Communications of the Association for Information Systems

Forthcoming Papers

Forthcoming papers have been accepted for publication at the Communications of the Association for Information Systems and are listed below in order of acceptance date. Copies of unedited manuscripts can either be obtained by clicking the manuscript title or contacting the corresponding authors listed below.

Note that the decision to provide a copy rests with the authors, not with the Communications of the Association for Information Systems.

The manuscripts listed here will undergo copyediting, typesetting, and review of the resulting proofs before they are published in their final form. During the production process errors may be discovered, which could affect the content. All legal disclaimers that apply to the Communications of the Association for Information Systems pertain. For a definitive version of the works listed here, please check for their appearance online at http://aisel.aisnet.org/cais/.

Orchestrating Digital Innovation: The Case of the Swedish Center for Digital Innovation

Holmström, Jonny (jonny.holmstrom@informatik.umu.se)


There is increasing interest in how digital innovation is facilitated and enacted in networks of diverse actors, i.e. heterogenous networks. However, while there is considerable evidence that firms can build key capabilities through engagement with external partners, we find a dearth of studies on how digital innovation is orchestrated in situations where an academic unit plays a facilitating role in the heterogenous network. We address this question by focusing on experiences from a national academic initiative, the Swedish Center for Digital Innovation (SCDI). SCDI was formed in 2013 and has adopted an engaged scholarship approach and a combination of activities designed to increase digital innovation capabilities among partner organizations. We argue that the acquisition of new knowledge through external and internal sources stimulates firms and public sector organizations engaged in digital innovation to integrate such new knowledge with their existing knowledge base. Specifically, we demonstrate how SCDI’s core activities create increased capabilities for the involved stakeholders, as well as offer lessons learned and recommendations for academic units that wish to orchestrate digital innovation.

How Teachers Participate in the Infrastructuring of an Educational Network

Halkola, Eija (eija.halkola@oulu.fi)


The evolution of digital technologies has changed the ways in which people interact with and through technologies. Despite longstanding investment in technical and pedagogical infrastructure, there is great diversity between schools in terms of their degree of digitalization. New curricula in Finland are putting additional pressure on education to meet the goals of the 21st century. In information systems (IS) research, digitalization increases an interest for understanding modern IS projects as infrastructuring. This study examines the infrastructuring of the educational network of a Finnish city from the perspective of teachers as influential actors in transforming their environment. A nexus analysis of interviews foregrounded three main discourses circulating the teachers’ participation in infrastructuring. The first discourse depicted teachers balancing between traditional and new educational solutions when aligning their pedagogy-driven practices with curriculum objectives. The second discourse concerned infrastructuring activities for establishing pedagogical ICT use successfully, and the third discourse highlighted practices of sharing resources as an effort of organizational balancing. The results reveal tensions between collegiality and leadership, submissive and empowered agency, and discontinuities and anticipation in ensuring continuity in infrastructuring. The study provides implications for organizing in-service training and developing local practices as contributing to infrastructuring in the educational network.

Researching Digital Entrepreneurship: Current Issues and Suggestions for Future Directions

von Briel, Frederik (f.vonbriel@uq.edu.au)


This report documents the outcomes of a professional development workshop (PDW) held at the 40th International Conference on Information Systems in Munich, Germany. The workshop’s goal was to identify how information systems (IS) researchers can contribute to enriching the understanding of digital entrepreneurship—that is, the intersection of digital technologies and entrepreneurship. The PDW assembled numerous IS researchers working on different aspects of digital entrepreneurship. Jointly, we delineated digital entrepreneurship from related phenomena and conceptualized different roles of digital technologies for entrepreneurial endeavors. We also identified relevant strategies, opportunities, and challenges in conducting digital entrepreneurship research. This report summarizes the shared views that emerged from the interactions at the PDW and during the collaborative writing of this report. The report provides IS researchers interested in digital entrepreneurship with food for thought and a foundation for future research.

