IT595 Professional Ethics in Instructional Technology

University of Tennessee Knoxville

Instructor Information
Lisa Yamagata-Lynch
Educational Psychology and Counseling
A532 Bailey Education Complex
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: 865-974-7712

*Please note that the instructor reserves the right to modify the syllabus during the semester and participants will be notified through this website and Blackboard Announcements

Meetings Course activities are primarily asynchronous using Blackboard. Synchronous meetings will be facilitated with Blackboard Collaborate and are scheduled on Thursdays 6/2, 6/30, and 7/28 from 5:00pm to 8:50pm

Office Hours Appointments can be arranged upon request online

Course Description and Value
This course is designed for participants interested in professional ethics related to instructional technology. Participants will read both theoretical and practical works to reflect and make new meanings about the role of ethics in instructional technology. The readings for the class have been selected from various fields that use the acronym IT; however, in some cases it refers to Information Technology rather than Instructional Technology. Please be aware of this while reading materials for this class. Through course activities, participants will identify what their individual responsibilities are as an instructional technology leader in their work environment for designing and developing safe, ethical, and accessible learning environments. Participants will complete projects that will help them apply theoretical concepts and design principles to practical situations.

Learning and Professional Conduct as part of Service-Learning
This course is a service learning course and you will find the UT Office of the Provost definition of service-learning at During summer 2015 we will work with the UT Director of Online Learning Programs to examine issues related to offering accessible online courses within the context of policies related to accessible online course delivery for providing equal access to education for all students, current practices at peer institutions, and current discussions in the literature related to accessible online education. Participants will be working with various UT offices for gathering information and assessing student, instructor, technological, and institutional needs as well as benchmark current practices at peer institutions. Many course activities and assignments will be tailored to meet the needs expressed by the Director of Online Learning Programs as well as meet your learning goals and program requirements. While engaging in course related activities all participants must reflect on their professional conduct and their learning processes. This includes listening attentively to the needs of Director of Online Learning Programs; striving to exceed expectations of professional behavior; collaborating effectively with peers; producing high quality work; and communicating well and often with the instructor and  peers as needed to ensure a successful project outcome.

Course Format
This is a 100% online course with blended synchronous and asynchronous meetings through Blackboard Collaborate and Blackboard Discussions. Please make sure that you have access to a computer with a high speed Internet connection and a USB headset with a microphone for optimum participation in the synchronous sessions. You also need a Webcam for streaming video when you participate in the synchronous sessions. Please review the Classroom Etiquette section carefully to understand your responsibilities as a professional participant in this course. If you choose to engage in activities that are unprofessional, disrespectful to others, or disruptive you will lose points toward course participation.

By engaging in course activities participants will be able to:
  1. Identify the role of ethics in instructional technology as a field;
  2. Explore the role of ethics in future leadership activities within the field;
  3. Review policy documents to ensure that a learning environment is safe, ethical, and accessible for all learners;
  4. Design safe, ethical, and accessible instructional media; and
  5. Explore how the advancement in technology and current events influence the boundaries of ethical questions.
  • AECT 2012 Standards Ethics and Diversity of Learners Indicators for Standards 1 to 4
Standard 1
Ethics - Candidates demonstrate the contemporary professional ethics of the field as defined and developed by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology.
Standards 2
Ethics - Candidates design and select media, technology, and processes that emphasize the diversity of our society as a multicultural community.
Standards 3
Ethics - Candidates foster a learning environment in which ethics guide practice that promotes health, safety, best practice, and respect for copyright, Fair Use, and appropriate open access to resources.
Diversity of Learners - Candidates foster a learning community that empowers learners with diverse backgrounds, characteristics, and abilities.
Standards 4
Ethics - Candidates demonstrate ethical behavior within the applicable cultural context during all aspects of their work and with respect for the diversity of learners in each setting.
  • ISTE.NETSŸC 2 Teaching, Learning, & Assessment Technology coaches assist teachers in using technology effectively for assessing student learning, differentiating instruction, and providing rigorous, relevant, and engaging learning experiences for all students.
  • ISTE.NETSŸC 3 Digital Age Learning Environments Technology coaches create and support effective digital-age learning environments to maximize the learning of all student.
  • ISTE.NETSŸC 5 Digital Citizenship Technology coaches model and promote digital citizenship.
Required Text
  • Buley, L. (2013). The User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design Survival Guide. Brooklyn, NY: Rosenfeld Media.
  • Coombs, N. (2010). Making Online Teaching Accessible: Inclusive Course Design for Students with Disabilities. Jossey-Bass.
  • Horton, S., Quesenbery, W., & Gustafson, A. (2014). A Web for Everyone: Designing Accessible User Experiences. Brooklyn, NY: Rosenfeld Media.
  • Vance, M. L., Lipsitz, N. E., & Parks, K. (Eds.). (2014). Beyond the Americans With Disabilities Act: Inclusive Policy & Practice for Higher Education. Washington, DC: National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

