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Objective 5.4 – Act in an Ethical and Civil Manner


Description of Objective 5.4 – Act in an Ethical and Civil Manner

This objective aims in particular at respecting intellectual property rights and conditions of use of information and its content. “It is a civic responsibility to be accountable for each actor in an institution, whether they are a student, teacher or employee” (Source: CRLA) [unofficial translation].

It is the responsibility of students to maintain their cyber-reputation as well as those of others and to be in conformity with the rules related to the use of technology in their living environment.

Supplemental Information

We are all obliged to act as ethical citizens. This objective seeks to ensure that students adopt ethical and civic practices that are adequate in terms of the use of information and technology. This means informing them and raising their awareness about the practices to carry out and those to avoid.

Do I respect others’ work? What is meant by plagiarism? Do I plagiarize? Do I have permission to disseminate this content to the public? Is my attitude in the virtual world adequate? Am I conscious of the impact of my actions on the Web? Am I breaking the rules of my college in my use of local networks or in the information that I borrow? These are the questions to which students must be able to respond.

Note that the idea of “netiquette” is addressed in three of the objectives of Skill 4.0 Working in a Network.

Requirements – Suggestions

To demonstrate that they can act as ethical citizens, students must be able to:

  • demonstrate their understanding of ideas, concepts, rules and laws related to intellectual property, cyber-reputations and the use of technology in their environments;
  • respect rules and laws related to information and the use of technologies in all academic work.

Students with the competency to use information will understand ethical, legal and social issues and respect the ethical and legal requirements related to the use of information (CREPUQ, 2008).

Potential Tools

Different types of resources may help students to attain this objective:

  • Websites;
  • Laws;
  • College documents;
  • Audiovisual and other products that raise awareness of these issues.

In Practice

Numerous academic programs have developed codes of conduct and evaluation practices for appropriate comportment in their disciplines. The theme of “IT and ethics” may therefore be associated with the development of these transferable skills.

Educational institutions from time to time undertake awareness-raising campaigns to develop this type of skill in their students and staff. Materials developed for primary and secondary schools may also be of use. They are the same concepts and often have been very well simplified.

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