Information Systems M.S. Assessment Plan

Mission Statement

The purpose of the Master of Science with a major in Information Systems (MSIS) is to produce graduates with excellent technology, management, and communication skills who will be able to understand, explain, implement, and manage information technologies in organizational settings. The knowledge and skills incorporated in the program also enable students to continue the professional and educational development necessary for successful advancement in their careers.

Student Learning Outcomes

1.   Students will be able to manage the full development life cycle for IS projects.

Student Performance Indicators
  • In semester long projects in project management, data analysis and information assurance students will analyze a complex, real-world problem and produce appropriate project analysis development and implementation plans and documentation using the analysis methodology(s) and documentation notation(s) current in industry in the area of study. From this documentation they will manage a technical team through implementation of an actual or prototype system. The instructor will observe and evaluate the team management and participation skills of each student.
Assessment Method
  • Class projects will be compared, by the IS curriculum committee, to those described in model syllabi for the IS field for equivalent areas of study. The documentation for class projects will be graded on completeness, correctness, and format. Class projects will be evaluated by members of the IS Industry Advisory Board. The problems posed and the level of detail required by the projects will be assessed for their ability to generalize to common industry situations. The instructor team skills evaluation criteria will be periodically evaluated by members of the IS Industry Advisory Board. Answers to employee and alumni surveys specific to this learning objective will be assessed when available

2.  Students will be able to manage the strategic alignment of the IS organization with corporate strategy and objectives.

Student Performance Indicators
  • In semester long projects in project management, data analysis and information assurance students will analyze multiple real-world business cases including the domestic and global environments for the case organizations. Environmental and SWOT analyses will be combined with knowledge of the current technical environment to produce detailed plans for strategic IS that exploit information technology to provide sustainable strategic advantage for the organization. In semester long projects in programming, systems analysis and design and database classes, students will design and implement systems intended for specific organizational environments. As part of the system justification and requirements analysis the project documentation will specifically include: A statement of business goals and long term strategic objectives and how the IS facilitates these; A statement of the organizations structure and how the IS will fit into the current or proposed organizational structure; A change management plan that will reflect understanding of the organizations processes, business functions and organizational culture and how these will be affected by the proposed IS.
Assessment Method
  • Class projects and cases will be compared, by the IS curriculum committee, to those described in model syllabi for the IS field for equivalent areas of study. The documentation for class projects and strategic systems will be graded on innovativeness, completeness, technical feasibility, and risk/reward ratio. Class projects and cases will be evaluated by members of the IS Industry Advisory Board. The problems posed and the level of detail required by the projects will be assessed for their ability to generalize to common industry situations. Answers to employee and alumni surveys specific to this learning objective will be assessed.

3.  Students will be able to manage the resources required to sustain the technical infrastructure of an organization including data, personnel, security and the technical environment.

Student Performance Indicators
  • In semester long projects in change management, project management and information assurance teams of students will analyze the effects of proposed system implementations on multiple real-world business organizations. Change management plans will be developed for each project. In semester long projects in data resource management, project management and information assurance classes, teams of students will determine security and information assurance metrics for both actual and proposed information systems. Security and/or information assurance improvement plans will be developed for each project. IS 752, Issues in the Current Technical Environment is specifically designed to develop managerial level understanding of current IS technology for business and performance in the projects and exams for this class directly measure technical environment understanding. All other MSIS core courses assess the understanding of current technical practice in their respective specialties: IS security, controls and information assurance; Data management techniques, technologies and systems; State-of-practice project management methodologies and tools; State-of-practice change management methodologies and tools; State of practice methodologies, tools an d metrics for achieving and measuring alignment of IS strategy with overall organizational goals Performance indicators will be judged according to the requirements of the individual class and/or project.
Assessment Method
  • Class projects and the cases and actual organizational situations used in the projects will be compared, by the IS curriculum committee, to those described in model syllabi for the IS field for equivalent areas of study. The change management plans will be assessed on feasibility, completeness, and cost/benefit ratio. Class projects and resulting plans will be evaluated by members of the IS Industry Advisory Board. The problems posed and the level of detail required by the projects will be assessed for their ability to generalize to common industry situations. Answers to employee and alumni surveys specific to this learning objective will be assessed.

4.   Students will be able to communicate effectively in written and oral format.

Student Performance Indicators
  • In semester long projects in MSIS core classes, students will analyze complex, real-world problems for which they will generate the appropriate written plans, specifications and documentation. Extensive oral presentations of this material to groups with varying levels of organizational and technical competence will also be required in each course. Specifically, a management level and a technical level presentation of the problem solution proposal and user (process) documentation sufficient to train end users in the actual implementation of the problem solution are required. Presentations will be made initially to the class and the instructor who will be free to ask questions on any portion of the system. Optionally, depending on class, presentations will also be made to managerial and technical audiences from outside the MSIS classes. User documentation will be presented to a (simulated) user group as part of a class exercise, which simulates an end-user training/change management session.
Assessment Method
  • The course cases and problem situations and the technical, managerial and user presentations and documentation for class projects will be periodically evaluated by members of the IS Curriculum Committee. Both the problems posed and successfully completed student examples will be assessed for their ability to generalize to common industry situations. All plans and documentation will be assessed on completeness, correctness, and comprehensibility (the ability to successfully communicate the required information to the appropriate audience). The requirements for the technical, managerial and user presentations and documentation for class projects will be periodically evaluated by members of the IS Industry Advisory Board. The problems posed and the level of detail required by the projects will be assessed for their ability to generalize to common industry situations. Answers to employee and alumni surveys specific to this learning objective will be assessed.