A New Approach to a First Year Undergraduate Information Systems Course

Tolhurst, D. and Baker, B.

    This paper describes the development, implementation and evaluation of a new teaching approach for a large first year undergraduate course in information systems at the University of New South Wales. Poor quality of experience for students attending large lecture courses was recognised, and an alternative approach developed that aimed to improve the first year experience by minimising large formal lectures and encouraging both student independent learning and quality small group interactions. A course structure based on small regular workshop groups, weekly web-supported independent activities (WSIA) completed by students before attending class and occasional lectures was initially implemented in first session 2002. A variety of course evaluation approaches were used to assess the success of the course design and implementation, including student focus groups, student feedback questionnaires, standard university course and teaching evaluations, weekly meetings of staff, observations and informal conversations with students. This paper describes the recognition of the need to improve the course, the design and development of the course, discusses the first implementation of the course, it reports on the evaluation of the course and describes some consequent changes implemented in the subsequent offering of the course.
Cite as: Tolhurst, D. and Baker, B. (2003). A New Approach to a First Year Undergraduate Information Systems Course. In Proc. Fifth Australasian Computing Education Conference (ACE2003), Adelaide, Australia. CRPIT, 20. Greening, T. and Lister, R., Eds. ACS. 169-177.
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