Digital Ethics & The Legal Landscape of Instructional Design
This course explores the evolving legal and ethical landscape in which instructional designers and technologists must practice. Students will examine legal issues arising from intellectual property, copyright law, including the fair use exception, the TEACH Act, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act; federal laws related to accessibility for learners with disabilities; and FERPA, a federal law that protects the privacy of education records. Students will apply laws to realistic scenarios that arise in the design setting, developing best practices to minimize the risk of liability. Students will also explore the ethical challenges that arise in practice, including the creation of instructional materials that support a diverse learner audience, implications of the “digital divide,” and conflicts of interest stemming from opportunities for personal gain outside of the employment relationship. Students will work to develop their own ethical code to guide their professional paths.