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Ethical Data. Looking at What It Is and How We Use It. HarrietAnn Litwin, M.Ed., CRC 6 th Summit Conference Darlene Groomes, Ph.D., CRC, LPC Rhode Island Kathe Matrone, Ph.D., CRC September 16, 2013. What do we mean by ETHICS?. A set of principles of proper conduct.

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ethical data

Ethical Data

Looking at What It Is

and How We Use It

HarrietAnn Litwin, M.Ed., CRC 6th Summit Conference

Darlene Groomes, Ph.D., CRC, LPC Rhode Island

Kathe Matrone, Ph.D., CRC September 16, 2013

what do we mean by ethics
What do we mean by ETHICS?
  • A set of principles of proper conduct.
  • The rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession.

The Forum Guide to Data Ethics,

National Forum on Education Statistics,

February, 2010

what is a code of ethics
What is a Code of Ethics?
  • Comprehensive collection of “laws”
  • Documents standards that governs expected/acceptable/moral behavior in a group
  • Written agreement among participants that includes sanctions for unethical behavior
  • Systematically arranged
  • Values-driven: begins by setting out the values of the group
framework for today s discussion
Framework for today’s discussion

Using the Office of Management and Budget’s framework including:

  • Data Utility
    • Including data quality
  • Data Objectivity
  • Data Integrity
    • Including data security
codes that will be used today
Codes that will be used today

Among many possible sets of principles, we have selected two:

  • Commission on Rehabilitation Counselors Certification

http://www.crccertification.com/filebin/pdf/CRCCodeOfEthics.pdf

  • American Evaluation Association

http://www.eval.org/p/cm/ld/fid=51

relationship with organizational performance
Relationship with Organizational Performance
  • Much like ethics in counseling and guidance espouses the relationship with client as paramount, data ethics champions its relationship with performance excellence
  • All stakeholders have an interest in the results
    • Take steps to assure that evaluation results are accurately understood and accurately communicated
    • Employ evaluation results in decision-making
  • Honesty in the research process and in the presentation of results leads to accurate identification of strengths and need in the development of strategic planning
    • Data security and confidentiality leads to accurate information
    • Full and accurate reporting lead to better decisions
ethical framework utility forum code of ethics 2010 national center for education statistics 2002
Ethical Framework: Utility(Forum Code of Ethics, 2010; National Center for Education Statistics, 2002)
  • Usefulness of information
    • Provide all relevant data and context, definitions, documentation
    • Promote understanding and accuracy of analysis
  • Staying informed of stakeholder requirements/needs
  • Goal to maximize usefulness, minimize cost
    • Crosstalk between professional organizational codes:
      • CRC Section 1: Research and Publication, 1.3: Reporting Results
      • AEA Guiding Principles A – E, A: Systematic Inquiry
ethical framework utility
Ethical Framework: Utility
  • Usefulness of available dissemination channels
    • Provide stakeholders ability to locate information in timely and equitable fashion
    • Provide contact information on the report to facilitate feedback and questions
    • Crosstalk between professional organizational codes:
      • CRC Section 1: Research and Publication, 1.4: Publications and Presentations
      • AEA Guiding Principles A – E, E: Responsibilities for General and Public Welfare
ethical framework utility1
Ethical Framework: Utility
  • Mindful of Data Quality through best practices and standards for operation:
    • Practical so most useful to stakeholders
    • Free of error and bias
    • Consistent, reproducible, dependable
    • Readily available for decision-making
    • Crosstalk between professional organizational codes:
      • CRC Section 1: Research and Publication, 1.3: Reporting Results
      • AEA Guiding Principles A – E, C: Integrity/Honesty
utility recommended practice
Utility: Recommended Practice
  • Develop a culture of data quality
    • Use best practice resources
    • Update data practices to reflect changes in policy
    • Train data handlers
      • Improvement mindedness
      • Privacy
      • Federal race and ethnicity categories
      • Utilization of decision support system
utility recommended practice1
Utility: Recommended Practice
  • Data presentation (subject to multiple reviews with comments passed on to authors)
    • Explain statistical procedures
    • Summarize methodology
    • Include definitions and related information to support interpretation of data
    • Add explanation to avoid misinterpretation
    • Provide contact information
ethical framework objectivity
Ethical Framework: Objectivity
  • Refers to accuracy and clarity of information
    • Content of Information
    • Presentation of Information
  • Achieved by using reliable information sources and appropriate techniques to prepare products.
    • Crosstalk between professional organizational codes:
      • CRC Section I: Research and Publications, 1.3: Reporting Results
      • AEA Guiding Principles A-E, A: Systematic Inquiry
ethical framework objectivity1
Ethical Framework: Objectivity
  • Content
    • Ensure accurate, reliable, and unbiased information
    • Appropriate research and statistical methods used
    • Limitations, assumptions, collection methods, and uncertainties concerning data disclosed
    • Crosstalk between professional organizational codes:
      • CRC Section I: Research and Publications, 1.3: Reporting Results
      • AEA Standards: Accuracy
ethical framework objectivity2
Ethical Framework: Objectivity
  • Presentation
    • The information is presented within a proper context
    • The research design and methods are transparent including the disclosure of data sources
    • Any issues affecting the data quality are identified and disclosed
    • Crosstalk between professional organizational codes:
      • CRC Section I: Research and Publications, 1.3: Reporting Results
      • AEA Standards: Accuracy
ethical framework objectivity3
Ethical Framework: Objectivity
  • Questionable Practices:
    • Data trimming and cooking
    • Not stating the methods used
    • Findings are suppressed or ignored
    • Crosstalk between professional organizational codes:
      • CRC Section I: Research and Publications, 1.2: Informed Consent & Disclosure
      • AEA Principles: Systematic Inquiry, Integrity, Responsibilities for public welfare
objectivity recommended practice
Objectivity: Recommended Practice
  • Data handlers are expected to report information accurately and without bias, even when the news is bad!
  • Train data reporters and users to follow a standard data preparation and presentation methods.
    • Crosstalk between professional organizational codes:
      • CRC Section I: Research and Publications, 1.3: Reporting Results
      • AEA Principles: Responsibilities for public welfare
objectivity recommended practice1
Objectivity: Recommended Practice
  • How you start and finish the evaluation process need particular attention
  • Disseminating the evaluation is a vital aspect of the evaluation
  • Crosstalk between professional organizational codes:
      • CRC Section I: Research and Publications, 1.3: Reporting Results
      • AEA Principles: Responsibilities for public welfare
ethical framework integrity
Ethical Framework: Integrity

