INLS 582_003, Systems Analysis
Systems Analysis is all
about problem solving.
are the fundamental questions whether you're fixing a broken system,
adding new functionality to an existing system, or designing an
entirely new system.
- What is the
information system doing now?
- What should it be doing?
- What needs
to change to make it do the right thing?
- How can we
best implement the changes?
purpose of this course is to help you gain the knowledge, tools, and
you need to answer these questions and design effective information
material we cover includes the theories that help explain information
systems and people's interaction with them, tools and techniques for
analysis and design, and best practices for systems analysis projects.
Readings include research articles, case studies, and
documentation for specific modeling techniques. A major part
the work for this class is analyzing an information system problem and
designing a solution for a real client. This group project gives
real-life experience in information system problem
solving. Individual assignments provide additional practice on
Your work for
this class falls into 3 categories: 1)
preparation for class, 2)
activities, and 3) individual
and group assignments. Being together at the same time in the same place, (aka "class"), is a valuable commodity; much too precious to spend on just lecture and note-taking. Instead, we will spend that class time reviewing concepts from your preparation, discussing important questions and ideas, practicing skills and techniques in a venue where you can compare and contrast alternative solutions with your classmates while receiving help and feedback from me, and applying what you've learned to your projects. Your preparation for each class meeting is the key to getting the most out of each class's activities.
describes what you should do to prepare for each class meeting,
reading, practicing skills or techniques, and thinking. You are welcome
together to prepare for each class.
or manuals for specific models and analysis techniques.
papers, issue articles, and case studies.
Slides. The slides explain, highlight, or expand on the readings,
examples, and pose questions for you to consider.
annotated examples and brief exercises (often with answers) of the models and
each example to be sure you understand it.
exercise and compare your answer with the one provided.
readings. What interests/surprises/informs/challenges you?
questions I pose for you. These will often form the basis of class
questions you would pose for discussion. These will also be part of the
……about questions you have on the material that you would like me to address in class. Be prepared to ask – don't assume I'll answer an unasked question.
Class meetings will
consist of 3 sections.
questions, assignments, and other "class infrastructure".
-- I will highlight important points and answer your questions from the reading and preparation. This section will also include reviewing answers to exercises and homework.
exercises. We will work on these individually and in groups, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches or answers. I will provide help and feedback as needed.
b) Discussions of questions, articles, case studies, and other issues, in small groups, project groups, and/or the full class.
assignments will provide more opportunities for practicing specific
let you demonstrate to me what you have learned. Team assignments
are the deliverables for your project.
the end of the course, I hope you will have learned the fundamentals of
systems analysis and design, developed an arsenal of tools and
techniques as well as the knowledge of when to use them, and produced a
proposal that will solve an information problem for a real
client. Information system problems are pervasive in our
you learn here may help you in many aspects of your future endeavors.
- You will
learn a lot of new terms and concepts -- here's a partial list.
You may find them useful in learning and organizing the
material, as well as speaking like a systems analyst.
- Plan ahead!
Success in this course requires the same kind of project management
that your team project does.
the work schedule for this class with the schedules for your other
classes, work, and other activities. You are likely to have many
deadlines toward the end of the semester, so it's important
for you to keep up.
yourself plenty of time to prepare for each class. If you are not
prepared for class, you will not be able to fully participate in (and
benefit from) the in-class activities.
is often more than one good or correct way to model or design a
situation. There are always many more bad and incorrect ways to do so!
- We are professionals, therefore I expect professional behavior.
- I will be prepared for class, and be ready to start class on time. If unforeseeable circumstances prevent this for any reason, I
will try to notify you beforehand if at all possible.
- I expect the same of you: be prepared for class and be ready
to start class on time.
- If you must miss a class, it is your responsibility to tell me why: in advance if possible, otherwise do so as soon as possible afterwards. Unexplained absences are unprofessional.
