Rationale for having Learning Outcomes
Learning outcomes form the foundation for becoming competent, adaptable and innovative professionals. They will be invaluable for IT-enabled business professionals, business-oriented IT professionals, entrepreneurs. These learning outcomes also provide a sound foundation for continuing with a wide range of post-graduate studies. In addition, they:
Ensure durability of skills
Our eight learning outcomes have been intentionally crafted to highlight and emphasise more fundamental skills and general capabilities that will endure and remain relevant over long periods of time. They will be achieved through the experience gathered from across all the courses in the BSC (IS Management) Programme.
Clarify ideals for our programme
The learning outcomes also clarify the ideals of the BSc (ISM) curriculum. Ideals, especially notable and powerful ideals, are always hard to achieve in practice. For a variety of practical reasons, there will always be gaps and shortcomings with respect to these idealised learning outcomes, both on the side of the curriculum content and execution, and on the side of student performance.
Serve as benchmarks
Our learning outcomes provide a statement that gets to the essence of what we are striving to learn. They provide a clear benchmark for assessing our progress, and provide guidance for how to keep improving and moving forward towards these ideals. For the student, the basic questions are: where is my measurable progress with regards to these, and how do I get better developing these learning outcomes? For the School of Information Systems and its faculty, the basic question is: how can we continually redesign our curriculum in a way to enhance students' performance on these benchmarks?
Provide a guide for developing learning plans
We encourage all our undergraduate students to go beyond the standard exercise of planning the courses they need to graduate, and to think very seriously about these learning outcomes both inside and outside of the classroom. We encourage our SIS students to annually assess themselves with respect to each of the eight learning outcomes and to create plans to enhance their capabilities in these areas.
Will be applicable in the workplace
We are also in the early stages of educating potential employers about these learning outcomes. Our hope is that, over time, companies and organisations that interview our SIS students for internships and employment opportunities, will refer to our learning outcomes as part of the student interview and evaluation process.
Eight Learning Outcomes
The eight learning outcomes for the BSc (IS Management) programme are as follows:
1. Integration of business and technology in a sector context
1.1 Business IT Value Linkage skills
Ability to understand & analyse the linkages between:
- Business Strategy and Business Value Creation
- Business Strategy and Information Strategy
- Information Strategy and Technology Strategy
- Business Strategy and Business Processes
- Business Processes or Information Strategy or Technology Strategy and IT Solutions
1.2. Costs & Benefits Analysis skills
Ability to understand and analyse:
- Costs & Benefits Analysis of the Project
1.3. Business software solution impact analysis skills
Ability to understand and analyse:
- How business software applications impact the enterprise within a particular industry sector
2. IT architecture, design and development skills
2.1. System Requirements Specification skills
- Elicit and understand functional requirements from customer
- Identify non functional requirements (performance, availability, reliability, security, usability etc.)
- Analyse and document business processes
2.2. Software and IT Architecture Analysis and Design skills
- Analyse functional and non-functional requirements to produce a system architecture that meets those requirements
- Understand and apply process and methodology in building the application
- Create design models using known design principles (e.g. layering) and from various view points (logical, physical etc.)
- Explain and justify all the design choices and tradeoffs done during the application's development
2.3. Implementation skills
- Realise coding from design and vice versa
- Learn / practice one programming language
- Integrate different applications (developed application, cots software, legacy application etc.)
- Use tools for testing, integration and deployment
2.4. Technology Application skills
- Understand, select and use appropriate technology building blocks, components and packages when developing an enterprise solution (e.g. integration middleware, portal, ERP, CRM, SCM and other enterprise solutions)
3. Project management skills
3.1. Scope Management skills
- Identify and manage trade-offs on Scope/Cost/Quality/Time
- Document and manage changing requirements
3.2. Risks Management skills
- Identify, prioritise, mitigate and document project's risks
- Constantly monitor projects risks as part of project monitoring
3.3. Project Integration and Time Management skills
- Establish WBS, time & effort estimates, resource allocation, scheduling etc.
- Practice in planning using methods and tools (Microsoft project, Gantt chart etc.)
- Develop / execute a Project Plan and maintain it
3.4. Configuration Management skills
- Understand concepts of configuration management and change control
3.5. Quality Management skills
- Understand the concepts of Quality Assurance and Quality control (test plan, test cases, etc.)
4. Learning-to-learn skills
4.1. Search skills
- Search for information efficiently and effectively
4.2. Learning Methodology skills
- Develop learning heuristics in order to acquire new knowledge skills (focus on HOW to learn versus WHAT to learn)
- Abide by appropriate, legal, professional and ethical practices for using and citing the intellectual property of others
5. Collaboration (or team) skills
5.1. Skills to improve the effectiveness of group processes and work products
Ability to develop:
- Leadership skills
- Communication skills
- Consensus and conflict resolution skills
6. Change management skills for enterprise systems
6.1. Skills to diagnose business changes
- Understand the organisational problem or need for change (e.g. Analyse existing business processes or "as-is process")
6.2. Skills to implement and sustain business changes
- Implement the change (e.g. Advertise / communicate the need for change etc.) and to sustain the change over time
7. Skills for working across countries, cultures and borders
7.1. Cross-national Awareness skills
- Develop cross-national understandings of culture, institutions (e.g. law), language etc.
7.2. Business Across Countries Facilitation skills
- Communicate across countries
- Adapt negotiation and conflict resolution techniques to a multicultural environment
8. Communication skills
8.1. Presentation skills
- Provide an effective and efficient presentation on a specified topic
8.2. Writing skills
- Provide documentation understandable by users (Requirements specifications, risks management plan, assumptions, constraints, architecture choices, design choices etc.)
How LOMS benefit students
Actively defining learning outcomes and using them to benchmark their personal development bring many benefits to students. In particular, the Learning Outcome Management System (LOMS) facilitates students' learning by enabling them to view their education in terms of Learning Outcomes or Skills acquired over each term of study, allowing them to be responsible for their own learning and helps them focus their attention on what to learn.
LOMS also serves as a Reflection Process for students and helps them to gauge what skills they have acquired so far, how they acquired them, and what other areas they need to continue developing.
The training from the use of LOMS helps students to develop a personalised learning Blueprint and internalise it, thus preparing them for presenting themselves and their achievements during their eventual interviews with potential employers.
The content captured in LOMS allows SMU's Dato’ Kho Hui Meng Career Centre (DKHMCC) to better understand the students' unique strengths and special experiences and therefore to better match students to the right type of jobs based on their individual skill sets.
Finally, students LOMS self-assessments make it easier for companies to find a suitable candidate for a given position. The better they understand the students' honest skills profile, the more effectively they can leverage on their strengths.
Read on to find out about our:
- LOMS Champions
- LOMS Champions Events
- Published Paper on the SIS Learning Outcomes Framework and the supporting LOMS
Learning Outcomes Management System (LOMS)
SIS has built a proprietary Learning Outcomes Management System (LOMS) that is used by students and faculty to guide the ongoing design of its BSc (IS Management) Programme.
The features of LOMS include:
- Allowing students to assess themselves throughout their undergraduate studies against the set of skills defined in the BSc(IS Management) Programme. Students can also track their skills-building experience.
- Allowing students to analyse their skills development progress at the end of each term, identify their strengths, and also identify skills which need improvement.
- Facilitating students' design of their personal skills-development plan so as to acquire the necessary experiences that will help build or improve relevant skills.
- Facilitating the release of students' self-assessment along with their resume to potential employers. LOMS makes this easy to do as it is integrated with the OnTrac system used by SMU's Office of Career Services.
Last updated on 13 Nov 2013.