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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

Let's Teach Computer Science Majors to Be Good Citizens

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Anne-Marie Núñez and Matthew Mayhew are professors at Ohio State University. Musbah Shaheen is a Ph.D. student at Ohio State and a research assistant in the College Impact Laboratory. Laura S. Dahl is an assistant professor at North Dakota State University.

In a national study involving a multiyear examination of how student worldviews are changing at more than 120 colleges and universities, research teams found evidence indicating that computer science majors have limited access to instruction about ethics and cultural inclusivity.

This study sought to uncover how students are changing in college, including how their academic majors might have an effect on their beliefs and attitudes. Of particular interest was students' citizenship at the beginning and end of their college careers.

When we compared more than 5,500 student responses by major, what we found was striking. Computer science majors' responses resulted in lower overall citizenship scores when compared to students in other majors.

In other words, students in computer science were graduating college with less preparation than students in all other majors to become agents of responsible change in an increasingly global citizenry.

From EdSurge
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