Assembling the heterogeneous elements for (digital) learning

Month: July 2006

Information literacy skills causing problems with BAM

The “Gantt chart” question in week 3 has caused students some problems.

The textbook only briefly mentions Gantt charts. It doesn’t step by step tell the students how to do it. There is no structure. My assumption was that simple project management and using Project isn’t that difficult a task for Masters level students. I was wrong.

Not surprisingly this lack of structure is the apparent root cause of the difficulties the AIC students are having. There hasn’t been the same level of difficulty in evidence with the mature FLEX students.

Sachin has indicated that many of these students are literally straight off the plan. They aren’t prepared. They don’t have the necessary literacy skills to dive in and do this.

This highlights the issue of how and where do they receive instruction/experience with these skills? What course in the program does it?

COIS20025 could potentially do this. It could fit nicely with the week 3 requirements and week 2 system planning topics and how searching for this information is required.

Further issues with BamRegistration

Two additional problems

  • Support for SSL – a student tried to register a URL with https: and the system said couldn’t retireve the URL. Need to add support for SSL or improve the error message.
  • A student registered the RSS feed URL and was accepted. Need to ensure they give the HTML version

Limitations of incoming students and Gantt charts

Thought it would be a grand idea to get the students, in week 3, to prepare a Gantt chart planning out their study for the term. They get to apply some content knowledge and think actively about planning their study.

Of course, the problem is that many of these students are new to technology.

Satish is reporting that a number of the students have never used computers and don’t have an email address.

They are struggling with getting going with the tools and also the structure/format of Gantt charts.

Will have to re-think this one for next time.

Design research: IS or CS – importance of "no overlap"

The Information Systems discipline has had lots of talk about design science research (aka many other related terms).

Much of it appears to be promoted by (described in the worst possible light) as refugees from engineering and computer science wanting to do what they used to do.

Personally, I have some issues around what is classed as design science research within Information Systems and what belongs to Computer Science. i.e. I think a lot DSR in IS should be classed as computer science.

This isn’t to say it isn’t valid research. It is to say that I don’t think it is valid research within the IS discipline.

I’ve been looking for some references that mention the importance of “no overlap” in research, theory etc.

Sheth, Bardner & Garret (1998), “Marketing theory: Evaluation and evolution” might be just such a thing. Wiley, 1988

BAM Progress #1

It’s now the end of week 2 of CQU’s Term 2 for 2006. This is the first attempt at a log entry for the first test of the BAM project in the CQU course COIS20025, Systems Development Overview

Key events this week

  • Initial BAM Management interface up and going
  • Concerns from staff about the workload for students and a response
  • Potential problems with workload for staff
  • A Technorati search for “COIS20025” reveals 7 posts, including this one.
  • A similar search for “systems analyst” reveals 33,908 posts including many related to this course.
    Highlights that this use of blogs is a public medium.
  • 159 of 283 students have registered their blogs
  • A number of students seem to be confused about the requirements e.g.
    • Many haven’t registered their blog home page, but instead the URL of their first post
    • A number believe they have to tell me, or other staff, the URL of their answer to their weekly answers.

Drucker on Adaptive vs Plan-driven

Peter Drucker from “The Effective Executive”

“Most discussions of the knowledge worker’s task start with the advice to plan one’s work. This sounds eminently plausible. The only thing wrong with it is that it rarely works. The plans always remain on paper, always remain good intentions. They seldom turn into achievement.”

“Innovation and Entrepreneurship”

“‘Planning’ as the term is commonly understood is actually incompatible with an entrepreneurial society and economy….innovation , almost by definition, has to be decentralized, ad hoc, autonomous, specific and microeconomic.”

Sun Tzu Strategy Quote

The essence of strategy is the close view of distant things and the distant view of close things — Sun Tzu

My interest in emergent/agile approaches means I’m not a fan of strategy and/or strategic appraoches currently used in most business.

I think there is possibilities to use this quote to bring out my disquiet with this approach, at least in some contexts.

  • close view of distant things
    Assumes you can achieve such a thing. Bounded rationality, rapid change etc imply you can’t, or if you do it will be imperfect.
  • distant view of close things
    Implies too little knowledge of existing practice so that strategy can become unconnected and difficult to implement.

A start

Hello World

The obligatory first experience with any system by a programmer requires it to be to say “Hello World!”.

So here goes.

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