Tutorial Grinnell College Fall, 2008
Computers: Facts, Misconceptions, and Ethical Issues

Class Questions for a Tutorial on Computing, Fall 2008

Quick Links: Enter your questions View recently submitted questions


Throughout this semester, you are asked to read chapters from Michael J. Quinn, Ethics for the Information Age, Third Edition, Addison-Wesley, 2009, and Henry M. Walker, The Tao of Computing: A Down-to-earth Approach to Computer Fluency, Jones and Bartlett, 2005, and other selected readings. Although students will be leading the discussion on parts of the reading for some classes, the class format for other classes may be rather informal.

For the free-format classes, there seems little point in repeating this same material from the text. Rather, class time will be devoted to clarifying topics covered in readings, tying topics together, and expanding ideas introduced in the texts. Toward this end, students must read assigned materials before class and formulate two class questions. Some appropriate types of questions are:

Thus, questions should seek to clarify points of confusion or to expand ideas just introduced briefly. For the most part, simple factual questions should be avoided (unless the facts are in dispute). The instructor will assume that students have a clear understanding of topics not covered in questions, and students should be prepared to contribute to class discussions on all areas not asked.


During the semester, the Tentative Class Schedule specifies reading assignments for 15 class sessions. Students are expected to submit two class questions on most readings -- with a total of 26 questions expected from each student over the semester. (Additional questions may be submitted for extra credit, except that no more than 2 questions may be submitted per assigned reading.) If blackboard is not available when you are submitting questions within the deadline, you should e-mail them to walker@cs.grinnell.edu.

For bookkeeping purposes, students should submit these questions via the quiz feature of Grinnell's on-line blackboard program. Questions for a given day should be submitted no later 5:00 pm the previous day. This will give the instructor time to review questions prior to a class.

Class questions will be graded using a binary scale (0 or 1). Reasonable questions related to the reading will earn 1 point. Trivial questions or questions unrelated to the material at hand will receive 0 points.

Submitted Class Questions

For most days, classes questions will be posted through links below.
An attempt will be made to limit access to these links to on-campus workstations only, but this restriction is not guaranteed.

This document is available on the World Wide Web as


created 23 July 2004
last revised 24 November 2008
Valid HTML 4.01! Valid CSS!
For more information, please contact Henry M. Walker at walker@cs.grinnell.edu.