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Created By: Kienna Knowles

Course: EDUC 6663-T1002 Integrating Technology In The Curriculum (Part 1)

Course Instructor: Dr. Ashraf Esmail

Technology Standard 6: Social, Ethical, Legal, and Human Issues

Program Outcome: S6.4: Promote safe and healthy use of technology resources.

Rationale: When developing Internet or digitally enhanced learning environments, this learner supports that educators must promote safe and health use of these technologies. In the following Internet Workshop, this learner advocates, models, and teaches safe, legal, and ethical use of digital resources and other technologies. Additionally, the Internet Workshop promotes a safe and healthy technology-enriched learning environments that enable all types of learners to pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in the lesson.

Title: Internet Workshop: Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Genetic Research

Unit: Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of Genetics

As scientists continue to uncover more human genetic information, ethical, legal and social implications arise. This learner believes that as educators teach genetics and human genome it is import to make students aware of the methods for decision-making about genetics for themselves and others. These decision will impact a number of concepts including fairness, global moral viewpoints, consequences of decisions for all stakeholders, and the rights of the individual as well as the majority (NHGRI, 2008). This activity allows students to explore the ethical, legal and social implications of genetics.

Step 1: Identifying Web sites

National Human Genome Research Institute

The National Human Genome Research Institute began as the National Center for Human Genome Research (NCHGR), to carry out the role of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Human Genome Project (HGP). In 1997 the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) renamed NCHGR the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), officially elevating it to the status of research institute (NIH. 2007). The NHGRI aims to help people understand the structure and function of the human genome and its role in health and disease (NIH, 2007).  

The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) supports a wide range of opportunities for professional training and career development for students, educators, health professionals and research scientists (NIH, 2007). More importantly, this web site contains educational materials about genetics and genomics for students, teachers and the general public. Specifically, this learner choose this site because it provides multimedia, educational resources that cover the basics of molecular biology and includes learning modules to help high school students understand genetics, molecular biology and The Human Genome Project. 

Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications Research Program

The National Human Genome Research Institute's (NHGRI) Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) Research Program was established in 1990 as an integral part of the Human Genome Project (HGP). The program was designed to foster basic and applied research on the ethical, legal and social implications of genetic and genomic research for individuals, families and communities. This site was selected primarily because it provides email addresses to key researcher scientists and staff that are willing to communicate with students and teachers. This enables students to communicate with experts in the field. Additionally, the site provides multiple links to other sites that focus on the legal, ethical and social issues surrounding genetic research.  

A special feature on this site is the link to the centers of excellence is ELSI research. In the fall of 2003, the NHGRI in collaboration with U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) launched a new initiative to create interdisciplinary Centers of Excellence in ELSI Research (CEER). This site was designed to bring investigators from multiple disciplines together to work in innovative ways to address important new, or particularly persistent, ethical, legal, and social issues related to advances in genetics and genomics (NHGRI, 208).  

Access Excellence

Access Excellence, launched in 1993, is a series of learning modules on multiple science and health topics, including biotechnology and genetics (NHM, 2007). It is a national educational program that provides health, biology and life science teachers with access to their colleagues, scientists, and critical sources of new scientific information via the Internet. This program was originally developed and launched by Genentech Inc. The Access Excellence program stemmed from ongoing communication and volunteer activities between Genentech employees and local area science teachers (NHM, 2007). Those science teachers suggested that Genentech make these ideas, strategies and activities accessible to other teachers, Genetech and their volunteers believed that this rare interaction would allow them to effectively interest and inspire their science students (NHM, 2007).  

In 1999, Access Excellence joined the National Health Museum, a non-profit organization founded by former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop as a national center for health education (NHM, 2007). In this learner’s opinion, Access Excellence creatively applies new technology, advanced educational techniques, and hands-on experiences in genetics and public health. Access Excellence, via the National Health Museum, educates, motivates and inspires young science students of all ages to learn and enjoy science beyond their textbooks. Access Excellence enhances biology teaching by providing a computer network forum on which teachers could share their innovative teaching ideas and activities, accessing information, expert assistance, and the advice and experience of other teachers to create new ideas and best practices (NHM, 2007).  

(ELSI) Vignettes

This site is critical to the Internet workshop because it contains the vignettes that that will be given to various groups in the class. From this site students can view a short multimedia video introducing current and future societal issues associated with genetics and genomics. Students can use this video to gain insight on the issues created by genetic research. In addition the site includes the vignettes, containing a set of discussion questions that each group will be given to research important ethical, legal or social issues via the Internet workshop.  

Articles of Interest

The above link will provide students with three essential articles that provide a good understanding and insight to Understanding the Human Genome Project and its effect on the future for medical science. The articles include the study of all the genes of various organisms. More importantly the articles raise intriguing questions about genetics and life.  

Step 2: Developing A Research Activity Goals and Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives:

  1. Students will be able to evaluate an argument with fairness and have valid research supported reasons for their decision-making.
  2. Students will be able to supplement their scientific knowledge with its possible ethical, legal and social implications to predict the possible consequences of decision-making.
  3. Students describe and evaluate how scientists can bring information, insights, and analytical skills to matters of public concern and help people understand the possible causes and effects of events.
  4. Students will identify the origin of funds for science research from federal government agencies, industry, and private foundations and how these funding often influences discoveries, ethical, legal, and social issues in genetic.
  5. Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity.
  6. Students use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.  


