Ethics in the Open

Rob Farrow, Mar 26, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Ethics to me depends on epistemology - what counts as right and wrong depends in an important way on what we know and how we can know it. So I haven't said a lot about ethics and learning technology, because there is so little agreement yet as to what constitutes success and what we know about that. This post considers some of the differences in ethics in work carried out inside and outside institutions. For many thee insstitution provides the ethics frameowrk. But what about outside the institution, and what about he wider framework? I think there's room, as suggested here, for an approach based on 'ethics in the open'. "There is a real need for using one’s own judgment and reflecting on the ethical dimensions of research for oneself.  When working in the open – potentially beyond institutional reach – an awareness of ethical principles and how they should be applied is essential."

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