Designing Tech Policy: Instructional Case Studies for Technologists and Policymakers
The UW Tech Policy Instructional Case Studies position students to consider the deeply interactional processes of human values and technology. Within pedagogical bounds, students engage both technical and policy elements and develop design solutions. For instructors, the case studies have been written and formatted so that they can be appropriated for varied educational settings.
Each of the tech policy instructional case studies (see Table 1) follow this three-part pattern:
1. Background. The case studies begin with information on the technology and social context at hand. This introduces both the students and the instructor to the technical problem and the social considerations that will be addressed in the design activity.
2. Design activity. The case studies include a suggested design process, beginning with a design prompt. The design prompt invites students to consider an open-ended challenge in which they must find and frame their own problems within a specific tech policy theme. After the prompt, each case study presents students with a step-by-step design process using methods from value sensitive design (Friedman, Hendry, & Borning, 2017; Friedman & Hendry, 2019). The process can be engaged to varying degrees of depth and robustness.
3. Reflections. Each case study includes reflective questions about the solution and about the design process. The reflective questions can be used, for example, to structure classroom discussion or in writing assignments completed outside of class.