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Volume 1 Number 1

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Managing Self-instructed Learning within the IS Curriculum: Teaching Learners to Learn

Felix Tan and and Hazel Chan
The University of Auckland, New Zealand

A significant number of students are enrolled in introductory level information systems courses at New Zealand universities. Some of these institutions require their students to acquire their applications software skills in a self-instructional mode of learning. Most of these students have only experienced teacher-directed learning and when placed in a self-instructional environment may have very limited strategies in their learning. The purpose of this study is to determine if teaching "learners to learn" enhances the acquisition of application software skills. This study considers some of the literature on self-instruction and learner autonomy. The experiment compares two groups of students in self-instructional mode of learning. The control group works independently and the treatment group attends classes that teach the students to manage their own learning. The treatment group is consistent in averaging higher scores demonstrating an overall enhanced learning outcome. This paper challenges IS educators to include learning strategies in courses that require self-instruction. An introduction to working within a new framework should be built in as part of the course. This can prove to be need fulfilling to learners unfamiliar with self-instruction.




Conceptions of an Information System
and Their Use in Teaching about IS


Chris Cope, Pat Horan and Mark Garner
La Trobe University, Bendigo, Australia

The question 'What is the nature of an information system?' is fundamental to developing and teaching about information systems, but it is the subject of debate in the IS literature and is not made explicit in most curricula. Our experience of teaching information systems analysis and design to undergraduate students has prompted us to seek better ways of developing students' understanding of the nature of an IS. Our study of IS users, practitioners academics and students, using the phenomenographic research methodology, revealed a hierarchy of four different conceptions of an IS. We have linked this hierarchy to the SOLO taxonomy (Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes) and used it to suggest teaching strategies intended to provide students with systems skills and understanding which will enable them to better interact with IS clients to produce good systems.


Printed copies of this journal will be available Jan. 1, 1998.


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Updated 11 July 2008

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Scott J.Lloyd, Editor-in-Chief
University of Rhode Island
ISSN: 1521-4672

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