Journal of Information Systems Education (JISE)

Volume 21

Volume 21 Number 4, Pages 383-390

Winter 2010

An Active, Reflective Learning Cycle for E-Commerce Classes: Learning about E-commerce by Doing and Teaching

Alan S. Abrahams
Virginia Tech University
Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA

Tirna Singh
Jacobs Technology, Strategic Solutions Group
Tullahoma, TN 37388, USA

Abstract: Active, experiential learning is an important component in information systems education, ensuring that students gain an ap-preciation for both practical and theoretical information systems concepts. Typically, students in active, experiential classes engage in real world projects for commercial companies or not-for-profit organizations. In the latter case, such engagements are often referred to as ‘service learning’ or ‘community-engaged education’. In this paper, we describe a novel capstone in-formation systems class where, instead of undertaking a conventional single-team, single-project experiential engagement, the students initiated a fully-fledged new not-for-profit organization from the ground up. The not-for-profit organization, The Online Business Guidebook, was founded with the mission of providing public education on how to start and grow an online business. In an unusual twist on a typical e-commerce class, the students both implemented e-commerce technologies (“active learning by doing”) and created and disseminated e-commerce training materials (“reflective learning / learning by teaching”), rather than solely being recipients of instructional resources. This paper describes the manner in which this class was run, the learning outcomes set and evaluation methods used, problems encountered, and recommendations. We propose a replicable model and specific learning outcomes for information systems educators who wish to teach e-commerce classes with an active and reflective pedagogical approach.

Keywords: E-commerce, Entrepreneurship, IS curriculum design, Web start-ups

Download this article: JISE - Volume 21 Number 4, Page 383.pdf

Recommended Citation: Abrahams, A. S. & Singh T. (2010). An Active, Reflective Learning Cycle for E-Commerce Classes: Learning about E-commerce by Doing and Teaching. Journal of Information Systems Education, 21(4), 383-390.