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IPRO 497-226: Innovating & Redesigning Web & Social Media Access to the Ethics Code Collection at Illinois Tech

The Illinois Tech Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions (CSEP) is planning a comprehensive redesign, enrichment, and marketing strategy to elevate its Ethics Code Collection (ECC) to greater global prominence and usefulness. 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. 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. 

Educators have long recognized the importance of ethics codes in introducing students to concepts of professional responsibilities, and the ECC sees a large amount of use by professors and students from many different disciplines. Other users include entrepreneurs and practitioners looking for guidance in how to resolve professional ethical issues in their daily work, professional societies writing their own codes of ethics, and consumers interested in finding out more about the ethical guidelines of professionals. In the past 12 months, over 83,500 individuals passed through the ECC, with over 146,300 individual page views.

The current site faces a number of limitations. The existing keyword search is slow and cumbersome, and lacks the ability to sort search results. Users expect better performance from state-of-the-art digital collections. Users wishing to compare versions of ethics codes have to open up multiple browser windows, and do not have the ability to download site content in multiple formats. 

We propose a comprehensive user-centered approach to improve the digital ECC for greater service to the academy and the general public. This work will also involve new research on the current and future roles of ethics codes within society, business, and technological innovation. The project will develop enriched educational resources, and extend those resources to a broader audience of professionals, emerging professionals, and citizens across the globe.

This IPRO project will focus on analyzing and designing a contemporary CSEP web site that will be the front-of-mind resource among a wide array of professionals, and easily accessible to them in their pursuit of greater understanding and practical guidance. The following types of questions and others will be identified in order to guide the effort:

How do we best understand the user experience?

  1. How can we promulgate the archive as a resource that more fully benefits its existing users and a broader public?
  2. How do we solve the search functionality to incorporate proprietary and non-proprietary resources?
  3. How do we broaden the international accessibility of the resource with translation tools?

This IPRO project will focus on:

  1. Site analysis through a user-centered approach.
  2. Understanding user behaviors, needs, and motivations through observation techniques, task analysis, interviewing, and other feedback methodologies to determine how the site is currently used, identify and catalog problem areas, and capture ideas that can lead to improvements in the user experience.
  3. Following market trends to identify new user groups that are not currently served or may be emerging because of market trends.
  4. Identifying major problems with the current site
  5. Create scenario storyboards to describe how users interact with the site and explore the major problems in their navigation experience.
  6. Developing user profiles and extreme personas with physical disabilities and logistical barriers that may affect use of the site and brainstorm ideas to address these issues Benchmarking best practices used by top performers in web performance and similar digital collections to evaluate various aspects of ECC.
Phil 370 Engineering Ethics
A study of the problems of moral and social responsibility for the engineering profession, including such topics as safety, confidentiality, and government regulation.
 
 

Past Courses

Phil 380: Philosophical and Ethical Issues in Neuroscience
This course investigates the manifold implications of neuroscience on individuals and society. During the past decades, there has been a considerable increase in knowledge of the structure and functioning of the human brain which has led to the development and application of new brain-related technologies. The course will analyze the philosophical, ethical and societal aspects of these developments. It will introduce students to Benjamin Libet’s experiments and to the debate on free will and individual responsibility these experiments provoked. It will reflect on the relation between brain and mind and will consider the role memory and modifications in memory have on a person’s well-being and identity. It will explore ethical issues in pharmacological cognitive enhancement, i.e. in improving one’s mental performance with drugs, and reflect about hypothetical ways of moral enhancement. Furthermore, it will introduce the philosophical, ethical and societal issues of neuroimaging techniques in medical and non-medical contexts and reflect on possible (future) uses of neuroscientific analytic tools in court and in marketing. Another focus of the course is on philosophical and ethical issues around consciousness, disorders of consciousness and brain death.

 Phil 360: Ethics
A study of the fundamental issues of moral philosophy.
 
IPRO 497-308 Stimulants for Enhancement Purposes: Exploring Societal and Ethical Issues 
This IPRO project is about pharmacological neuroenhancement, which is the attempt of healthy individuals to use drugs in order to increase mental performance, i.e. attention, arousal or memory. It will investigate the medical, psychosocial and ethical aspects of the use of stimulants such as Ritalin or Adderall and other drugs for academic performance enhancement. Based on a survey (questionnaire and interview study) to be planned and undertaken at three universities in the Chicago area, it aims to obtain information on students’ views and experiences concerning pharmacological neuroenhancement. In addition, the group will develop educational materials for the Illinois Tech community to help students and faculty become more aware of some of the health, ethical and societal issues.

Phil 332 Political Philosophy
Examination of different conceptions of legitimate political authority; includes discussion of ideas of social justice, natural rights, sovereignty.
 
Phil 370 Engineering Ethics
A study of the problems of moral and social responsibility for the engineering profession, including such topics as safety, confidentiality, and government regulation.
 
 PHIL 371 Ethics in Architecture
A study of the moral problems architects must resolve in the practice of their profession, including problems of confidentiality, candor, esthetics, their and economy arising from the special responsibilities of architects to and public, client, employer, and colleagues.
 
Phil 373 Business Ethics
Ethical issues relating to individual and corporate responsibility, self and governmental regulation, investment, advertising, urban problems, the environment, preferential hiring.
 
Phil 377 Communication Law and Ethics
This course explores ethical and legal issues concerning communication in diverse contexts such as: the mass media -e.g. print, broadcast, and electronic government and politics; organizational hierarchies - e.g. public and private sector workplaces; academic life - e.g. the classroom, student, and faculty affairs; and interpersonal relations - e.g. love, friendship, marriage.