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Www.ukc.ac.uk Researcher Ethics BRACE (Building Research in Australasian Computing Education) First Workshop, Dunedin, 23-26 January 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "Www.ukc.ac.uk Researcher Ethics BRACE (Building Research in Australasian Computing Education) First Workshop, Dunedin, 23-26 January 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 Researcher Ethics BRACE (Building Research in Australasian Computing Education) First Workshop, Dunedin, January 2004

2 2 To whom do you owe a duty of care? Your “subjects” People whose work you use/cite People who will use your work

3 3 Your “subjects” You owe people who you investigate a duty of care Much “ethics” in this area is codified and research behaviour is a legal obligation institutional ethics committees human subjects consent Some is “duty of care” informed consent don’t make them uncomfortable/distressed don’t mistreat them

4 4 Informed consent When is informed consent not “informed”? Coercion Can be gross or subtle by power (bullying, withholding – grades, rewards) by enforced ignorance (not telling The Whole Truth) by social forces

5 5 Botox parties and 'open houses' offer wrinkle injections Minneapolis Star Tribune: 23 April 2002 “Susan Olson runs one of the biggest Botox practices in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. But even she was shocked to hear about the latest craze in New York and Los Angeles - Botox parties, where people gather at friends' homes for wine, cheese and anti-wrinkle injections … It's only been a week since the Food and Drug Administration approved the cosmetic use of Botox, or botulin toxin, a drug that temporarily wipes out wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing muscles under the skin …But the idea of combining Botox treatments and social events seems to be gaining steam.”

6 6 Botox parties and 'open houses' offer wrinkle injections Minneapolis Star Tribune: 23 April 2002 “Jeffrey Kahn, a medical ethicist at the University of Minnesota, was simply amazed. ‘The whole notion of informed consent doesn't quite have the same meaning when it's in the context of wine and cheese,’ he said.” "Wherever there's demand like that, there's always somebody who's going to fill it," Zelickson said. "As long as people are well-informed and it's performed under a safe environment, conceptually I don't have any trouble with it." But, he added, "you've got to wonder what the motivation of the physician is. In that sense, it doesn't meet the smell test."

7 7 People whose work you use You owe people whose work you use a duty of care. This means you should: Practice basic skills … Don’t plagiarise Reference appropriately and thoroughly Report what they say (not what you think they said, or what you think they should have said)

8 8 People whose work you use Report what they say Make sure you know what they say Buck, D. and Stucki, D. Design Early Considered Harmful: Graduated Exposure to Complexity and Structure Based on Levels of Cognitive Development. SIGCSE 2000, “We have also observed that Bloom’s taxonomy of cognitive learning is helpful in structuring the beginning computer science curriculum. Each level of the hierarchy is subsumed by the next level, so that higher order functioning requires by necessity the lower level skills”

9 9 Excuse me? Bloom is not cited. His six classifications are “adapted from” Gronlund, N.E. and Linn, R.L. Measurement and Evaluation in Teaching 6 th ed., Macmillan, 1990 Bloom, B.S. (Ed.) (1956) Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals: Handbook I, cognitive domain. New York ; Toronto: Longmans, Green. Does this pass the “smell test”?

10 10 The “Hawthorne Effect” the stimulation to output or accomplishment that results from the mere fact of being under observation; also : such an increase in output or accomplishment Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary A common anecdotal understanding: When undertaking empirical studies on factory workers, when the lighting levels were raised, productivity increased; when the lighting levels were lowered to previous levels, productivity increased.

11 11 What was actually reported … In brief … A multi-year study (began in 1927) “Light levels” one of circa 35 interventions (and worst documented) Not all interventions increased productivity When productivity did increase it was (in general) because workers perceived the particular intervention to be of benefit to them – if their perception was that the intervention was manipulative and to “Management’s” advantage, there was no (or much less) improvement. Roethlisberger,F.J. & Dickson,W.J. (1939) Management and the Worker (Boston, Mass.: Harvard University Press).

12 12 People whose will use your work You owe people who will use your work a duty of care. This means you should practice honesty in doing your work (pilot studies, avoidance of bias, appropriate techniques, adequate analysis) honesty in situating your work (responsible relationship to theory base, don’t ignore theory that doesn’t suit your thesis, or contradicts your ideas) honesty in reporting your work (tell the whole story, point out where you might be wrong, be especially sure to avoid selective mis-quoting of others’ work to make it look as though their ideas support yours)


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