Information Systems, Services and Design




Information systems permeate seemingly all aspects of both work and play. One of the greatest drawbacks in the use of such technologies, however, is poor technological literacy among system owners and users alike: a tendency to unbridled enthusiasm for what information systems can do, but without concomitant reflection on their limitations, and critical implications of how they are designed and why they are used. This course will orient students to fundamental perspectives necessary for sound technical judgement about the place of information and communication technologies in contemporary society. A balance of theory and practical perspectives is sought. On the theoretical side, three interrelated themes are developed: the structure of information systems, the design of information systems, and the social implications of information systems. The practical side is developed through assignments (data modelling, information systems assessment, and systems development planning).

Learner Objectives

Students will develop an understanding of how information systems work, to be able to appreciate their capabilities and limitations. At the end of the course, students will be able to:

Theoretical Objectives:

  • Know the origins and evolution of IS.

  • Understand the function and structure of networks and databases.

  • Describe systems development methods.

  • Discuss how to measure IS quality.

  • Appreciate multiple ethical issues in the deployment of IS, both in and out of workplaces.

  • Articulate the challenges and limitations of electronic support of group activities.

Practical Objectives:

  • Demonstrate data modelling skills in constructing entity-relationship diagrams and data flow diagrams.

  • Describe how to systematically evaluate an existing information system.

  • Demonstrate an ability to author a Request for Proposals document.

  • Participate meaningfully in the planning process for an IS design and implementation.


Jack Zhang

Charles Osborne

Adjunct Lecturer



Information Systems, Services and Design

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  • Dates: Time: Fri