CSI 2911 - Professional Practice in Computer Science

Debate back to course page



60 marks, 30% of final grade

Organize into groups of a minimum 4 people, divided into 2 teams of a minimum 2 people each.

Each group must select a topic (approved by the professor) for which there are two opposing views.

Each team will be responsible for developing and presenting the arguments in favour of one view.

Each team will submit a written report, and a debate presentation.

As well the two teams will engage in a 15 minute debate.


1. Report, 30 Marks, Due April 14

A)    Writing  - 10 marks, 2 marks for each of the following:



         Clarity of writing

         Efficiency of writing

         Elegance / Effectiveness of writing

B)    Content 20 marks

All answers must be in full sentence, essay form, with a clear structure, and sound reasoning from facts and principles.

Make the argument in favour of your teams view using the following structure (4 marks each):

1) Introduction

Why is the topic important and what are the two opposing views to consider.

Summary of the opposing view.

2) Problem Definition

Identify and briefly describe the essential elements of the problem including:

All potential stakeholders.

All relevant scenarios and possible actions.

All relevant risks, issues, problems and consequences indicating who is affected and how much.

All benefits and opportunities indicating who will benefit and how much.

3) Methodology

Outline how you plan to approach the problem.  Is this based on principles (deontological) or risk/benefit analysis (utilitarian or both)? 

4) Research

Identify and summarize the relevant facts and resources for the problem.  You should have a list of references.

This may include relevant laws, ethical guidelines, similar cases, statistics, articles, opinions etc.

5) Analysis and Conclusions

Systematically work through the problem as you have defined it, following the methodology you have outlined, applying the results of your research. 

Provide insight into the problem and draw conclusions with a clear line of reasoning and support.

Clearly distinguish your view, from opposing view.




2. Debate, 30 Marks, in class April 6

20 Marks Presentation

10 Marks Individual

5 Marks - Slides

5 Marks Group Coordination, Integration, and Support

10 Marks Content

5 Marks Slides

5 Marks Rebuttal & Summation




Debate Format


A power point slide deck, or .pdf must be emailed to lpeyton@site.uottawa.ca by Sunday, April 6, 6pm that will be the talking points for the first round.


Either by agreement, or by coin flip the order of which team will present first is determined.


First Round (6 minutes):

Each team takes 3 minutes to present their side of the argument.

Each member of the team should take a turn speaking during this time.

Teams should organize themselves so they:

         Define the Problem Clearly in their terms.

         Identify the data they are using and the methodology for reasoning about the problem

         Clearly articulate the conclusions they draw with support.

Second Round (6 Minutes):

Each team takes turns, having one member from their team speak for up to 1 minute in order to counter or respond to an argument made by the other team.

Each member of the team must speak at least once during this round.


Final Round (2 minutes):

Each team can take 1 minute to make their concluding remark.

Only one person needs to speak.

The order of speaking is reversed for this round.



Possible Topics:

Privacy vs Optimization

Digital Rights Protection vs Mashup

Online Gaming vs Addiction/Liability

Open source vs Proprietary

Free Speech vs Pornography and Hate Crime

Software Engineering License vs CSI Professional Assocation


Feel free to suggest other topics.

Debaters will speak and present in the language of their choice (French or English).