Integrity

  • securityor protection of information from unauthorized access or revision
  • ensures that the information is not compromised through corruption or falsification

The Forum Guide to Data Ethics,

National Forum on Education Statistics,

February, 2010

nces canons on integrity and security
NCES Canons on Integrity and Security
  • Demonstrate honesty, integrity, and professionalism at all times
  • Appreciate that, while data may represent attribute of real people, they do not describe the whole person
  • Be aware of applicable statutes, regulations, practices, and ethical standards governing data collection and reporting
nces canons on integrity and security continued
NCES Canons on Integrity and Security (continued)
  • Report information accurately and without bias.
  • Be accountable and hold others accountable for ethical use of data
  • Treat data systems as valuable organizational assets.
  • Safeguard sensitive data to guarantee privacy and confidentiality.
integrity security crosstalk
Integrity/Security: Crosstalk
  • CRCC Section I: Research and Publications
    • I.1 Research Responsibilities
    • I.2 Informed Consent and Disclosure
    • I.3 Reporting Results
    • I.4 Publication and Presentation
    • I.5 Confidentiality
  • Section G.1 includes a reminder to report results in their cultural context.
  • AEA
    • Section C: Integrity/Honesty
    • Section D: Respect for People
integrity security recommended practice
Integrity/Security: Recommended Practice
  • Respect for the individuals who are the subject of the research
  • Identify conflicts of interest
  • Recognize all of the individuals who contribute to the success of the project
  • Understand that the responsibility for accuracy and confidentiality lies with the practitioner
utility ethical dilemma scenario
Utility: Ethical Dilemma Scenario

Customer satisfaction scores were up! The agency was ready to disseminate the improvement in results, except:

  • Management and staff knew that the survey had been updated in design and approach
      • More detailed questions included on new version
      • Offered to administer in more ways than just mail
objectivity ethical dilemma scenario
Objectivity: Ethical Dilemma Scenario
  • After reading the first draft of an evaluation report on the effectiveness of a new initiative (highly supported by the Director), the program manager suggested to the evaluator the deletion of some negative findings that the initiative was not making the impact.
integrity ethical dilemma scenario
Integrity: Ethical Dilemma Scenario

You conducted a study that drew a random sample that was representative of your entire population. In reviewing your responses, you find that those who responded were not representative of the entire population, but rather favored one group disproportionately. While you have now learned that there were actions that might have prevented this type of response, you are asked to set goals and develop plans using this data.

thank you for participating
Thank you for participating!

HarrietAnn Litwin, M.Ed., CRC

Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

(302) 761-8275

HarrietAnn.Litwin@state.de.us

Darlene Groomes, Ph.D., CRC, LPC

Oakland University

(517) 896-9807

Groomes@oakland.edu

Kathe Matrone, PhD, CRC

University of Washington

(425) 771-7436

matrok@uw.edu