INLS 382-001 Fall 2019 Syllabus


As rising Information Systems professionals (or scholars), “systems analysis” may be the best way to quickly describe your core professional skill set to folks at the holidays. Despite this, there are many systems analysts in the world who may not have ever referred to themselves as such. Understanding how to identify, name, analyze, and design changes to human and information systems, their impact on organizations and people is a central component of the work of any information professional, whether they are software developers or personnel managers. I hope that this course will change the way that you interact with the technical and non-technical systems that exert massive influence on our lived environment as you learn the thinking and analysis techniques for making systematic changes.

The details

Course: INLS 382-001

Semester: Fall 2019

Time: 8:00-9:15 a.m., Tuesday and Thursday

Location: Manning 0014

Instructor: Jason Casden (

Textbook and readings: All readings are available either publicly on the web or through the UNC Libraries’ e-reserves for this course.

Online course environment: Sakai

Office hours: I’m happy to schedule in-person meetings or video calls with reasonable notice. I work on campus and can generally meet within a day or so.

Why I hope you’ll find this useful (learning objectives)

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • identify and document system requirements for projects in various settings by selecting and applying the appropriate requirements elicitation techniques
  • identify and document stakeholder and user classes and related elicitation and communication techniques to identify and document constraints and opportunities
  • apply systems analysis methods to decompose complex systems into simpler components for analysis and modification
  • describe in detail several project management methodologies and the strengths and weaknesses of each
  • identify and select, based on system characteristics and project requirements, systems design techniques to implement new systems as well as to modify existing systems
  • create process and data models based on analyses of active systems
  • describe in detail the Systems Development Life Cycle


Requirement Portion of grade
In-class quizzes (nearly every class; drop 3) 15%
Take-home quizzes (4; drop 1) 15%
Project assignments (4) 40%
Project presentations and critique 10%
Final exam 20%
Grades will be posted in Sakai.
Course grade Minimum %
A 95%
A- 90%
B+ 87%
B 83%
B- 80%
C+ 77%
C 73%
C- 70%
D+ 67%
D 63%
F less than 63%


Project assignments

Throughout the semester I will assign (on Sakai) four mini-projects related to a system or organization that you identify. This will culminate in a graded presentation.

Classroom activity and in-class quizzes

  • You should show up to class on time and stay until the end.
  • Our classes will rely heavily on classroom discussion and group activities. I expect you to find ways of enhancing your colleagues’ course experience in some way. If you are having trouble finding an option that you are comfortable with, please talk to me.

There will be an in-class quiz nearly every class using the Poll Everywhere system. You should register for a student Poll Everywhere account. In order to allow to mistakes and absences, you will be able to drop three quizzes.

Take-home quizzes

There will be four at-home open book quizzes assigned during the semester. You will have two days to complete each one and can drop one.

Final exam

The final will include a mix of questions (multiple choice, essay, etc.) based on the readings and classroom activities.


  • Attendance is expected. Please let me know if you expect to miss class.
  • Project assignments are due by the start of class on the due dates.
  • Late work will have 10 percentage points subtracted from the grade for each 24-hour period it is overdue. In other words, the maximum possible grade for an assignment submitted between 1 and 24 hours overdue is 90%, and then 80% for the next 24 hours, and so on. Please talk to me if you are struggling to submit your work on time.

Honor code

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has had a student-led honor system for over 100 years. Academic integrity is at the heart of Carolina and we all are responsible for upholding the ideals of honor and integrity. The student-led Honor System is responsible for adjudicating any suspected violations of the Honor Code and all suspected instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the honor system. Information, including your responsibilities as a student is outlined in the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance. Your full participation and observance of the Honor Code is expected.

All academic work in this course, including homework, quizzes, and exams, is to be your own work, unless otherwise specifically provided. It is your responsibility if you have any doubt to confirm whether or not collaboration is permitted.

Campus Code

It shall be the further responsibility of every student to abide by the philosophy of the code; namely, to conduct oneself so as not to impair significantly the welfare or the educational opportunities of others in the University community.

Faculty Responsibilities

I have a role to play as well, and I will fulfill these responsibilities.

Classroom code of conduct

We are a learning community and should treat each other with the respect we would expect of others. Constructive disagreement is encouraged, but please attempt to balance critiques with efforts to build and maintain a welcoming classroom community. I will try my best to do the same, but I welcome any suggestions for improvements or even general statements of discomfort.

