Abstract: Constructivist educational methods have been used for decades especially in disciplines with a practical bent: medicine, architecture, engineering and technology. In this paper we examine how information systems design learning could be improved by constructivist methods. We focus on a single information systems design course, where the students, divided in groups, choose one from three alternative design assignments per group. The assignments are supposed to follow closely the process of a real-world design project, ending with a prototype and an evaluation of other groups' prototypes. We witnessed the students' dedication to their work and their appreciation of the fact that the assigned problem came close to a real-world problem, but also the time-consuming nature of teamwork and occasional problems with free riding. We used widely various electronic teaching tools but in the end we believe that the most significant further improvements will come from intensified peer support and instructor guidance to individual teams.
Keywords: Technology education, Constructivist learning methods, User-centered information systems design
Download this article: JISE - Volume 16 Number 2, Page 167.pdf
Recommended Citation: Tetard, F. & Patokorpi, E. (2005). A Constructivist Approach to Information Systems Teaching: A Case Study on a Design Course for Advanced-Level University Students. Journal of Information Systems Education, 16(2), 167-176.