This course applies the case study method which relies heavily on your active participation and preparation both in-class and online. You are expected to read the case studies and readings and come prepared to engage the class in a meaningful conversation.
The educational objectives of this course relate to the ability to apply general concepts and knowledge to specific situations. The issues around the use of information technology in organizations do not present themselves in a neatly packaged form with a clear-cut boundary. Nor do they come with a well-defined set of decision criteria. Indeed, decisions often involve difficult choices which require character, responsibility and sensitivity. After all, we are not just dealing with technology. We are also dealing with people and organizations. Discussion pedagogy puts students in an active learning mode, challenges you to accept substantial responsibility for your own learning, and gives you first-hand appreciation of and experience in the application of knowledge to practice. Through a discussion pedagogy you are encouraged to use your knowledge and experiences to build, test, and modify your own management concepts through dialogues with the instructor and fellow students. In summary, much of your learning will occur as you prepare for and participation in discussions about the course material. The course material has been carefully chosen to bring the real world into class discussion while also illustrating fundamental concepts.
Preparation for class
Prior to each class you will post on your eportfolio, a brief summary of the reading assigned for that class period. Your weekly summary will focus on one or more of the following three questions. This is your opportunity to be creative. Use the online medium well to get your point across. Please bring a printout of the post to class and hand in to the instructor.
- What is one key point you took away from each assigned reading?
- What is one key point you learned from the reading as a whole?
- If you were facilitating today’s discussion, what question would you ask your fellow classmates?
Participation during class
We will typically start each class with “opening” questions about the assigned readings and case study. Students called up to answer should be able to summarize the key issues, opportunities, and challenges in the case study. All students should be prepared to be answer these questions.
If for some reason you feel unprepared to respond to a question, you may say “pass” and I will call on another student. To earn full participation credit, keep the total number of “passes” to a minimum over the course of the semester. Another important aspect of class participation is completion of in-class assignments and contribution to break-out group activities.
Participation between classes
To facilitate on-going learning of course material, we will also discuss course material on the class site in between sessions. You should plan on commenting and rating the posts and comments on the main class site. As part of your commenting, feel free to refer interested readers to a specific more detailed post on your eportfolio.
The site is public and the above activities provide you with a forum to demonstrate your insights and ideas to the rest of the world and to learn from others. As a general guideline, you should be rating / commenting once every few weeks.
Topics for commenting
The comments should focus on professional topics (only). Typical comments are about a few sentences to a small paragraph. The focus should be on quality and not on quantity.
Ideas for comments include:
- Examples of technologies or issues that demonstrate a concept we discussed in class
- Reacting to a post and providing a reasoned disagreement
- Providing insights on how to solve class related problems
- Providing new ways of thinking about the strategic role of technology
- Adding additional insights to an existing post/comment
Comments that are NOT acceptable include:
- Agreeing (or disagreeing) without providing a reason
- Simply listing a topic without providing an explanation
- Posting copyrighted material (it is acceptable to paraphrase the material and link to the original source)
- Using unprofessional or disrespectful language
- Material that does not fit the course goal