Academic journal article Journal of Information Systems Education

Are We Teaching the Is 2009* Model Curriculum?

Academic journal article Journal of Information Systems Education

Are We Teaching the Is 2009* Model Curriculum?

Article excerpt

1. INTRODUCTION

Technology continues to change and evolve at a rapid pace (Topi et al., 2009), which has led to a need to review and maintain up-to-date IS curriculum (Kung et al., 2006). However, has the Information Systems (IS) curriculum kept up with this evolution? In September of 2009, a task force from the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Association of Information Systems (AIS) released an updated working model curriculum, titled IS 2009: Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Degree Programs for Information Systems. The task force assessed that it was time for a change in the structure of the IS curriculum and by posting the draft in a wiki-style website, it offered the opportunity to critique and comment on the alignment and appropriateness of the guideline. Since the release of IS 2009 (Topi et al., 2009), it has been approved and renamed IS 2010 (Topi et al., 2010).

This study reviews the aims and intentions of the IS 2009: Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Degree Programs for Information Systems (Topi et al., 2009) and reviews the literature to establish a basis for its rationale. The second aim of this study is to identify whether information systems degree programs within business colleges are teaching the proposed curriculum and if the current offerings have evolved in recent years compared to other studies. This was completed by compiling course offerings from 240 colleges and universities in the United States that offer four-year undergraduate degrees and comparing it to previous studies (Maier and Gambill, 1996; Porter and Gambill, 2003) and the IS 2009 (Topi et al., 2009) model curriculum.

2. THE NEED FOR EVALUATION OF IS CURRICULUM

Prior to gathering information about current course offerings, literature was review to establish the validity of a new model curriculum. The IS 2009: Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Degree Programs in Information Systems (Topi et al., 2009) established several reasons for updating the IS 2002 guidelines, which are well supported in the literature. The most obvious reason is the length of time since the last curriculum model update. The last comprehensive revision was IS 1997 (Davis et al., 1997) with IS 2002 (Gorgone et al., 2002) considered an editorial update to include e-commerce issues (Topi et al., 2009). IS 2009 includes several key changes from the IS 2002 model curriculum (Gorgone et al., 2002), based on current technology and industrial practices. These changes include globalization, web technologies, a new architectural paradigm, large-scale ERP systems, the availability of mobile applications, and the use of IT control frameworks (Topi et al., 2009). Another factor is a significant decline in the number of individuals interested in majoring in information systems (Kung et al., 2006). All of these changes support the need to reevaluate the core principles of the IS curriculum and ensure alignment with business needs (Granger et al., 2007). There was also a change in how the curriculum model was created. More Web 2.0 technologies were used to include the IS community through a wiki environment. The following includes a review of the literature that pertains to the need for a model curriculum and the motivation for the revision and culmination of IS 2009.

2.1 Changing Technology and Required Skill-Set

Technology and its required skill set continue to change and innovate, which further encourages the need to review IS curricula. In addition, the difference between industry needs and academic perception of those needs has been a known issue for some time (Trauth et al., 1993). IS 2009 (Topi et al., 2009) attempts to address this need by identifying four guiding assumptions about the IS profession. First, it indicates that IS is expanding into a broader domain that includes other fields such as health care, business, government, etc. This blurring of disiplines may faciltate the need to encourage more students to minor in IS, the creation of joint programs or certificate programs, hands-on experience for students and faculty, and better alignment of curriculum with local industry (Granger et al. …

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