student may miss a scheduled exam without receiving permission before the administration of the exam. Make-up exams might be significantly different in format from the regular tests, and will be administered at a time of my own convenience.

General Requirements


Late assignments and absence from tests will not be tolerated.  In the event of illness or emergency, contact your instructor IN ADVANCE to determine whether special arrangements are possible. The University’s rules on academic dishonesty (e.g. cheating, plagiarism, submitting false information) will be strictly enforced. Please familiarize yourself with the STUDENT HONOUR CODE, or ask your instructor for clarification.


Criteria for Determination of Grade, including Evaluation Methods


Participation 10%
Class Presentation 15%
Midterm Exam 25%
Final Exam 35%
Writing Assignments 15%


Grading Scale


Letter Grade Percent (%) Generally Accepted Meaning
      A 96-100 Outstanding work
      A- 90-95
      B+ 87-89 Good work, distinctly above average
      B 83-86
      B- 80-82
      C+ 77-79 Acceptable work
      C 73-76
      C- 70-72
      D+ 67-69 Work that is significantly below average
      D 63-66
      D- 60-62
      F 0-59 Work that does not meet minimum standards for passing the course


Technology Expectations


  • Basic MS Office skills
  • Assignments are to be word-processed and submitted using Turnitin software.


Learning Difficulties


If you feel that you have encountered special learning difficulties or serious problems that interfere with your studies, please make an appointment with UNYT Counseling Center, Dr. E Cenko (enilacenko@unyt.edu.al) and/or the Academic Support Center, Dr. A Canollari (albanacanollari@unyt.edu.al).  For more information, please contact me and or your academic advisor.


Date: October 14, 2015                                  Prepared by:      Erida Lice



Faculty: Arts & Sciences.

Department: Comp.Science.

Grade: Undergraduate.

Majors: Computer Sciences.

Study Fileds: Computer Science and Management of Information Systems.

Course Year: 1.

Course Program: UNYT.

Scheduele: WED 16-19:00

Instructor:  Erida Lice

Credits: 3

Prerequisite: Composition I