Pursuing Digital Learning Platform Success: A Meta-Analytic Investigation of User and Cultural Contingencies

Mehta, Nikhil (n_mehta@uncg.edu)


Digital learning platforms (DLPs) are rapidly emerging as highly effective tools to meet the learning and knowledge creation needs of contemporary organizations. Advanced information and communication technologies (ICT) embedded in these platforms create mobile learning workspaces that deliver ubiquitous yet targeted learning experiences. Scholars have shown a keen interest in assessing the success of DLPs, but most studies are limited by their examination of a specific facet of DLP success. Current findings also show inconsistencies and contradictions that distort our understanding of how success is shaped for DLPs. As a result, an integrated and accurate understanding of DLP success is missing. We adopt rigorous meta-analytic procedures to consolidate extant findings and to reconcile prior inconsistencies. Additionally, we extend our meta-analyses to investigate the contingency effects of two moderating variables – user-context and cultural-context. Results provide a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of DLP success. Our study contributes by extending the theory on DLPs and information systems (IS) success, and by providing insightful recommendations for practitioners.

Enabling Promethean Leaps: An Examination of Storytelling Techniques in Information Systems Development

Conboy, Kieran (kieran.conboy@nuigalway.ie)


Storytelling has been used throughout history to instigate transformative change, and so one should expect similar of narrative techniques in information systems development (ISD) such as epics, user stories, and personas. However, existing research focuses on the operational aspects of these techniques rather than their potential for transformation or the extent to which they currently aid true transformative change in ISD. This study draws on the lens of Prometheus - the Greek god often referred to as a metaphorical symbol of the radically innovative, transformative power of technology. This study draws on expert interviews to examine the current state in practice and the potential and currently under-utilised transformative power of ISD epics, user stories and personas. This research develops a set of Promethean principles to evaluate transformative potential of narrative ISD techniques. It shows how narrative techniques might be applied and/or extended to incorporate a more Promethean level of ambition and foresight into ISD. It also identifies a set of factors that undermine the practicality of that approach.

Towards a Unified Framework for Media Capacity Characterization: Inferences from Critical Analysis of Media Capacity Theories, Buzzwords and Web History

Onobhayedo, Pius (opius@alumni.unav.es)


As the Web begins its third decade of existence, this paper in the first place, draws attention to the need for a better understanding of the Web as a potential reference case for how an information system gets transformed through incremental innovations, with particular focus on the advancement of the Web as a communication media platform. As a research step deemed necessary in this quest, the paper critically examines the suitability of existing media capacity theories and media related buzzwords (like rich media, multimedia, hypermedia, social media), for the characterization of Web innovations, as media. The origins, meanings and relationship of these buzzwords with media capacity theories were examined and clarified. Discrepancies between them were also elucidated. By way of inductive reasoning, three media capacity dimensions (sensibility support, interactivity support and logistical support) were synthesized as potential framework for objective media characterization. Each of these dimensions could metamorphize into individual theories or unified as one theory e.g. Sensibility Interactivity and Logistical Support Theory (SILST). The indicators for these dimensions were presented, followed by a demonstration of three-dimensional typology of Web innovation milestones, anchored on the three dimensions, a step forward in the substantiation of the framework’s applicability to media capacity characterization.

Exploring the Scientific Impact of Information Systems Design Science Research

Wagner, Gerit (gerit.wagner@wiwi.uni-regensburg.de)


While design science research is contending its position in the information systems community, there is a lack of transparency regarding the recent and impactful information systems design science research (IS-DSR) papers. This arguably poses challenges to an informed discourse and limits our ability to communicate progress achieved by IS-DSR. After providing a map of the impactful IS-DSR papers, we therefore develop a scientometric study to address the lack of insights into factors that affect the scientific impact of IS-DSR papers published in top IS journals. In this study, we focus on IS-specific, active research areas of IS-DSR and consider papers published in the AIS Senior Scholars' Basket of Journals between 2004 and 2014. Specifically, we develop a model that explores a set of factors that affect the scientific impact of IS-DSR papers. Our findings show that scientific impact is significantly explained by theorization and novelty. We discuss the implications of our work and derive recommendations intended to shape future knowledge creation in IS-DSR.