Our classroom is dedicated to providing a harassment-free course experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or technology choices. Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion, technology choices, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention. We do not tolerate harassment of course participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any course setting or products.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact your instructor or another SILS faculty member immediately.

Adapted from

Valuing, Recognizing, and Encouraging Diversity

Promoting and valuing diversity in the classroom enriches learning and broadens everyone’s perspectives. Inclusion and tolerance can lead to respect for others and their opinions and is critical to maximizing the learning that we expect in this program. This may challenge our own closely held ideas and personal comfort zones. The results, however, create a sense of community and promote excellence in the learning environment.

Diversity includes consideration of (1) the variety of life experiences others have had, and (2) factors related to “diversity of presence,” including, among others, age, economic circumstances, ethnic identification, disability, gender, geographic origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, social position.

**This class will follow principles of inclusion, respect, tolerance, and acceptance that support the values of diversity.**

Taken from the UNC Department of Health Policy and Management’s HPM Diversity Syllabus Statement 2011.


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill facilitates the implementation of reasonable accommodations, including resources and services, for students with disabilities, chronic medical conditions, a temporary disability, or pregnancy complications resulting in difficulties with accessing learning opportunities.

All accommodations are coordinated through the Accessibility Resources and Service Office. In the first instance please visit their website, Tel: 919-962-8300 or Email: A student is welcome to initiate the registration process at any time, however, the process can take time. ARS is particularly busy in the run-up to Finals and during Finals. Students submitting Self-ID forms at that time are unlikely to have accommodations set until the following semester.

Please contact ARS as early in the semester as possible.


The schedule and readings are subject to change. Please check the schedule each week.

Week 1: What is a system?

20 August 2019

  • Course orientation

Register for a student Poll Everywhere account

22 August 2019


Week 2: What is systems analysis and design?

27 August 2019

  • Wiegers & Beatty, Chapter 1 [e-reserves]
  • Wiegers & Beatty, Chapter 4 [e-reserves]
  • Davis, William. (1999). The problem statement. In W. Davis & D. Yen, The Information System Consultant’s Handbook: Systems Analysis and Design. Boca Raton: CRC Press. Chapter 12, 87-90. [e-reserves]

29 August 2019


Week 3: How much should I take on?

3 September 2019

  • Shelly, Gary et al. Chapter 3: Requirements Modeling [e-reserves]

5 September 2019


Week 4: How do I coordinate all of this work?

10 September 2019

  • Mike Cohn, “Agile Estimating and Planning”, A Case Study: Bomb Shelter Studios [e-reserves]

12 September 2019


Week 5: What do users know?

17 September 2019


19 September 2019


Week 6: What do the users need?

24 September 2019


26 September 2019


Week 7: Use cases

1 October 2019


3 October 2019


Week 8: What does “done” look like?

  • functional requirements
  • non-functional requirements
  • quality attributes
  • feasibility analysis

8 October 2019

  • Davis, William. (1999). The feasibility study. In W. Davis & D. Yen, The Information System Consultant’s Handbook: Systems Analysis and Design. Boca Raton: CRC Press. Chapter 13, 91-96. [e-reserves]

10 October 2019


Week 9: How can I think computationally?

15 October 2019


17 October 2019

No class.

Week 10: How does data move through the system and how does it rest?

22 October 2019

  • Elmasri, et al. Data Modeling using the Entity-Relationship (ER) model. [e-reserves]

24 October 2019


Week 11: How do I prioritize my requirements?

29 October 2019

Data and process modeling lab


31 October 2019


Week 12: How do I start designing a new system for its users?

5 November 2019


7 November 2019

  • Shilton, Katie. (2010). Technology development with an agenda: Interventions to emphasize values in design. Proceedings of the ASIS&T 2010 Annual Meeting. [e-reserves]
  • Design with Intent cards32

Week 13: How do I implement my design?

12 November 2019


14 November 2019

Week 14: What did I mess up? What went well? How can I tell the difference?

19 November 2019


21 November 2019

  • Presentations part 1

Week 15: Project presentations and critique

26 November 2019

  • Presentations, part 2
  • Project assignment 4 due by start of class

28 November 2019

No class.

Week 16: Looking back and ahead

3 December 2019

  • Last day of class
  • Semester review

TBD December 2019: Final Exam

Location TBD