Recommended for Further Readings for those who are curious about issues beyond accessibility, but not required for class

  • Tavani, H. T. (2013). Ethics and Technology: Controversies, Questions, and Strategies for Ethical Computing (4th ed.). Wiley.
Required Equipment
  • USB headphones with a microphone
  • Webcam
Course Resources
Course Management Resources
Blackboard Collaborate
Graduate School Website
IT Online Program Website
UT Office of Information Technology Life Preserver
APA Manual
American Psychological Association. (2009). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition (6th ed.). American Psychological Association (APA).
Purdue OWL APA Formatting and Style Guide

UT Recommended Course Support Resources

Graduate Catalog: (Listing of academic programs, courses, and policies)
Hilltopics: (Campus and academic policies, procedures and standards of conduct)
Course Timetable (Schedule of classes)
Academic Planning (Advising resources, course requirements, and major guides)
Student Success Center (Academic support resources)

Instructor Generated Resources
10 Habits of Being a Successful Graduate Student and Beyond
How do I know when an article is peer Reviewed?
Peer Reviewed Article Matrix

Resources for Searching Journal Articles
Google Scholar
UTK Library

Course Communications
You will regularly receive course related communications from the instructor through email and BlackBoard Announcements. It is your responsibility to make sure that your university email account is in working condition. If you have technical issues or need help troubleshooting please contact OIT at or by calling the helpdesk at 865-974-9900. You should expect your instructor to respond to your message within 24 hours on regular business days during the week and 48 hours on weekends and university holidays. If you do not hear back from the instructor please send another message or make a phone call 865-974-7712.

University Civility Statement
Civility is genuine respect and regard for others: politeness, consideration, tact, good manners, graciousness, cordiality, affability, amiability and courteousness. Civility enhances academic freedom and integrity, and is a prerequisite to the free exchange of ideas and knowledge in the learning community. Our community consists of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and campus visitors. Community members affect each other’s well-being and have a shared interest in creating and sustaining an environment where all community members and their points of view are valued and respected. Affirming the value of each member of the university community, the campus asks that all its members adhere to the principles of civility and community adopted by the campus:

Disability Services
Any student who feels he or she may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) at 865-974-6087 in 2227 Dunford Hall to document their eligibility for services. ODS will work with students and faculty to coordinate reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. For more information vist

Your Role in Improving Teaching and Learning Through Course Assessment
At UT, it is our collective responsibility to improve the state of teaching and learning. During the semester, you may be requested to assess aspects of this course either during class or at the completion of the class. You are encouraged to respond to these various forms of assessment as a means of continuing to improve the quality of the UT learning experience.

Course Participation 100pts
Come to each synchronous class sessions and participate in each asynchronous activity prepared by completing readings on days that they are due with relevant questions to enhance overall discussions, and by being a productive participant. You need to be able to share your understandings about the readings, new ideas, and discoveries about professional ethics in a collegial, effective, and professional manner. Your asynchronous posts need to show that you are synthesizing readings, your experiences, and any prior course discussions for the purpose of stirring further thought among participants. Your responses to posts made by others need to show that you have reflected on their initial post, make further connections to readings, your experiences, and prior discussions. Finally, you need to participate in asynchronous discussions in a manner that shows that you are part of an ongoing exchange of ideas. While there is no numerically right value for how many times you ought to engage in a discussion, you need to show your genuine participation by being part of a exchange of ideas.

