Journal of the Midwest Association for Information Systems (JMWAIS)


Information technology ethical and legal (ITEL) issues must be incorporated into university curricula to properly train new information technology (IT) specialists to deal with the full range of issues they will face in their careers. This report looks at the extent to which ITEL classes are being developed and taught in a sample of US universities. The study identifies which academic departments offer the courses, which university resource, governance, and enrollment profiles are most often associated with the offering of ITEL courses, and what topics are most commonly included in these courses. The sample of schools reviewed are the 163 US universities that are in the Carnegie classification for four-year medium-sized doctoral universities. Findings show that about five out of every eight universities that were reviewed offer at least one ITEL class and the largest number of unique ITEL courses at any university is five. The courses are most commonly taught at the undergraduate level in computer science. Further analysis shows that the universities that offer at least one ITEL class have larger total student enrollments, are publicly governed, and have a majority, or larger proportion, of undergraduate students. Course descriptions typically discuss the topics in general terms referring to the broad subjects of IT-related ethics and law, but it should be expected that AI’s ethical and legal issues will receive more attention in the future. The report concludes with a set of recommendations for universities that are developing new ITEL courses and directions for future research.




Open Materials badge