Institut für Kognitionswissenschaft

Institute of Cognitive Science

Osnabrück University navigation and search

Main content

Top content

Data Ethics Outreach Lab

DEOL 2023

Study project and interdisciplinary course for CogSci Master Students

University of Osnabrück, Summer Term 2023 & Winter Term 2023/24

Wednesdays 9–12, room: 50/E07 (Institute of Cognitive Sciene, Wachsbleiche). Starting 19 April, 2023

Prof. Dr. Rainer Mühlhoff, Nora Lindemann, Paul Schütze, Jan Siebold and Annemarie Witschas

Course description

Why does the data collected by Instagram or YouTube lead to social inequality? How do Snapchat, TikTok and Co. (re)structure social relationships and restrict the identity performances available to young people online? What does PayPal do with all the data they collect from payment transactions? How much does Spotify know about its users? Why do chat bots perpetuate stereotypical gender norms? And how does riding a bus without a ticket relate to being denied a loan?

These questions represent only a handful of possible vantage points from which to explore and critically reflect on key issues in the field of digital consumer culture. Many of these issues relate to big data and AI services we use every day. In most cases, users are not aware that these services have harmful effects on our societies, democracies and well-being.

Within this study project we will discuss the risks and societal implications of networked digital services to develop strategies and formats for public awareness raising. Participants will form small teams to choose their own topics – along the technologies and issues they perceive most pressing. These topics should then be implemented into Open Educational Resources – school materials for high school students, workshop events for school teachers, explainer videos to circulate on the web, or similar public interventions.


The course is aimed at Cognitive Science Master students who can participate in one of two modes:

  • Study Project (2 semesters starting SoSe 2023, 6 hrs/week, 12 ECTS points).
  • Interdisciplinary Course (1 semester, either SoSe 2023 or WiSe 2023/24, 4 hrs/week, 6 ECTS points).

We further invite Master students of Lehramt to participate in this course. Accreditation at the UOS is possible as part of the KCL module “Medienbildung und Mediensozialisation” (1 semester, either SoSe 2023 or WiSe 2023/24, 4 hrs/week, 4–6 ECTS points). We have 10 places for Lehramt students.

We also have limited places for students from other disciplines and other institutions. Please contact us in this case.


The language of instruction is English. However, the course will largely work in small project groups which can also work in German (especially if you want to develop teaching material for German schools). Students who do not reside in Osnabrück can also participate online (hybrid course), although it is practical for project teams to work either entirely in person or online.

Getting in touch

If you have any questions, please send us an email.