New videos unravel ethical dilemmas in the ICT sector

Monday 21 Nov 2016

A series of interactive videos to help information and communications technology (ICT) professionals tackle ethical questions has been launched by the Australian Computer Society (ACS).

Hailed as a first for the profession, the videos were researched and produced by Charles Sturt University (CSU) in partnership with the ACS through a two-year Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage grant.

Entitled, Overseas Codeship, Development Methodology and Early Launch, the videos highlight unprofessional behaviours and demonstrate possible consequences of different ethical choices.

As part of the ARC project, Associate Professors in Information Technology, Yeslam Al-Saggaf (pictured) and Oliver Burmeister, from the CSU School of Computing and Mathematics, surveyed 2 315 ACS members on common ethical problems.

The CSU academics then interviewed 43 ICT professionals on effective strategies to help them deal with ethical dilemmas. 

Professor Al-Saggaf said, "Drawing on our research, Ms Katherine Herbert, from the Division of Student Learning, and I secured Charles Sturt University funds to produce an initial video Untested System in 2015.

"Also interactive, it enabled students and ICT professionals to make ethical choices and then see how their decisions played out.

"The video is now used as a teaching resource in the Charles Sturt University subject, Information Technology Ethics, for students studying a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs in the School of Computing and Mathematics.

"We received positive feedback on our initial video, including two prominent international ethicists from Europe, one of whom is now also using it as a teaching resource."

The ARC Linkage Project, Investigating which strategies are most effective in overcoming ethical problems facing information and communications technology professionals, was conducted by Professor Al-Saggaf and Professor Burmeister, Professor of Computer Ethics John Weckert from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Mr John Ridge from the ACS.

The development of the interactive videos as open educational and professional development resources was made also possible through the guidance of the ACS Professional Standards Board.


Media contact: Fiona Halloran and Emily Malone , (02) 6933 2207

Media Note:

Associate Professor in Information Technology, Yeslam Al-Saggaf is in the School of Computing and Mathematics at CSU in Wagga Wagga. He is available for interview. Contact CSU Media.