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Tackle tough questions. Gain new skills.

March 12, 2019 by Mandy Byrd |

Photo of video image shown on tablet deviceAlexa. Google. Home security cameras. Smartphones. There’s no question that modern devices make life more convenient. But who else is watching or listening in?

This is just one of the many issues you’ll contemplate in Ethics and Technology, a 7-week course in UNC Greensboro’s online Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS) program.

From the Stone Age to the Space Shuttle

The course looks at technology and how it has evolved, says Jana Walser-Smith, a lecturer in the BLS program. She leads students through an examination of the ethical implications of technology, exploring everything from the Stone Age and the Industrial Revolution to medical technology and artificial intelligence. The course also covers technological disasters such as the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle and the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Students learn about each week’s theme and discuss the ethical issues online. “What I’m trying to do is make students think through every side,” Walser-Smith says.

In the process, students are exposed to thoughts and ideas they haven’t considered before. “We’ve got to be able to collaborate and hear other people’s ideas,” explains Walser-Smith.

New Perspectives, New Skills

During the course, students learn and grow with discussion and get more comfortable expressing themselves. Sometimes, even Walser-Smith is surprised by a new perspective, telling students, “You know what? I never even thought about it in that way. I never thought about it from that angle.”

As students explore ethical dilemmas, they gain a variety of skills, including communication, critical thinking, and collaboration—skills that are reinforced throughout the BLS program.

“I think it’s important for students to know that this is a program that’s going to allow them to think outside the box and think about the world as a whole,” Walser-Smith says.

A Bachelor’s Program for Busy Professionals 

Ready for a closer look at the online Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies? Our brochure provides complete program details, admission deadlines, start dates and graduation requirements. 

Complete the form to download the brochure.


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