Ethical Case Analysis
and Asynchronous Discussion Facilitation 200pts |Guide and Checklist|
Submit your work by 11:59pm the day it is due in the designated Blackboard discussion forum areas.
You will work in a team to find an ethical case in the news that is relevant to discussions assigned to you by the instructor. The instructor will assign you to a team with a specific topic. You will work as a collaborative team during activities related to Weeks 2, 3, and 4 to facilitate an asynchronous discussion regarding the case. The instructor will provide your team with an asynchronous discussion space in Blackboard where your team is responsible for (a) providing a summary of the assigned topic that is no more than a 1 page single-spaced word processed-document, (b) posting an ethical case in the news relevant to the assigned chapter, and (c) facilitating an asynchronous case discussion that helps other participants understand why the case your team posted is indeed relevant to the course topic.

Accessible Media Development Project and Reflections 200pts |Guide and Rubric|
Submit your work by 11:59pm the day it is due using this Blackboard assignment feature.
You will develop an accessible instructional media and prepare a reflection paper that describes the media you developed including the tool you used for its development and what accessible features you included in the media. In this process you will experience several dilemmas for making your media accessible. In your reflection paper, you will discuss these design dilemmas and how they will influence your future practices.

Ethical Technology Leader Statement 200pts
|Guide and Rubric|
Submit your work by 11:59pm the day it is due using this assignment feature.
You will write a paper to explore and articulate who you are as an ethical instructional technology leader who is committed to designing, developing, and supporting learning environments that are safe, ethical, and accessible for all learners. You will discuss your beliefs, how those beliefs are enacted in your everyday practice, and how you see you would be balancing your personal beliefs and your commitment for continuing to be an ethical instructional technology leader in your future practice.

Ethical Needs Analysis 200pts |Guide, Rubric, and Peer Evaluation|
Submit your work by 11:59pm the day it is due using this assignment feature.
Details of this assignment will be determined as we work closely with the Director of Online Programs.

Ethical Needs Analysis Presentation 100pts
Submit your work by 11:59pm the day it is due using this assignment feature.
You will present to the class your Ethical Needs Analysis, you will earn full marks upon completion of your presentation.

Note about all Writing Assignments
When writing your assignment reports please follow the writing requirements below:
  • Use first person and tell the story of your experience in your field.
  • Use double-spaced Times New Roman 12 point font.
  • Use pseudonyms in place of all real names!
  • Include page numbers and a title page.
  • Use headings and subheadings to guide the reader through your paper. Use transitions to guide the reader through your argument.
  • Use APA citation style, or let me know which other style you are using.
  • Be sure to proofread your paper. Treat this like a professional manuscript that reflects the hard work you have done this semester.
Assignment Submission Details
Please submit all assignments using the Blackboard Assignment feature unless the instructor provides other instructions. All assignments must be submitted by 11:59pm the day they are due. Please save your files as “your last name-assignment description.” For example, “Smith-observation assignment.” This helps me organize the files while reviewing your work.

Assignments and Total Possible Points
Assignments  Communication Format
Participation Mode
Possible Points
Class Participation Oral and WrittenIndividual
Ethical Case Analysis and Asynchronous Discussion Facilitation
WrittenTeam and whole class
Accessible Media Development Project and Reflections
Media Development and Written
Individual 200
Ethical Technology Leader StatementWrittenIndividual200
Ethical Needs Analysis
 WrittenTeam 200
Ethical Needs Analysis Presentation Oral
   Total Possible 1000

Assignment of Final Grade
Grades are updated regularly in Blackboard. Final grades will be given according to the UT grading scale:
F=599 and below

A Note Regarding Letter Grades
Completing all assignments and meeting the minimum expectations of the course constitutes “B” work; truly outstanding/superior work constitutes “A” work; and failing to meet the minimum expectations will result in a grade of “C” or lower. Spending a lot of time on course requirements (or having a history of being an “A” student) may not, in and of itself, necessarily result in an “A” grade.