This activity allows students to practice using logical guidelines to evaluate the information, arguments and ideas presented in the various vignette related to ethical, legal and social implication of genetics. Students will use scientific information and logic to confront the arguments presented in the vignette and make decisions that involves genetics. To complete the activity students are encouraged to research all there is to know about genetics and the method of transmission of genes. This activity will bring factors (like traits that are sex linked, autosomal, dominant, recessive or caused by multiple genes, statistical occurrence, environmental factors that may influence the genetic expression) to discussion and give students a more disciplined way of making ethical, legal and social decisions.  

Project Description & Expectations

Part 1: Ethical Implications Make a convincing argument on (BOTH) the positive and negative aspects of your specific scenario.  

  1. Identify and define the Pros and the Cons related to your vignette.
  2. Make a chart that includes statements that support and oppose the pros and cons of your scenario. This chart should include at least 10 statements that express why society should agree or support, as well as, 10 statements why society should disagree and oppose the scenario found in your vignette. These statements should be primarily based on facts not personal believes. A) Focus on the reason justifying your position, not personal arguments. B) Religious reason should only be used if they can apply to society as a whole.
  3. Find at least 2 articles or other research that supports both the positive and negative aspects of your argument. Summarize these references.  

Part 2: Legal Implications Investigate the legal aspects of your specific scenario.

  1. Identify one case that pertains to your scenario. This case can be pending or previously decided upon by a judge. Summarize: the cause of this case, the positions made by the prosecutor and defense attorneys, and give the outcome if the case has be decided upon.
  2. Identify at least three laws that pertain to your specific vignette. Tell specifically how these laws protect scientists, businesses, people or animals.  

Part 3: Social implications

  1. Express your personal and research-based findings that show how your scenario will impact society if carried out. (Positive or Negative).
  2. Take a stand, as a group, and support your stand with at least 5 documented references.
  3. Propose an alternative that would make both proponents and opponents satisfied. Back this proposal with research-based data, statistics, or other findings.  

Part 4: Complete the discussion questions.

Each vignette has a set of discussion question. Answer each question and support with research.

Part 5: Presentation.

During your presentation, present your argument and findings to the class. Discuss each of your questions and facilitate a well-organized debate with the class.  

Supporting Three-Level Questioning

Questioning and inquisitiveness should play an important role in every classroom. In the learning process, questioning strategies are a vital tool for stimulating critical thinking skills (Swartz & Perkins, 1989). While developing this activity, it was important to ensure that the instructional goals and the research questions/tasks are able to reinforce these goals. The questions/tasks generated for this activity enables students to elicit intellectual responses on various learning levels. These levels follow the learning process of higher ordered thinking, as indicated by the three-story intellect and Blooms taxonomy. Low order thinking or recall questions are geared to allow students to gather information researched or accessed via prior knowledge (Fogarty & McTighe, 1993 and Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001). Middle level or processing questions tend to require students to process information. These questions are designed to draw relationships the student has acquired or observed (Fogarty & McTighe, 1993 and Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001). Higher order thinking or application questions are generated to allow students to think beyond the concept developed. The third level questions invites students to creatively or hypothetically use imagination, to expose a value system, or to make a judgment (Fogarty & McTighe, 1993 and Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001).  

Within the activity, this learner focuses on ethical, legal and social implications of genetics. The following list of questions/tasks that were designed to create and active learning environment while incorporating various levels of thinking while eliciting various intelligent behaviors:  

(Level 1) Blooms levels 1-2: Lower order thinking.

(Level 2) Blooms levels 3-4: Middle level thinking

(Level 3) Blooms levels 5-6: Higher order thinking

As students move from the lower level questions to higher-level question, habits of the mind become increasingly more significant (Fogarty & McTighe, 1993 and Costa & Kallick, 2000). Particularly, students must elicit persistent, questioning, flexible thinking, and drawing on past knowledge habits of mind. 

Step 3: Managing Research Activities

Educational technology, especially computers and computer-related peripherals, have grown tremendously and have reformed how schools and educators teach curriculum. It is incomprehensible (to this learner) that today’s educators are not using some form of technology in their classrooms. When a educator or decides to implement educational technology into the curriculum, one of its overriding goals must be to create plans and policies for all members of the learning community to have equal access and use of technology (Ficklen & Muscara, 2001). To address these accommodation, provides students with all the essential tools for completing the assignment. Students are given web sites, learning tasks, computers and ample time to complete the learning task. Because of extensive technology use in curriculum, this learner has been provided a wireless cart (for the entire school year) to ensure all students have access to a computer. When given a project of this caliber, students typically work collaboratively in learning task groups and are given several class blocks to work on this assignment. Researchers report that, regardless of the subject matter, students working in small groups tend to learn more of what is taught and retain it longer than when the same content is presented in other instructional formats (Johnson, Johnson, & Holubec, 1998 and Race, 2000). Using small groups and student teams can be effective in any learning environment.  


Anderson, L. & Krathwohl, D. (2001). Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. New York: Longman.

Ficklen, E., & Muscara, C. (2001). Harnessing technology in the classroom. American Educator, 22–29. Retrieved October 6, 2007, from Fogarty, R. &

McTighe, J. (1993). Teaching for Higher Order Thinking. Theory into Practice, (32) 3, pp. 161-169.

Johnson, D.,Johnson, R.& Holubec, E. (1998). Cooperation in the classroom. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). (2008). Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Genetics Research. Retrieved 02-29-08 from

National Institute of Health (NHI). 2007. National Human Genome Research Institute; Educational Resources. Retrieved November 6, 2007 from

National Health Museum (NHM). 2007. Access Excellence. Retrieved November 5, 2007 from

Race, P. (2000). 500 Tips on Group Learning. London: Kogan Page

Swartz, R. & Perkins, D. N. (1989). Teaching Thinking: Issues and Approaches. Pacific Grove, Ca: Midwest Publications.