Debate on the Impact of Computer Technology on Employment

Topic area Workplace Issues
Target audience Senior undergraduate students in CS, CIS, or SE
Activity type Debate
Time required Several weeks of student time; one day of class time
Attachments None
Additional materials None
Background needed to complete the assignment Knowledge of introductory economics and statistics
References Articles researching the impact of technology on employment
Last modified 8/12/99


A major issue of the impact of computers on society is the overall impact that computer technology has had on employment. There is not a generally accepted answer to the questions presented on the preceding page.

Goals for the activity:

This exercise is to inform the students of some of the complexities involved in attempting to answer the questions and to improve their research and presentation skills.

Knowledge / skills / attitudes to be developed (behavioral objectives):

After completion of this exercise students should

  1. Select a topic to be debated from the questions
  2. Assign groups of students for each side of the issue (This could be one of a series of debates; in this case allow students volunteer for the topic and position they wish to defend.)
  3. Each group of students researches their respective topic; faculty should supply the groups with a list of potential sources (or of possible starting points to locate information)
  4. Each group prepares arguments based on the research
  5. Debate is held
  6. (Optional) Class discussion can be held concerning the validity of the various positions and arguments
Assessing outcomes:

Grade as usual for a debate.

Additional remarks:

Author contact information:

William Myers
Dept. of Computer Studies
Belmont Abbey College
Belmont, NC

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