Journal of Information Systems Education (JISE)

Volume 20

Volume 20 Number 3, Pages 301-312

Fall 2009

Improving the Communication Skills of IS Developers during Requirements Elicitation using Experiential Learning

Mustafa H. Qurban
Richmond D. Austria

King Fahd Military Medical Complex
Dhahran, 31932, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Abstract: The improvement of communication skills among Information Systems (IS) developers can be considered as a strategy to mitigate the risk of project failure during IS design. This paper addresses issues on various communication barriers normally encountered during its requirements elicitation (RE) stage. This study aims to adopt experiential learning as a method to improve the communication skills of IS developers during RE techniques such as prototype presentations. As such, an educational multimedia, which teaches communication skill enhancement among professionals during presentations, served as an interventional tool for experiential learning. Using a longitudinal quasi-experiment, the developers’ self-assessments of their communication skills during prototype presentations at pre- and post-intervention were compared and analyzed using the WordStat® software. Responses showed significant improvements on the presentation skills especially on keywords-in-context related to the audience, information, interest, prototype, room, summary, and talk. This signifies the influence of such learning method to the developers at post-intervention. Further, the study implies that experiential learning can be empirically supported to effectively motivate IS developers in improving their presentation skills after receiving a learning intervention. Thus, experiential learning can be used by project managers as an effective training strategy to improve the communication skills of their IS developers in preparation to current and future projects on IS design especially during prototype presentations of the RE stage.

Keywords: Agile software development, Information systems development, Requirements elicitation, Experiential learning, Project management

Download this article: JISE - Volume 20 Number 3, Page 301.pdf

Recommended Citation: Qurban, M. H. & Austria, R. D. (2009). Improving the Communication Skills of IS Developers during Requirements Elicitation using Experiential Learning. Journal of Information Systems Education, 20(3), 301-312.