56 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 299 2019 can ensure that students in these courses are aware of their rights and responsibilities with respect to these policies. The risk to a university of being accused of discrimination against or harassment of any student can be very costly to its reputation as well as financially. Worse, sending students into the workforce who have not received an education where diversity, equity, and inclusion are important values that should be fully integrated into all aspects of work can result in practices that perpetuate bias in products that are developed and system behaviors that skew results to perpetuate and exacerbate biases. A university can develop policies that address known issues in the curriculum and include requirements to teach students involved with software development about concerns such as unconscious bias, privacy, and ethical responsibility when working with personal information. Requiring students to understand data sources and to document software with explanations of expected behaviors when that software interacts with data will benefit society as students enter the workforce. Teaching all students how to assess information validity, regardless of its format, is a critical skill that people should have in our society. Policies can be adopted that lead to computationally and digitally fluent citizens who can assess information produced by software to know if it is valid and who act responsibly in using data. Research librarians who understand these issues and how to work with digital resources are a key resource for developing university policies that help to stem the flow of “fake news” and misinformation that propagates through social media and other online sources. As noted by Matt Chessen in his report, The MADCOM Future, “Academia has been essential in developing cybersecurity best practices, and it should do the same in the cognitive security space.”29 Establishing educational policies that incorporate digital fluency skills in the curriculum can be a good step towards achieving this for society.
Previous Page Next Page