January 5, 2016



Prof. L. Felipe Perrone
Office: Breakiron 068
Phone: 570-577-1687
E-mail: perrone[at]bucknell[dot]edu
Office hours: open door policy; appointments via BMail calendar encouraged

Meeting Times

  • WF 8:00am-8:52am, Breakiron 065 (CSCI 240-01)
  • WF 10:00am-10:52am, Breakiron 166 (CSCI 240-02)

Academic Engagement

Courses at Bucknell that receive one unit of academic credit have a minimum expectation of 12 hours per week of student academic engagement. Student academic engagement includes both the hours of direct faculty instruction (or its equivalent) and the hours spent on out of class student work.

Course Outcomes

After completing this course students will be able to:

  1. Collect and analyze information from a variety of sources about societal issues related to computers and computing, and present informed opinions based on the information and analysis; (EAC h, j; CAC e, g)
  2. Analyze ethical issues concerning both computer technologies and the exercise of their professional responsibilities. (EAC f; CAC e)

Additionally, students will develop their skill in literature research and public speaking.

Reading Materials

  • Ethics for the Information Age, Michael J. Quinn. 7th Edition, 2015, Pearson. ISBN 13:978-0134296548. [REQUIRED TEXTBOOK]
  • Additional articles posted on the course schedule.

Structure of the Course

The course meets three times a week – some class periods will be led by the instructor and, periodically, it will be led by students. The instructor will use some combination of activities, which may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Short presentation

  • Video or audio presentation(s)

  • Organized discussion

  • Formal debate

  • Group activities

Students are expected to visit the online schedule frequently in order to find the assigned readings, which must be completed before class. The online schedule will also indicate the presenters for each class period.

Attendance is mandatory. Students will have only two unexcused absences for the semester. Additional unexcused absences will cause a 1 point deduction in the student’s final class grade. Class participation and professionalism is an important component of the final grade. Attendance and class participation will be assessed, in part, with the use of applications that run on smart phones, tablets, and laptops.

There will be writing activities for this class including reflection journals, two short papers (due when students serve as discussion leaders), and a term project which comprises a poster and a term paper. Additional details are presented below.


The course page on Moodle includes a resource for students to submit journals on a given prompt. Although the nature of the journal entries is that of a personal reflection, it must be well-informed and based on reliable sources of information which must be cited. The rules of academic responsibility must be respected in student blogs. The due date for each journal entry will be announced on Moodle. 

Student Led Classes

Students will organize activities for when they are scheduled to lead the discussion of a pre-determined topic. The schedule of topics for the semester is posted here. Students will be in charge of the class period as a well-coordinated team of discussion leaders. The following expectations must be met (pay attention to the deadlines and the deliverables indicated):

  1. The student(s) will have done research in their topic to find at least 2 scholarly articles and as many journalistic articles as they want on their topic.

  2. Students will meet with the instructor at the latest two days before they lead the class to evaluate their plan and determine whether any adjustments need to be made. By the time of this meeting, the majority of the content should be well defined.
  3. One class period before they are discussion leaders, students will distribute to the instructor and to the rest of the class one electronically the articles they have selected for their activity.

  4. By the deadline of the weekly journal submission, the discussion leaders will upload to Moodle an individual 2-page paper which demonstrates that they have thought through and consolidated the ideas they found in the literature. This paper may include aspects of the discussion in class and must adhere to the well-understood principles of academic responsibility (indicate material that is being quoted, cite your sources, provide an organized bibliography or links to web resources,  etc.) Formatting guidelines and rubric for this short paper will be available here.

  5. Student led activities will be graded according to a rubric available here and will count toward the final class grade.

Term Paper

Students will choose a topic related to the learning objectives of this class and will write a proposal for their term paper. The proposal is due February 9th on Moodle and will count for 1/10 of the paper grade. It must present a tentative skeleton of the term paper and list the initial bibliography that will support the work. It is not essential that the term paper be constrained to what is presented in the proposal, but it is essential that the proposal shows that the student has already explored the topics and done some research in the literature for the work in progress.

The topic chosen must be related to the topics discussed in the class and the paper must address contemporary issues within the chosen theme. Formatting guidelines and rubric for the term paper will be available here.


Students will create a poster about the research topic of their term paper. All students in this class will present this poster in a symposium along with students from CSCI 245. Formatting guidelines and rubric for the poster will be available here.

Course Grade Distribution

  • 10% Professionalism and participation

  • 25% Student Lead Classes

  • 15% Journals

  • 35% Term paper

  • 15% Poster


  1. Attendance will be taken every time the class meets. Every student may take 2 unexcused absences without any penalty. After these 2 unexcused absences, each additional one will cause the student to lose 1 point in the final course grade.

  2. Excused absences must be negotiated in advance of the corresponding class periods. The typical events that will excuse students from class include medical problems, interviews, and athletic trips. In order to be exempt from a class period without penalty, the student will send to the instructor supporting documentation such as athletic schedules, notes from the Dean’s office or health services, or invitation letters (or e-mail) for interviews.

  3. Late assignments will be accepted at the discretion of the instructor, normally with a 33% per late day penalty.

  4. The principles of academic responsibility will be taken very seriously. Proper credit must be given to any sources uses in papers and presentations whether the sources are on-line or in-print. Unsolicited reading or copying of other student or faculty files is as wrong as looking at or removing papers from a student or faculty member’s desk. It is the faculty’s role to report acts of academic misconduct the Board of Review on Academic Responsibility.

  5. Letter grade assignments will be given at the end of the semester and will be based on a typical scale: 93-100 A, 90-92 A-, 87-89 B+, 83-86 B, 80-82 B-,
    77-79 C+, 73-76 C, 70-72 C-, 60-69 D, 0-59 F.

 Academic Responsibility

The principles of Academic Responsibility will be taken very seriously. Proper credit must be given to any sources uses in papers and presentations whether the sources are on-line or in-print. Unsolicited reading or copying of other student or faculty files is as wrong as looking at or removing papers from a student or faculty member’s desk. It is the faculty’s role to report acts of academic misconduct the Board of Review on Academic Responsibility. Students are expected to read and abide by the principles explained in the Student Handbook.

Access Statement

Any student who needs an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact Heather Fowler, Director of the Office of Accessibility Resources at hf007@bucknell.edu, 570-577- 1188 or in room 212 Carnegie Building, who will coordinate reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. The college will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities.
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