A= Superior performance, B+= Better than satisfactory performance, B=Satisfactory performance, C+=Less than satisfactory performance, C= Performance well below the standard expected of graduate students, D=Clearly unsatisfactory performance and cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements, F=Extremely unsatisfactory performance and cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements.

Academic Honesty
Academic integrity is a responsibility of all members of the academic community. An honor statement is included on the application for admission and readmission. The applicant’s signature acknowledges that adherence is confirmed. The honor statement declares:

An essential feature of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is a commitment to maintaining an atmosphere of intellectual integrity and academic honesty. As a student of the university, I pledge that I will neither knowingly give nor receive any inappropriate assistance in academic work, thus affirming my own personal commitment to honor and integrity.

You are expected to complete your own work. You cannot re-submit work here that was done for previous classes.

Students shall not plagiarize. Plagiarism is using the intellectual property or product of someone else without giving proper credit. The undocumented use of someone else’s words or ideas in any medium of communication (unless such information is recognized as common knowledge) is a serious offense subject to disciplinary action that may include failure in a course and/or dismissal from the university. Some examples of plagiarism are
  • Using without proper documentation (quotation marks and a citation) written or spoken words, phrases, or sentences from any source.
  • Summarizing without proper documentation (usually a citation) ideas from another source (unless such information is recognized as common knowledge).
  • Borrowing facts, statistics, graphs, pictorial representations, or phrases without acknowledging the source (unless such information is recognized as common knowledge).
  • Submitting work, either in whole or in part, created by a professional service and used without attribution (e.g., paper, speech, bibliography, or photograph).
Extreme caution should be exercised by students involved in collaborative research to avoid questions of plagiarism. If in doubt, students should check with the major professor and the Dean of the Graduate School about the project. Plagiarism will be investigated when suspected and prosecuted if established. For this class, plagiarism will result in a zero on the assignment and a meeting with your academic adviser.

Academic writing conventions and abilities
All assignments must conform to the style and reference notation format outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association 6th edition.  The APA manual is an essential tool for graduate school academic writing.  Please study it carefully and refer to it often.  If you are unsure about particular APA formatting and citation rules, refer to the manual. 

The ability to write in an appropriate academic manner is critical to successful graduate study. If you find that you need assistance with your writing, please visit the university’s free Writing Center housed in the English department: They do not proofread or edit your work, but they can help with idea development and organization – key elements of successful academic writing.

Resources and Responsibilities
It is assumed that this course will "cost" you extra resources in time and expense. Any new skill such as computer use or graphics design should be considered time-consuming and most work will be done outside of the regular class period. It is further assumed that those who enter the course have a wide range of experience and expertise in the field. Ownership of a microcomputer is not required; however, access to one is a necessity. We will be using both Macs and PCs in this course.

Classroom Etiquette
During synchronous sessions, while your instructor, your peer, or guest lecturer is conducting a presentation you are expected to pay complete attention to what they are presenting. It is not only rude, but also distracting to other participants when you engage in activities on your computer, personal portable devices, and cell phones that is disruptive to the synchronous meetings. If you engage in disrespectful and disruptive behaviors during synchronous meetings, you will lose points from course participation, which will affect negatively on your final grade for this course. Make sure that your cell phone and/or beeper are turned off or set on manner mode. Please inform the instructor before class session begins if you are experiencing circumstances that warrant your cell phone/beeper to be turned on, such as extreme weather conditions that may put your family members in danger.

Attendance Policy

Students are expected to be on time, attend all classes, and participate in class discussions, small group activities, exercises, and projects. You may not receive class participation credit for missed classes and are responsible for missed information. However, emergencies can occur at any time and the instructor reserves the right, based on the individual situation, to accommodate a student with any emergency. A student missing class must complete all assignments to the satisfaction of the instructor before credit will be issued. Absences are not considered excused for job interviews, vacations, regular doctor's appointments, or general lack of planning. Excessive tardiness is considered unacceptable for success in this course and can be cause for a final grade reduction.

Tardiness is disruptive and rude to your instructor and your fellow students and reflects badly on you - it can speak about your attitude and work ethic. Excessive tardiness = 20 minutes late more than two times.

