Developing an Online Data Ethics Module Informed by an Ecology of Data Perspective

Xiaofeng Tang, Eduardo Mendieta, Thomas A. Litzinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A self-perceived lack of training in ethical theories and related pedagogy has kept many engineering faculty members from teaching data ethics, an important aspect of engineering research that has become more salient in recent years. This paper describes the development of a module, which includes concepts, cases, policies, and best practices, to support the teaching of ethical data practice. Based on a user-oriented design approach and a moral literacy framework, the module was designed to be used in different courses and co-curricular activities for students of varying levels of competence to improve their ability to identify and analyze ethical problems associated with the handling of research data. This work seeks to encourage ethical reflection on researchers’ data practice through the idea of an “ecology of data,” which highlights the co-production of data by multiple, interconnected, and heterogeneous actors. This paper also presents online and in-class evidence about the impact and limitations of the module, which is now available for interested researchers and instructors to browse and use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number21
JournalScience and Engineering Ethics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health Policy
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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