AI Admissions App

Link to module

Evaluated December 2021

The module is a role play exercise in which students are asked to take on various stakeholder roles as a committee at an academic institution. The committee must submit a recommendation regarding an AI admissions app to the university president. The module could also be used in professional ethics courses, education and administration courses, technology ethics courses, and social science courses focused on information technologies.

This module covers material in Software Engineering/Software Processes, Software Engineering/Software Design, and Intelligent Systems/Basic Knowledge Representation and Reasoning.

Instructors interested in using this module will have access to background readings that will assist with development. Additional information on university structures, patterns of decision making within systems, and the social psychological patterns of group processes would be helpful for this exercise. This background information, from an interdisciplinary framework, could be helpful for instructors as they develop additional discussion questions and prompts for student reflections. Suggestions are provided for integrating the lesson into a course and pairing it with other topics. Overall, one or two class periods, along with homework, will provide overall adequate time for this module. Due to the topic of the module, students will find it relevant to their own lives, and the supplementary topics should help better prepare students for the lesson. Students who are familiar with group work and collaborative decision making will more quickly grasp the dynamics of this module. Although there is substantial interest in the ethical bias issues associated with facial and speech recognition identified in this module, an instructor using this module would need to be sure to address diversity, equity, and the configuration of positions of power within systems and groups to effectively address aspects of bias.

An instructor using this module will need to implement their own assessments. The module, as developed, provides approximately half a dozen very high-level suggestions for possible assessments for both individuals and groups. Thus, the instructor will need to prepare assignment guidelines or grading rubrics aligned with a set of learning outcomes.


The evaluation of this module was led by  Patrick Anderson and Evan Peck as part of the Mozilla Foundation Responsible Computer Science Challenge. Emanuelle Burton, Judy Goldsmith, Colleen Greer, Darakhshan Mir, Jaye Nias, and Marty J. Wolf also made contributions. These works are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.