Academic journal article Issues in Informing Science & Information Technology

Modeling an Assessing Rubric: Reflections of Red Ink

Academic journal article Issues in Informing Science & Information Technology

Modeling an Assessing Rubric: Reflections of Red Ink

Article excerpt

Introduction

The essay is descriptive and analytic, reflective of the experiencing of activities and events (practices) of an undergraduate senior-level course in a computer information systems curriculum. Over the time of 15 weeks, the course is designed to add another component to the "mindset" or "decision-making style" (Rowe & Mason, 1989) of future "educated" information systems (IS) professionals.

The incentive and motivation for the study of the framing conceptions and the issues are the future decision making situations in which the students, as future information systems (IS) professionals, undoubtedly will find themselves engaged when working in organizations (some already are there either as interns or full-time employees).

The Problem

The essay's problem is the construction of a rubric assessing the course's outcomes. By evaluating a course's results and consequences, we perhaps can evaluate an accredited program's effects. This concern is based on the problematics of the course.

The Course

The course is an ecology of conceptions (the global, the economic, the social-cultural, and the ethical), framing issues of computing or information systems and organizational information use, and practices aimed at fostering habits of critical thinking. It is a second semester and senior level course required in ABET accredited programs. The course is a construction of a logical space, a rationality for the issues facing members and future members of the profession.

The Course's Problematics

The first problematic for this course is a descriptive elaboration of the subject matter and practices as a means of creating and practicing a sustainable habit of critical thinking about issues of concern to future IS professionals. There is a second problematic which is about making meaningful the experience of teaching and perhaps taking this course. The paper is a construction of sense about the course. It is an intermediate document, standing between a semester-long sequence of activities and events which are historical (and are the circumstances) to a future planned semester-long sequences of activities and events (practices), guided by the map of the course's syllabus. It is an attempt to answer the question: did the course through the framing conceptions, and discussion of issues, provide an perspective, an organized way of thinking (critical consideration) by organizing activities and events, about issues of concern for future IS professionals? This is the descriptive elaboration or the writing up of the sense of the course (Geertz, 1973).

Thinking Critically a Long-term End

The long-term goal of the course is to have students think critically about issues of information systems and information use or computing. The course is a situation for the development and practice of a habit of critical thinking. The focus of the aiming is not the subject matter nor the practices of the course; these are concrete means of growing a habit of doing critical thinking, a habit of problem solving, or of decision making.

Critical thinking is the habit of applying the framing conceptions of the course to the issues of the course. Thinking critically is an important aspect of an IS professional's style of decision making within organizational situations. It is an ability to be developed in a course's practices as an aspect of a curriculum's (or program's) goal. Critical thinking is the ability to analyze and explain problematic affairs situationally and to clarify and elaborate solutions and decisions appropriately addressing the affairs (Cordoba, 2007a, 2007b; Halpren, 1998; McBann et al, 2007; Paul & Elder, 2006).

Issues of Computing

According to Hauser (1986), issues arise when interacting but contradictory assertions about the world, actions, or results of actions, all of which are value-based, are in play, creating uncertainty or conflict in situations. …

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