Social, Professional and Ethical Aspects of Information Technology

Shortcut to lecture materials is here.

... or "The Course With The Longest Title" has been in the EITC curricula since the second year of the College (2001), since 2017 carrying over to the curricula of Tallinn University of Technology. It is a mixture of various topics like IT culture and professionalism, tech history, legal issues and more - the point is to raise awareness of different not-so-technical dimensions surrounding IT. A secondary goal is to provide students with skills in academic writing, reviewing, presentation and public speaking.

In short


As shown by the experience so far, students have liked the variety of ways to pass the course. It is possible to earn the max grade already before the exam, plus the exam can be passed in two different modes.

Every student is expected to do at least one (another one is optional) set of homework consisting of a 5-10 page essay, a set of ~10 slides and an oral presentation. Thus, the lab sessions will mostly be seminars with people presenting their work with subsequent discussion. In addition, everyone should review another student's homework.

As mentioned above, during the Spring term 2018, the seminars take place weekly in the second half-term - this should provide everyone with enough time to prepare the presentation.


Papers should have a clear topic, good presentation of the problem, proper argumentation and formal qualities (academic style, proper references etc). The requirements can be found in this guide.

If you lack ideas for topic, check this reading list.

You can also find some ideas from here.

NB!!! The final deadline for all other writings (including reviews, blogs etc) is the last day of the term proper, May 19 (extensions can be granted for valid reasons (illness etc).

WARNING - write your papers by yourself. Presenting a paper downloaded from somewhere is more serious an academic offense than someone fresh out of secondary school may think - flunking just the course is a luckier result, but people may also get booted from the school for proven plagiarism. This also applies for partial "borrowing" - rules dictate that all used material be properly referenced (see also here).

Presentation slides should bring out the important, be suitably detailed, well-designed and properly formatted.

Oral presentation should present the material clearly, have good argumentation and answers to possible questions, somewhat also considering confidence, style and handling the audience.

Reviews should address the topic, argumentation and formal side, see also some guidelines here.

Some guidelines for presentation can be found here.

The first (mandatory) paper gives up to 25 points, slides up to 10 and oral presentation up to 15 points, for the second homework the same numbers are 20, 5 and 10. Reviewing a peer's homework gives up to 10 points.

Another way to earn points is to write a blog related to the course topics (both using an existing blog or creating a new one are OK). You may reflect on the course (ideas, suggestions and also constructive criticism are all OK), College events (but again, related to the course topics), tech news, write software or hardware reviews etc. The blog should be in English, the rule of thumb in points is "one point for each relevant post", up to 10 points. Blogging is not mandatory.

It is also possible to earn points by reading and reviewing relevant books - up to 2 in total, for up to 5 points per book. Books can be picked from the reading list, but you may suggest something else too. The length of a book review should be approximately one page, containing both a short overview (title, author, time of publishing), main points and the argumented evaluation by the reviewer.

Finally, the lecturer can award bonus points for original solutions, active participation in discussions etc (typically 1-3 at once, up to 10 points in total per student), this typically happens during seminars.

The grade system is typical to most of Estonian higher education:

The exam can add up to 40 points.

Thus, passing the course by just doing the exam is not possible - and anyone ignoring the wide choice of point-earning possibilities (described above) is probably... not that bright.

You may do the exam either as:

NB! The exam result will be ADDED to the total, so it cannot have any bad effect on your result. Example: Mr B. comes to the exam with 57 points, chooses the express and does not do well - he only answers one question correctly, earning 4 points for the exam. His final result however is 57 + 4 = 61, meaning "satisfactory" (2).

Lecture notes

...will appear before any lecture here - as a firm believer in open source and open standards, the lecturer also supports open educational resources (the parallel version of the course for distance students is actually run as a MOOC). The rules however dictate that the course points are to remain private, so we will try to use the TUT ÕIS (studies information system) for this. Note that the ability to enter mid-term results (in addition to the final grade) is just a recent addition to the TUT ÕIS, so in case of running into trouble, we will use a backup solution that will be covered during lectures. The results can always be directly asked from the lecturer as well.

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1995-2024, by Kaido Kikkas. This document is distributed under either GNU Free Documentation License (v1.2 or newer) or Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Estonia license v3.0 or newer.