Journal of Information Systems Education (JISE)

Volume 6

Volume 6 Number 4, Pages 174-187

Winter 1994

A Summary of the Collaborative IS Curriculum Specification of the Joint DPMA, ACM, AIS Task Force

Herbert E. Longenecker, Jr.
David L. Feinstein

University of South Alabama
Mobile, AL 36688, USA

J. Daniel Couger
University of Colorado

Gordon G. Davis
University of Minnesota

John T. Gorgone
Bentley College
Waltham, MA 02452, USA

Abstract: Information Systems '95 (IS '95), a model curriculum for a bachelor's degree in Information Systems (IS), is the resulting development of collaborative work of a Joint Task Force of the Data Processing Management Association (DPMA), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and Academy for Information Systems (AIS). Representation on the task force includes both academic and industrial members. This paper summarizes the full report (Figure 1). A definition of the IS discipline and its relevance within the business and university community is discussed. Resources needed to support a viable program are identified, including faculty, and information technology. Courses are identified and the characteristics of graduates defined. A paradigm is provided which couples a definition of the IS discipline and its underlying principles to the of characteristics of the IS graduate. An updated IS body of knowledge is presented. It is based on previous efforts of DPMA and ACM (Longenecker and Feinstein 1991a,b,c; Ashenhurst 1972; Couger 1972; ACM 1983 and ACM 1990; DPMA 1981, 1986). The current body of knowledge contains the Computer Science and Engineering body of knowledge (Turner and Tucker 1991). A cognitive behavioral metric is presented for specifying and evaluating depth of knowledge. The specification includes a numeric depth indicator and appropriate language to describe presentation goals and resultant behavior expected of students completing study of specific aspects of the curriculum. A modular concept of learning units is defined and utilized in specifying proposed courses. Methods for mapping the learning units to alternate course plans are discussed. Elements from the body of knowledge are combined in a logical top-down manner to form Learning Units (LU). Each LU contains a goal statement, behavioral objectives and associated elements from the body of knowledge. Five curriculum areas with 20 sub-areas form clusters of these learning units. A complete set of 128 learning units form meta-presentation units which can be organized in different schemes to meet individual institutional missions. One possible organization of these units into ten courses is presented. This paper provides curriculum guidelines for implementing undergraduate programs in information systems. The full report, IS'95, provides the detail necessary for design and implementation of courses. Dissemination of the curriculum and plans for review and updating the curriculum are presented.


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Recommended Citation: Longenecker, Jr., H. E., Feinstein, D. L., Couger, J. D., Davis, G. G., & Gorgone, J. T. (1994). Information Systems '95: A Summary of the Collaborative IS Curriculum Specification of the Joint DPMA, ACM, AIS Task Force. Journal of Information Systems Education, 6(4), 174-187.