ICT30005 Professional Issues in IT Semester 1 2021
Assignment 2: Ethics Advisory Briefing Paper
Overview of your task
A briefing paper is a “summary of facts pertaining to an issue and often includes a suggested course of action” (Developing a briefing paper 2021, p. 1).
Developing a briefing paper 2021, Manitoba Education Department, viewed 17 February 2021,
This assignment requires you to write an Ethics Advisory Briefing Paper on the context and nature of an ethical dilemma currently facing the ICT industry.
You will be provided a choice of 5 ethical dilemmas and must select ONE of the dilemmas provided. Your chosen dilemma will become your research question. You will attempt to make recommendations (your ‘advice’ to the briefing paper reader) based on an ethical principle/framework from the ICT30005 unit theory to guide your discussion and help validate your ultimate answer to the research question of your chosen dilemma.
What are ethical dilemmas?
Ethical dilemmas are complicated challenges that cannot be easily solved. There are often different courses of action that can be followed and no matter what course of action is taken, some ethical principal(s) will invariably be compromised. There is no perfect solution.
Ethical advisory papers identify the ethical issues and provide reasoned ethical arguments to help decision-makers make decisions on topics they might not have time to research thoroughly. A briefing paper is a means of providing decision-makers with the information they need on issues hey are responsible for. A Briefing Paper recommends and proposes solutions, improvements and approaches based on evidence and argument.
The challenge in writing a briefing paper is to be thorough but also succinct, and this requires a writer to judge what information to include and what to leave out. A briefing paper distils complex information into a well-structured document so that a reader gains a full understanding in a few pages. You should assume the audience for your briefing paper includes your ICT colleagues and managers. The aim of your briefing paper is to bring your colleagues and managers up to speed on an ethical dilemma pertinent to the ICT industry and make yourself more informed on that issue and its relevance to the ICT industry.
Steps in the process
- Choose ONE of the 5 ethical questions below:
- Is whistleblowing justified?
- Which category of road crossing pedestrians should an autonomous vehicle run over?(Consider the Trolley Problem with autonomous vehicles)?
- Should employers monitor their employee’s social media usage?
- Should lethal autonomous weapons (commonly abbreviated ‘LAW’) be programmed with some measure of ethics to reduce collateral damage and to prevent them from striking certain areas?
- Should Google have dissolved its AI ethics board?
- Develop your research plan.
- Action your research plan by delving into the topic thoroughly and take notes which will help you in writing your briefing paper.
- Conduct a Critical Analysis (See Critical Analysis pdf and the Week 1-3 On-Campus Workshop material).
- Identify appropriate ethical theories, guidelines and frameworks for your dilemma.
- Conduct a PEAS Assessment (See PEAS Framework in the Week 1-3 On-Campus Workshop material).
10. Compose (write) your briefing paper and provide the reference list. 11. Submit your briefing paper on time.
Important information on referencing
The briefing paper should include 10 sources (distinct documents/articles you have referenced). These sources should be based around a mix of academic publications such as books, texts, industry magazines and peer-reviewed conference proceedings and journal papers, and not just internet references. The validity of the material you provide is strengthened by inclusion of articles from peer-reviewed literature; often internet material is simply in the form of ‘opinion pieces’, lacking validation and generally written to support the author’s possibly biased opinions. References to core information (rather than opinion) on Wikipedia are no substitute for references to the original source material upon which the Wikipedia article was written – it is always better to read the source, and then to refer to it and I hope that you will follow this advice.
Structuring your briefing paper
Your briefing paper should be structured as follows:
- Title page with mention of the chosen ethical dilemma, your name and student ID;
- Key concepts;
- Appropriate ethical theories, guidelines and frameworks;
- Ethical recommendation Critical Analysis PEAS;
- Reference List of 10 sources;
- Appendices as required;Submission Requirements
- Assessments must be submitted via the Canvas unit site. Do not email the assessment to your Convenor.
- No coversheet is required. The Declaration and Statement of Authorship is now located inside each Assignment Folder in Canvas.
- Keep a backup of your submission. If your assessment goes astray, whether your fault or ours, you will be required to reproduce it.
- Your submission is expected to be well edited for typos. Marking CriteriaA rubric for this assessment item is available in Canvas in the Assignment 2 Folder and will be used to assess your work.
The following items will be considered when assessing your individual submission. Use these criteria and the assessment rubric to provide further guidance about what is expected in this assignment.
- Abstract (weighting 3 marks)
- Background & context (weighting 10 marks)
- Ethical theories, guidelines and frameworks (weighting 5 marks)
- Ethical recommendation to the dilemma (weighting 10 marks)
- Evidence of quality academic research (weighting 2 marks)
- Adherence to referencing style and formatting of reference list (weighting 5 marks)
- Presentation, organisation and structure (weighting 5 marks)