Syllabus for ETH-230



This course introduces central ethical issues of digital media, ranging from computers and the Internet to mobile phones. Student will be exposed to issues from a global perspective, introducing ethical theories from multiple cultures. The material will allow students to acquire a global perspective on the ethical issues of digital media, including privacy, copyright, pornography and violence, and the ethics of cross-cultural communication online.



After completing this course, you should be able to:

CO1        Explain issues in digital media ethics, both individually and globally.

CO2        Compare differences between ethics and the law, and apply ethics to the law.

CO3        Analyze the complexity of international law governing trading nations.

CO4        Criticize the complexity of policing digital media and encouraging compliance.

CO5        Examine the potential of digital media to both stabilize and destabilize world order.

CO6        Analyze the dependency of national and international security on databases, as well as the vulnerability of security systems protecting this data.

CO7        Write with critical thought and reflection on the major course topics.

CO8        Explain how major ethical issues relate to their own technical worlds, social networking, and individual relationships on the Internet.

CO9        Develop solutions to issues tied to digital media ethics on both universal and individual codes of conduct.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbooks are available from the University’s textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbooks

ISBN: 978-0745656069

ISBN: 978-1118290729


Ethics in a Digital Age is a three-credit, online course consisting of four modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, prepare video responses to some discussion questions, complete written assignments, and analyze case studies. See below for details.

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

You are required to participate in 12 graded online discussion forums related to course topics. The discussion forums are a mixture of written and video discussion activities to promote interaction and engagement.

For help recording and posting a video discussion using Kaltura, please click here.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete four written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

Case Studies

In addition to the written assignments, you will delve further into course topics by exploring a number of case studies that explore course concepts through real-world examples.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > Citing Sources.)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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