Ethics & Values
This teaching activity is an introductory lecture in which students gain knowledge about the role of values in design. They will briefly be introduced to some design approaches that consider values in design, and receive a more detailed introduction to the Value-Sensitive Design approach in particular.
While students are often introduced to different design approaches, such as Agile, User-Centered, Critical or Participatory Design, they often have the notion that design is value-neutral. This prohibits them from taking a reflective and active stance towards values in present and future design projects.
Furthermore, even if students recognise the role that values play in design, they usually lack the knowledge to think about this issue and identify possible approaches to address values during the design process. This lack of knowledge may make them fall short when being confronted with or working with values in design projects.
In this teaching activity, students gain knowledge about the role of values in design, and are briefly introduced to some other design approaches that take values into account. The Value-Sensitive Design approach is explained in more detail, specifying the three types of investigation commonly found in VSD: conceptual investigations, empirical investigations, and technological investigations.
After the teaching activity students will be able to:
To assess whether the intended learning outcomes were attained by the teaching activity the following assessment activities can be carried out (in class or after class).
Assess students’ learning by asking them to create maps of their knowledge about values (summative assessment) focusing on a) mapping different approaches to addressing values in design (i.e. Values-Led Participatory Design, Value-Centered Design, Designing for Worth) and b) mapping the three types of investigations as a specific approach to addressing values in design.
Assess students’ learning by making them use their knowledge to co-create a round robin chart (formative assessment) with open-ended questions. Ask them to focus their questions around issues such as why values are important in design and what role they may play, the difference between different approaches to values in design (and their implications) or the different types of investigations one can take to address values in design in present and future design projects.
In the assessment activity ask students to focus on:
Friedman, Batya: Kahn Jr, Peter H.; and Borning, Alan (2009). Value Sensitive Design and Information Systems. In Himma and Tavani (Eds), The Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley & Sons, Inc. http://doi:10.1002/9780470281819.ch4
Cockton, Gilberti (2004). Value-centred HCI. In Proceedings of the third Nordic conference on Human-computer interaction (pp. 149-160). Tampere, Finland: ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/1028014.1028038
Friedman, Batya & Hendry, David (2019). Value sensitive design: shaping technology with moral imagination. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Winner, Langdon (1980). Do artifacts have Politics?. In Daedalus, 109(1), Winter 1980. Reprinted in The Social Shaping of Technology. D. A. MacKenzie and J. Wajcman (Eds.) London: Open University Press.
Zollman, Dan (2019). Presentation: How Do I Know If I’m Doing Good? Practicing Ethical Design in a World of Systemic Complexity. Retrieved 2021 April 14 from http://danzollman.com/presentation-how-do-i-know-if-im-doing-good-practicing-ethical-design-in-a-world-of-systemic-complexity