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Direct Assessment of IS Student Learning Using an Integrative Exercise

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Journal of Information Systems Education Volume 19, Number 2, ISSN 1055-3096


The assessment of learning objectives has become an important element in the improvement and accreditation of academic programs, including information systems (IS). Indirect assessments have been common in these endeavors, but direct assessments have been sparse. In the first semester at Brigham Young University (BYU), IS students take four "integrated core" IS courses simultaneously. In an effort to assess the students' comprehensive learning the last week of the semester in all four courses is dedicated to a comprehensive, cross functional integrative exercise (INTEX): a very intensive, group case exercise that requires student teams to apply IS and other business skills. Case deliverables include a formal presentation of an IS solution, a large set of documentation including use cases and data models, and a passive prototype of some system elements. Team work is essential to achieving acceptable results. Together with representatives from a leading industry consulting firm (who usually fly in for the event), faculty and graduate students assess the presentation and supporting materials. This direct assessment is a significant element in the grade for all four core courses. Though students find the INTEX to be intense, feedback from graduation exit interviews suggests it is one of their most valuable learning experiences. This paper explains the structure of the INTEX and its benefits to IS majors. (Contains 2 figures.)


McKell, L.J., Hansen, G. & Albrecht, C. (2008). Direct Assessment of IS Student Learning Using an Integrative Exercise. Journal of Information Systems Education, 19(2), 223-228. Retrieved November 27, 2020 from .

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