Home » Discussion


Please find below the comments made by participants at the AMCIS 2020 panel. We invite you to continue the conversation by commenting.

How to design IS curriculum in different educational contexts (Business School; Computing School; Information School)
Kamla Al-Busaidi: Based on this updated 2020  IS model curriculum, where should be IS program best located: business school or computing school with a computer science program?  Some universities are currently considering moving IS from business to computing and appreciate your perspectives.

ANSWER: The IS2020 model curriculum discusses three educational contexts – business schools, computing/engineering schools and information schools. The educational context most likely influences the profile of the program, but we try not to make any comparisons as one being “the best” context. So the guidelines might help in discussing changes at program level resulting from change of school, but don’t really help in defining, whether this is a good move or not. See also our answer to the question below, addressing the same issue.
Abdulkareem Alsudais, a.alsudais@psau.edu.sa:”Thank you for the great work. I’m wondering if you’re considering differences between IS programs offered in business schools and ones in engineering/computing colleges?”

ANSWER: Yes, we identify three educational contexts – business schools, computing/engineering schools and information schools. The general approach is, that IS core (required competences) is the same for all IS programs, regardless of the context, but different educational contexts can influence the overall profile. The three educational contexts are introduced in section 1.3. and curriculum differences are discussed in more detail in section “4.3. Practical considerations related to implementing guidelines in different educational contexts” (p. 55-60) 
Paul Witman witman@ieee.org
QUESTION: In your review of the existing curriculum, is there any evidence of “newer” program names being developed or adopted? Nothing wrong with “IS”, but some push back that that’s a dated term.

ANSWER: We use the term IS program, but discuss also how the program names have evolved over time, and how slightly different names have been introduced in different educational contexts. Program names are discussed in Section 1.3. (p. 17-18). Overall, guidelines do not prescribe the name of the program, but they do propose a common core that the program should have, in order to be considered under the IS program umbrella.
If compared to IS 2010, what are the main changes?
Michael Knupp Michael.knupp@trojans.dsu.edu: Are there any high-level IT areas (skills/domain/knowledge/tools/etc) that you found that are less relevant now and as such have been left out of the curriculum recommendations going forward?

ANSWER: Enterprise Architecture from IS2010 is not commonly included, so we did not include it. The comparison of other changes from IS2010 to IS2020 is discussed in section 2.2.1., “Changes in the IS program core”.
Michael Knupp Michael.knupp@trojans.dsu.edu: Can you offer any thoughts on if the new curriculum model might put new demands on expanding IS curriculums and perhaps require more courses than are in current programs?

ANSWER: There are four new required competences (social implications and ethics, computing security, application development/programming and IS practicum). We see these, however, as competency areas rather than courses, as we understand that many IS programs cannot easily add more courses to the IS major. The tension between increasing competency requirements is discussed in section 2.2. Summary of revisions in the core IS competencies (p. 21-26), and for each of the three educational contexts separately in section 4.3. 
How should we include Technology and Security management issues in the IS curriculum?
I’ve just had a quick look at the Secure Computing area. I was looking to see if there was strategy and governance covered there, but don’t see it.

ANSWER: You are right, Secure Computing competency area doesn’t address strategy and governance. These are addressed in two required competency areas – IT infrastructure management (p. 46) and IS Management and Strategy (p. 52). See also related areas in appendix A, explicating associated knowledge-skill pairs. The connections between competency areas is a tricky question. 
Likewise, the area of incident response management doesn’t seem to be covered.

ANSWER: It is also true that incident response management is not explicitly addressed. IT service management frameworks are introduced in IS management and strategy area (p. 46). Security incidents are addressed in the IT infrastructure (p. 46) and Secure Computing (p. 47) competency areas. 
How should we include Data and Analytics (AI and KM) in the IS curriculum?
Abdulkareem Alsudais, a.alsudais@psau.edu.sa: With data science and analytics being an important topic in general, what was the thought process behind not including it as a mandatory competency area? 

ANSWER: Yes, but not mandatory.
Many analytics programs share many of these same competencies. Including more analytics offerings or/renaming IS to a BA program is a trend – do you offer any thoughts on this in the document?

ANSWER: IS programs do share competencies with all computing disciplines, including Data Science/Analytics. We consider data/analytics as one of the four basic specialization alternatives (see sections “2.2.2 Introduction of IS competency realms”, and “4.2.2. Data and analytics competences”. If a program finds IS core as too constraining, moving to a Data Science degree if of course an option. Guidelines for Data Science programs are currently being developed by another task force.
How should we include IS development and programming in the IS curriculum?
Does the panel feel that the section on ‘Application Development and Programming’ starting on page 48 is flexible enough to adapt to “low code/no-code” tools that are emerging?

ANSWER 1: We mention that a “low tech” based program might only have no/low code tools. We do mention the options available to institutions.

ANSWER 2: Yes (although I personally, and at my institution, think it should include actual coding.)

ANSWER 3: We mention that a “low tech” based program might only have no/lo code tools. We do mention the options available to institutions. Although I personally, and at my institution, think it should include actual coding.
Since most IS work consists of implementation of packages, should SAD be optional and Implementation methodologies be required?