- If you miss a class for whatever reason, you are responsible for learning what you missed from a
- I take attendance at each class meeting. Repeated tardiness or missed classes will lower your participation grade: you cannot participate in in-class exercises and discussions if you are not present.
- You are encouraged and expected to be an active participant in class, including full class discussions, small group discussions, in-class exercises. Similarly, you are expected to be an active participant in your project teams. Participation is not just about talking; listening to others' ideas and facilitating discussions to make sure everyone has a chance to participate is even more important.
- If there is something you don't understand ask a question! Post questions on the Sakai wiki, ask a question during class, come
to my office hours, or contact me by email.
- Participation counts for 15% of your final grade. There are many ways to participate: the quality of your contributions is more important than the quantity.
and Receiving Help
- Assignments must be submitted by 9:00 a.m.
on the day they are due. (Except for the final specifications.)
- A late assignment will be penalized 5% for every day it is
If you have a real problem submitting an assignment on time, please
talk to me before the due date. Getting a late start on an assignment does not count as a real problem.
- All assignments should conform to these
- Pay attention to detail! Proofreading and clarity of
presentation are important for information professionals.
- Start working on assignments well in advance of the due
It is usually a good idea to give yourself time to let your work sit
for a bit, then come back to review it. Do not wait until the last
minute (or hour or day) to ask questions about the assignment -- I may
not be available for consultation.
- For assignments containing models, here are some additional
Devices in Class
- If your team is having difficulty with some aspect of your
come to see me. One of the educational outcomes of this class
should be an increase in your effectiveness in getting advice from
more experienced colleagues.
- The Honor Code, which prohibits giving or receiving
in the completion of assignments, is in effect in this class. The
Instrument of Student Judicial Governance gives examples of actions
academic dishonesty. There are some specific guidelines for
- You may give and receive assistance regarding the use
of hardware and
- You are welcome to work together on class preparation; discussing
articles, walking through examples, working on exercises, etc. You may
also ask your classmates for clarification of class
- Individual home work assignments are to be done
individually. You may
consult the course readings and slides, your notes, and even other print or web
sources. (Keep in mind, however, that what you find in other sources
not be consistent with what I want you to do.) You may not consult your
classmates or other people; all questions should be addressed to me.
- Team assignments are to be done as a team, with the
responsibility for all products. Work on the project should be
distributed equitably among team members. I expect team members to
discuss, consult, and even debate with each other about the project
throughout the term.
- You are not required to bring your computer to every class.
the couple of classes for which you do need your laptop, I will remind
you in advance.
activities will often involve sketching out draft models or taking
brief notes in a break-out group for reporting back to the class. You
may use your computer or other device, or pencil and paper. (Personally, I prefer drafting models on paper.)
- Laptops, tablets, phones, and similar devices should be used only for
class purposes. Unrelated activities such as reading email ,texting,
web-browsing, or playing games divert your attention from the class and
are distracting and discourteous to others.
- Please remember to mute your cellphone before class starts.
The Sakai site for this class will be used to post questions on class materials and to submit homework assignments.
Please subscribe to the
class list. Go to the
mailing lists home page. Select "search for
lists" in the User Tools box. Enter the list name,
inls582_001, in the search box. Click on the "subscribe" button, and
complete the form.
I will send
out a test message or two the first week of class. I will use
the list to send out announcements. You can use the list to ask
questions of the class in general, to share helpful hints
about software, etc. To post to the list, you can send email
to firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to the list's web page.
Your grade will be based
on individual assignments (40%),
a team project (45%), and class and team participation (15%).
Problem definition: 10%
Work models: 20%
Entity-relation diagram: 10%
Team project work
Information gathering plan: 10%
Presentation to class/client: 10%
Final specifications: 25%
Leading a case study discussion group: 2%
Participation in in-class activities and discussions: 8%
Participation in team project: 5%
||69 and below
page was last modified on July 16, 2012, by Stephanie W. Haas.
Address questions and comments about this page to Stephanie W. Haas at
shaas at email dot unc dot edu
© Stephanie W. Haas All