Course Brief

We live in a world that is increasingly dependent upon the use of technology and information. As technology changes and advances, the art of representing information and building appropriate systems is becoming progressively inexact and blurred. The Information Engineer of the future must be equipped with the appropriate skills to meet these challenges.

  • 60
  • Evaluate different models of understanding and using information, data and knowledge.
  • Discuss the impact of cultural and social norms on information systems development.
  • Evaluate frameworks for information analysis.
  • Critically compare soft approaches to systems development.
  • Understand the changing relationship between technology, information and society.

The meaning of information, data and knowledge;
Semiotics frameworks for understanding information;
The impact of cultural and social norms on the development of information systems;
The role of human activity systems;
Formal methods v soft approaches, including a comparison of:
Soft systems analysis;
Participative design;
Interpretive analysis;
Post computer modernity;
Future approaches to IS development.

Lecture – 50%
Tutorial/Seminar – 25%
Self study of course material – 25%

Seminar – 30%
Seminar on a suitable topic examining the relationship between technology and culture.

Essay – 70%
5000 words.
An essay exploring the use of information in organisations and the application of methods to solve information systems problem.

The aim of this course is to understand the strengths, weaknesses and limitations of methods for information systems development. It explores the relationship between data, information and knowledge and the way macro and micro culture affects the system model and the success or failure of the resulting information system. It critically examines a number of ‘soft’ development approaches and how they add to the systems development process.