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Abstract

There are increasing calls for the information systems curriculum to embrace breadth and complexity. Systems and processes never exist in isolation. They form part of large, sociotechnical, complex, rapidly changing information infrastructures which are complex adaptive systems. Several features of current learning environments can impede the development of students’ understanding of this complexity. Firstly, lecturers assess students using instrumental, simplified, standardized evaluation methods, and are in turn assessed by those students via simplified, standardized surveys. Simplified evaluation of complexity is an oxymoron. Secondly, Universities are structured in Faculty and School silos, limiting students’ interaction with those studying for other professions. Thirdly students often learn design techniques using simplified, isolated examples, ending up with a portfolio of skills, but unable to make the connections between them. This paper presents a co-created learning design to address these three problems, and reports on an example project which has used this design.

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Aug 10th, 12:00 AM

Complexity-in-use: A co-created design approach to developing student understanding of complex information infrastructures

There are increasing calls for the information systems curriculum to embrace breadth and complexity. Systems and processes never exist in isolation. They form part of large, sociotechnical, complex, rapidly changing information infrastructures which are complex adaptive systems. Several features of current learning environments can impede the development of students’ understanding of this complexity. Firstly, lecturers assess students using instrumental, simplified, standardized evaluation methods, and are in turn assessed by those students via simplified, standardized surveys. Simplified evaluation of complexity is an oxymoron. Secondly, Universities are structured in Faculty and School silos, limiting students’ interaction with those studying for other professions. Thirdly students often learn design techniques using simplified, isolated examples, ending up with a portfolio of skills, but unable to make the connections between them. This paper presents a co-created learning design to address these three problems, and reports on an example project which has used this design.

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