ANSWER: Although the implementation of many corporate applications such as ERP or office tools continues to be based on packaged software, the adoption of new digital innovations (IoT, AI, analytics, mobile apps) are not necessarily solely based on packaged software, but require a process of exploring requirements and design options. Additionally, we consider SAD important for students to build a more foundational understanding of the design of information systems. 
How should we include Use Domain themes in the IS curriculum?
About IS ethics competency, what and how CIS program incorporate/work with Business Laws programs to elaborate and articulate well the ethical and legal implications of IS? 
I see many business schools focus on developing data analytics curriculum (large percentage of courses are “hard science”), yet very few focus on ethics and law & policy related to data analytics

ANSWER: We agree, and have included ethics and societal implications as a required competency. The domain of practice (ethics, laws, etc.) is one of the three high-level competency realms (section 4.1. on page 41), and also a required IS competence, that is needed in all use domains (see section 4.2.5. Use domain competencies on page 51-52). 
Michael Knupp Michael.knupp@trojans.dsu.edu: I’m interested in hearing a little more about the ethics competencies and how ethics/privacy/issues around social justice as they apply to tech are being reviewed within the new plan.  Just curious what those discussions have been like to date and maybe where you see those discussions headed in the future.

ANSWER 1: We do discuss this, but welcome more input and feedback.

ANSWER 2: This is one of the new competency areas, introduced in section xx, and in appendix A. It is far from straightforward to describe, so we welcome more input and feedback. 
Heikki Topi: In your view, is Digital Innovation equivalent to Digital Transformation?  How about the connection between Digital Transformation/Innovation and SA&D — in many ways, the two are closely intertwined. Should that connection be shown?

ANSWER 1: Yes, very intertwined, but using the newer terminology.

ANSWER 2: Digital Innovation is understood as graduates’ competence to contribute in teams that seek innovative ways to adopt new digital technologies. As part of this competence, it is important to understand that such adoption may lead to large organizational transformation. Digital transformation is also discussed as part of IS management and strategy competence. But we see digital innovation as being more significant in undergraduate programs, than digital transformation.
How should IS curriculum reflect the IS discipline and its evolution?
Michael Knupp Michael.knupp@trojans.dsu.edu: Has there ever been any discussions about the inclusion of IT History elements or even the inclusion of the People of IT elements.  I.e., putting a human face on IT.  

ANSWER: In section 1.1. we briefly explain the history of IS, with a particular emphasis on the notion of “user”, and how the expansion of IS user groups has shaped the IS discipline. 
How should IS program be designed to meet the requirements of program reviews and/or accreditations
Thomas Chapman tchapman@coloradomesa.edu: For programs that are undergoing program review in the next year or two, in your opinion, is it appropriate to begin mapping to the IS2020 curriculum?

ANSWER: I would think so.  This work needs blessing by AIS and ACM, but you should be able to begin working in this direction.
How does undergraduate IS curriculum relate to graduate IS programs and MSIS 2016 guidelines?
Heikki Topi: MSIS 2016 includes elements that integrate it with the ug level. Are there elements in your draft that will encourage as a field to get started with the MSIS 2016 revision soon or is the current alignment maintained?

ANSWER 1: Not explicitly, YET.  We welcome your suggestion on how to best do that.

ANSWER 2: We have tried to ensure compatibility with MSIS 2016 requirements, so we are looking more at alignment with current guidelines. We may expand integration to graduate-level a bit, but it is unlikely that we’ll be able to critically evaluate the MSIS 2016 revision need as part of this effort. 
Do we need new teaching methods and pedagogy?
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our teaching (hopefully temporarily) – will this/should this have an influence on how understand IS curriculum of the future?

ANSWER: Traditionally, teaching methods and pedagogy have been excluded from curriculum guidelines. This is the case also in IS2020. The move to competency thinking has, however, led to some new elements that are closely connected to teaching methods: promoting students to reach higher skill levels (apply knowledge, as opposed to memorising) and enforcing required dispositions will have implications for selecting teaching methods. But do the guidelines sufficiently ensure graduates’ competency to deal with unforeseen events and trends of the 2020s – not sure. All further views on this are welcomed.
How to promote ongoing discussion on IS Curriculum?
Heikki Topi: It was great to see your continued quest to make the IS ug curriculum a living document! It is, indeed, a difficult task but we need to keep trying as long as it takes to succeed.

ANSWER: Yes, but with some resistance.  Some want a static document for stability.  However, we are hoping that AIS and ACM will continue to support the conversation.
How can we get access to the IS2020 guidelines and contact the IS2020 taskforce members?
QUESTION: Is there a link to this curriculum?

ANSWER: Yes, next slide.  IS2020.org
QUESTION: Is there a list of contact persons for different regions of the world involved in this process, to connect more regional associations involved in model curricula development with this great team and process?

ANSWER: The list of members is on the first page of the report, right after the cover page. Please feel free to contact the members in your region.
General comments and feedback for the IS2020 task force
Michael Knupp Michael.knupp@trojans.dsu.edu: Thank you to all and look forward to reviewing the document in earnest.

ANSWER: We are looking forward to comments and feedback, even small suggestions are valuable.
Heikki Topi: On behalf of AIS, let me present here public thanks for the dedicated and thoughtful work that the task force has done and will be doing! It is great that AIS, ACM, and ISCAP EDSIG are working together!

ANSWER: You’re welcome, and thanks for your support Heikki.

Leave a comment