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Assessing The Effectiveness Of An Outcome Based Information Systems Curriculum

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Curricular Issues in Computer-Oriented Programs

Tagged Division

Information Systems

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.275.1 - 12.275.11



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Paper Authors


Azzedine Lansari Zayed University

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Azzedine received a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from North Carolina State Uni-versity in 1992. From 1992-1998, he was a senior researcher at Computer Sciences Corp. and MANTECH, Inc. He joined Zayed University in August 1998. Currently he is an assistant professor of Information Technology. His teaching interests include instructional technology and statistical modeling. His research interests include systems modeling, educational technology and curriculum design in Information Systems.

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Akram Al-Rawi Zayed University

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Akram is a Professor of Conputer Science at King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia. He has worked at several academic institutions of which the last three were Zayed University, University of Missouri-Columbia, and Columbia College, MO. His teaching interests include programming languages, Networks, logic de-sign, and computer architecture. His research interests include computer simulation, web-caching architecture, and curriculum design. He holds cer-tifications in A+, Network+, Sun Certified Java Programmer, ICDL, i-Net+, Server+ and CCAI.

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Faouzi Bouslama Université Laval

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Faouzi Bouslama received a Ph.D. in Electronics Engineering from Shizuoka University, Japan, in 1992. From 1992-1994, he was a researcher
at Toshiba Co., Tokyo. From 1994-2000, he was Associate Professor of Information Systems, Hiroshima City University, Japan. He joined Zayed University College of Information Systems in 2000 as an Associate Professor. Currently he is teaching at the College of Administrative Sciences at the University of Laval. His research interests include Neuro-fuzzy modeling and control, Signal processing, and IS curriculum design and development.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Assessing the Effectiveness of an Outcome-Based Information Systems Curriculum


This paper proposes a method for assessing the effectiveness of an outcome-based Information Systems (IS) Curriculum. Two sets of learning outcomes are identified to provide focus to an IS curriculum: the college major learning outcomes, which form the basis of the curriculum and serve as a focus for curricular design and improvement and the University learning outcomes, which are higher-level outcomes. Master course syllabi are developed for all courses in the curriculum and posted on the University Intranet and on Blackboard®. All master course syllabi include the course contributions to specific learning outcomes. Instructors use the master syllabus to design course content and develop learning experiences that are used to address particular learning outcomes. Students develop an electronic portfolio that includes samples of their most important learning experiences which may be projects, term papers, extracurricular experiences, as well as capstone and internship reports. The electronic portfolio is regularly reviewed and assessed by faculty members to monitor student progress and assess their achievement of various learning outcomes. A course-outcome matrix is developed for program assessment. The matrix includes a list of all IS courses, their learning outcomes and the expected achievement levels for these outcomes. At the end of a semester, all courses are analyzed for their effectiveness in covering various learning outcomes. The results of this analysis are used to identify courses that seem weak in covering particular outcomes. This exercise allows the IS College to study the effectiveness of individual courses and the program overall in achieving the college and University learning outcomes. It is anticipated that using a measurement tool such as the course outcome matrix may enable academic institutions monitor and improve information systems programs.

1. Introduction

Universities in the USA and worldwide are taking a critical look at their educational systems. A recent US national panel report calls for a dramatic reorganization of undergraduate education to ensure that all college students receive not just access to college, but an education of lasting value1. The report also recommends colleges to help students become “intentional” life long learners, and to create new assessments that require students to apply their learning to the real world. In an effort to shift the focus from the traditional teaching/lecture style to a student- centered learning style, a number of academic institutions in the US have moved to an outcome- based education framework. Outcome-based education is a method of teaching that focuses on what students can actually do after they are taught. All curriculum and teaching decisions are made based on how best to facilitate the desired outcome. This leads to a planning process that is different from the traditional educational planning. The desired outcome is first identified and the curriculum is created to support the intended outcome2.

Zayed University (ZU) is an academic institution located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is a laptop-based University where all classrooms are wired. Faculty use of instructional technology is encouraged to facilitate and enhance student learning. ZU has recently adopted an

Lansari, A., & Al-Rawi, A., & Bouslama, F. (2007, June), Assessing The Effectiveness Of An Outcome Based Information Systems Curriculum Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2350

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