Summer 2015 Schedule
*Please note that readings must be completed by the class session on the date they appear in the schedule.
*All Assignments are due 11:59pm the day it is due.
*For asynchronous activities all initial posts are due Monday at 11:59pm and comments to peers are due Thursday at 11:59pm

Topic and FormatCourse Participation/Assignments/Readings

Synchronous 5:00pm to 8:50pm
  • Course Introduction
  • Ground Rules
  • UT Needs for Accessible Online Courses
  • Your Professional Ethical Responsibilities
  • Small Group Meeting planning activities
Tavani (2013) Chp 1 & 10
Text: Vance, Lipsitz,, & Parks (2014) chp 1, 2, 3

Course Participation
Meet in groups for Q&A
Prepare for Ethical Case Analysis



Initial Post Due 6/5, Comment to Peers Due 6/9
  • Technology Accessibility Issues
  • Work on Ethical Case Analysis
Text: Coombs (2010) chp 1, 2, & 8
Text: Horton, Quesenbery, & Gustafson (2014) chp 1 & 2
Text: Vance, Lipsitz,, & Parks (2014) chp 4 & 5

Read ahead for Week 4 Ethical Case Analysis,your assigned team chapter from Text: Vance, Lipsitz,, & Parks (2014) chp 6, 7 8, and selected lawsuit cases

Course Participation
Instructor led asynchronous discussion regarding Technology Accessibility

Ethical case analysis team preparation



Initial Post Due 6/12, Comment to Peers Due 6/16
Ethical case is Due 6/16
  • Understanding Accessible Online Programs and UX
Buley (2013) 1, 2, 3, & 4

Read ahead for Week 4 Ethical Case Analysis,your assigned team chapter from Text: Vance, Lipsitz,, & Parks (2014) chp 6, 7, 8 and and selected lawsuit cases

Course Participation
Asynchronous team discussions

Post your team Ethical Case by 11:59pm 6/16



Ethical Case Analysis Team Facilitation Materiel Due 6/16

Initial Post Due 6/19, Comment to Peers Due 6/23
  • Participant Facilitated Ethical Case Analysis
Ethical cases shared by others

Course Participation
Participant facilitated team discussion for the Ethical Case Analysis Asynchronous Discussion Facilitation and participate in discussions led by other teams


Asynchronous Accessible Online Higher Education Experience Design

Synchronous Mid-Semester Checking and Future Planning

Asynchronous Activities

Initial Post Due 6/26, Comment to Peers Due 6/30
  • Identifying Best Practices
Synchronous 5:00pm to 8:50pm
  • Report to Director of Online Programs Lessons from Research
  • Report to Director of Online Programs from Case Analysis
  • Small Group Q&A
  • Team work time for Ethical Needs Analysis
Text: Vance, Lipsitz,, & Parks (2014) chp 9, 10, 11, 12, & 18

Course Participation
Instructor led asynchronous discussions and whole and small group synchronous discussions

Initial Post Due 7/2, Comment to Peers Due 7/7
  • Issues related to Accessible Media
Text: Coombs (2010) chp 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7
Text: Horton, Quesenbery, & Gustafson (2014) chp 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8

Course Participation
Instructor led asynchronous discussions and prepare your Accessible Media Development Project


Student Work Week for Accessible Media Development Project

Post Issues with your Accessible Media Development Project on Blackboard "I need Help!" Forum

No Required Synchronous or Asynchronous Activities

Readings from Week 6 as needed

Course Participation
Individual work time to prepare your Accessible Media Development Project



Initial Post Due 7/17, Comment to Peers Due 7/21
  • Accessible communication methods
Text: Horton, Quesenbery, & Gustafson (2014) chp 9 & 10

Submit Accessible Media Development Project and Reflections

9 7/28

Synchronous 5:00pm to 8:50pm
  • Ethical Needs Analysis Showcase
  • Q&A
Post draft Ethical Needs Analysis to Blackboard Designated Discussion Board

Ethical Needs Analysis Presentations

Student Work Week for Ethical Leader Statement and Ethical Needs Analysis

No Required Synchronous or Asynchronous Activities

Note: Instructor will be monitoring "I need help!" discussion board
Submit Ethical Needs Analysis

Ethical Leader Statement

Last Updated May 31, 2015