Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

Designing Service Learning Project in Systems Analysis and Design Course

Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

Designing Service Learning Project in Systems Analysis and Design Course

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Service learning is to promote real-world relevance through the application of classroom knowledge to problems in the business community. Study shows that service learning is a valuable instructional methodology and has been applied to many disciplines and areas. However, little is applied in Information System education. The purpose of the paper is to present the design of a service learning project to an undergraduate systems analysis and design course in a Computer & Information Technology program. The service learning project partners the enrolled students with a local Chamber of Commerce to develop a new information system housed on Microsoft Access database. The course design, student service learning activities, student reflection and assessment are presented in details. The impacts of the service learning education to the students, educator, department and university, local community, and the field of service learning are discussed as well in the paper.

Keywords: Service Learning, Information Systems, Systems Analysis and Design, Course Design

INTRODUCTION

Systems analysis and design is a complex and challenging methodology that a team of business and systems professionals uses to develop and maintain computer-based information system for an organization. In the early years of computing, analysis and design was considered as an art. Now that the need for information systems has become so great, nearly all organizations rely on system analysts to conduct business and system designs and operate information systems efficiently. According to the Hoosier Hot 50 Jobs published by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD, Hot Jobs Now, 2012), computer systems analyst is ranked No. 16 on the Hot 50 jobs list with $66,867 average salary and a bachelor degree requirement. The employment of computer systems analysts is expected to grow by 20 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for systems analysts will also increase as organizations continue to adopt and integrate increasingly sophisticated technologies and as the need for information security grows.

Today, people in industry and academia have developed work methods that make systems analysis and design a disciplined process. Students major in the Computer and Information Technology program need to learn not only the concepts and techniques in system analysis and design, but also need to gain the real world experience before joining the workforce. Besides, there is a concern in the perception and application gap between the skills learned in educational settings and what are practically applied in real- world settings. In such a fastchanging workforce environment, it is important that educators link the classroom learning to the practice in real world settings where the classroom models can be tested; and the problem solving and critical thinking skills can be practiced.

Service learning is one of the best approaches for educators to connect classroom knowledge to real world experience. Study shows that service learning has been identified as an extremely valuable educational tool and applied to different disciplines and areas such as computer science and engineering (Linos, Herman, & Lally, 2003), nursing education (Sadla, Doheny, Panthofer, & Anaya, 2003), accounting information systems (Rose, Rose, & Norman, 2005), web design course (Lazar, 2001). However, little is applied in information system education (Johnson & Johnson, 2005). This paper presents the design of a service learning project to an undergraduate systems analysis and design course. Through service learning project, students are enabled to develop systems analysis and design skills while enhancing their real world project experience and civic engagement. The course design, student service learning activities, student reflection and assessment are discussed in next sections. The impact of the service learning education to the students, educator, community, Department and University are explored in the discussions and conclusions. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.