My main teaching areas are information and computer ethics, information policy, ethics or information professionals, and digital culture. Over the last two years, as the School of Information has moved from a solely graduate program into undergraduate teaching. The innovative eSociety degree “prepares students for life and work in contemporary society,” where “innovations in communication and computational technology are fundamentally changing the ways we create, process, share, manage, and shape knowledge.” New technologies create what James Moor called “policy vacuums”; our understandings of what is ethical and legal lag behind the new abilities technologies give us. Take, for example, a question I asked my students recently: Should parents be allowed to implant microchips in their small children so that they can track their location? Our students will be the ones making these sorts of choices for themselves and for the society as a whole; thus, informed, critical reflection on these issues is crucially important.
Relationship Between Teaching and Research
I am lucky to that all of the courses I currently teach are ones that I created and that relate to my research interests. In turn, research projects have often developed out of the courses I teach, creating a positive feedback loop between my research and teaching. For example, while teaching Introduction to Copyright (a course I designed for our masters program), I began to cover some broader issues of intellectual and cultural property. Inspired by our numerous Native American students, I developed an interest in the rights of Native American and other Indigenous peoples to control access to their Traditional Cultural Expressions, e.g. traditional stories, songs, and images. This interest resulted in my organizing a conference on the topic, serving as a consultant to the American Library Association on the issue, and writing a paper that was eventually published in the premiere journal of archival studies in the United States, The American Archivist. This article is now one of the readings for Introduction to Copyright. My main teaching areas are information and computer ethics, information policy, ethics for information professionals, and digital culture.
Below is a selection of syllabi, assignments, discussions, and lectures from both graduate and undergraduate courses. Note that, other than Ethics in a Digital World, I created all of these courses.
My goal for each of these courses is for students to be able to apply ethical, legal, and critical concepts to real world problems that they will face in their chosen careers.
Projects: All courses above the 100 level require that students do an in-depth project. These projects lead the students through a process where they investigate, describe, and evaluate a problem and then propose a solution. Assignments are broken down into stages to lead students through the process and so I can give feedback at each stage. While it was tempting to share only exemplary student work, I have chosen to share one less successful paper to illustrate how I use the grading rubric.
Virtual Teaching: The majority of my courses have been taught online; thus, I have included digital lecture materials, digital student work, and two samples of online discussions.
Section 2: Sample Course Materials
- Ethics in a Digital World (100 level)
- Digital Dilemmas: Access, Privacy, and Property (300 level)
- Introduction to Digital Cultures (400 level)
- Ethics for Library and Information Professionals
- Social Justice in Library and Information Services
- Social Justice in Library and Information Services Description and Outline
- Sample Student Project Paper (shared w/permission of student)
Other Video Lectures