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Redesign of the Ethics Code Collection

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The Illinois Institute of Technology’s Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions (CSEP) has received a $200,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to enhance its highly regarded Ethics Code Collection (ECC). The ECC is a unique resource, comprising a curated collection of over 4,000 ethics codes and guidelines across a range of disciplines for over 40 years. With this generous funding from the MacArthur Foundation, it will serve as a more dynamic global resource for informing ethical decision making in professional, entrepreneurial, scientific, and technological fields, and inform critical research into the advancement of ethical practices in a rapidly changing world.

This revitalized resource, and the research and greater public accessibility it will bring, present the opportunity to inform the development of ethical standards and practices within professional and entrepreneurial communities across the globe, including countries with newly emerging democratic civil societies. ECC currently is used by professors and students, by entrepreneurs and practitioners looking for guidance in how to resolve professional ethical issues in their daily work, by professional societies writing their own codes of ethics, and by consumers interested in finding out more about the ethical guidelines of professionals.

Funding from the MacArthur Foundation will provide the resources to embark on an extensive design strategy to improve the digital ECC, and will include tools such as better keyword search, sorting capabilities, comparisons, and downloading in different formats. Funding will also enable new research on the current and future roles of ethics codes within society, business, and technological innovation.

The new site will be launched in November of 2017.

Much of the work in redesigning this project has been through a series three courses through Illinois Tech's IPRO Program.

Spring 2017 IPRO Team 497-226

Taught by Kely Laas, Dan Martin, and Elisabeth Hildt, this final, third course focused on launching the beta version of the site and developing a social media and marketing strategy for the project to use in the future. The back and and front end team worked on building the framework, search, and look and feel of the new site while the outreach team worked on creating and gathering followers for the ECC's new Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts. The Outreach team also helped promote the site on Illinois Tech's campus and did a series of outreach events and Chicago-area start-up incupabators like Catapult Chicago and 2112.

Fall 2017 IPRO Team 497-226

Taught by Kelly Laas and Dan Martin, the second course focused on building the database the new site would run on, and developing the searching and browsing strategies and overall design of the user interface. The class reviewed contemporary online repositories to get ideas of the site, and then began creating the prototype of the site. The team worked on eliminating a number of problems with database the site currently ran on and developing html pages to show what the final site will look like.

Spring 2016 IPRO Team 497-226

Taught by Dr. Elisabeth Hildt, Kelly Laas, and Miriam Heidaripour, this first course brought a user-centered design approach to planning our inital approach the the project. Their approach included interviewing members of our key audience groups, brainstorming ideas to fit the user needs identified through these interviews, and then creating wire-frames of what the new ECC might look and produced videos that acted out a user journey of how members of their audience groups would find and interact with the ECC. The team won first place for their presentation track that day, and spent the final week of the class compiling their findings to be passed on to the next IPRO.

This project is being led by Elisabeth Hildt and Kelly Laas.

Mac Arthur Foundation