A Comment on the Practice of the Arellano-Bond/Blundell-Bond Generalized Method of Moments Estimator in IS Research

Youngsok, Bang (yb@yonsei.ac.kr)


As a quick econometric solution to handle potential endogeneity issues in panel data models, the Arellano-Bond/Blundell-Bond generalized method of moments (GMM) estimator is gaining popularity in IS research. Despite the sensitivity of this estimator to model specifications and estimation strategies, a noticeable number of IS studies employing this method fail to report the detailed model specifications, robustness check results with different model specifications and estimation strategies, or test statistics, which render their empirical results less credible. Using simulated data and real data, we empirically demonstrate that passing the commonly required tests, such as the m2 test and the Sargan-Hansen test, does not guarantee the validity of the estimate because the size and the statistical significance of the estimate can largely depend on the choice of estimation procedure and the moment restrictions that pass such required tests. We urge researchers not only to report the results of significant focal variables, but also to be explicit about the model specifications and estimation strategies, and to provide robustness checks with different model specifications, along with their complete test results.

AI Recruiting Tools at ShipIt2Me.com

Sipior, Janice (janice.sipior@villanova.edu)


Business interest in artificial intelligence (AI) is growing. The number of companies implementing AI-related technologies has increased over 2.5-fold over the past few years. Thus, an understanding of AI is imperative for current and future employees. This paper is a teaching case, based on a fictitious company, intended for use worldwide in information systems or business courses at the undergraduate or graduate level. In the case, students are introduced to ShipIt2Me.com (“ShipIt2Me”), a fictitious American e-commerce company, that developed an AI human resources recruiting tool to be used in hiring cloud computing talent. After candidates are identified using this tool, ShipIt2Me may possibly use AI-based video interview software to screen those candidates for soft skills. The teaching case provides an overview of AI concepts and the opportunity for students to examine the advantages and disadvantages of using AI tools in human resources recruiting.

How to Conduct Rigorous Supervised Machine Learning in Information Systems Research: The Supervised Machine Learning Reportcard

Kühl, Niklas (kuehl@kit.edu)


Within the last decade, the application of supervised machine learning (SML) has become increasingly popular in the field of information systems (IS) research. Although the choices among different data preprocessing techniques, as well as different algorithms and their individual implementations, are fundamental building blocks of SML results, their documentation—and therefore reproducibility—is inconsistent across published IS research papers. This may be quite understandable, since the goals and motivations for SML applications vary and since the field has been rapidly evolving within IS. For the IS research community, however, this poses a big challenge, because even with full access to the data neither a complete evaluation of the SML approaches nor a replication of the research results is possible. Therefore, this article aims to provide the IS community with guidelines for comprehensively and rigorously conducting, as well as documenting, SML research: First, we review the literature concerning steps and SML process frameworks to extract relevant problem characteristics and relevant choices to be made in the application of SML. Second, we integrate these into a comprehensive “Supervised Machine Learning Reportcard (SMLR)” as an artifact to be used in future SML endeavors. Third, we apply this reportcard to a set of 121 relevant articles published in renowned IS outlets between 2010 and 2018 and demonstrate how and where the documentation of current IS research articles can be improved. Thus, this work should contribute to a more complete and rigorous application and documentation of SML approaches, thereby enabling a deeper evaluation and reproducibility / replication of results in IS research.

Editorial Board Diversity at the Basket of Eight Journals: A Report to the College of Senior Scholars

Beath, Cynthia (cbeath@mail.utexas.edu)


At ICIS 2019, the College of Senior Scholars appointed a committee to investigate diversity in the editorial boards of their Basket of Eight Journals. Editorial board diversity is a signal that the journal is open to and inclusive of all authors. The committee compared the gender, regional and ethnic diversity of the editorial boards to that of AIS Academic members of the AIS. This comparison showed that the journals overall have fewer female members than might be reasonably expected, that editorial boards are populated by members from Region 1 more, and Region 3 less, than might be reasonably expected. There are more editorial board members of Indian ancestry than expected, while several other ethnicities appear on editorial boards in smaller numbers than expected, compared to AIS Academics. The individual journals differ a great deal among themselves with respect to these diversity criteria, with every journal falling below what might be reasonably expected with respect to either gender, regional or ethnic diversity. The report concludes with recommendations for the College of Senior Scholars, for the EICs of the Basket of Eight Journals, and for AIS Council (and leaders of other organizations of IS scholars).

ICT Support for Refugees and Undocumented Immigrants

AbuJarour, Safa'a (safaa.abujarour@uni-potsdam.de)


Immigrant integration has risen to the top of the political agenda of leaders in Germany and the U.S. The information systems community has begun to research how information and communications technologies can assist immigrants and especially refugees, by seeking to better understand how to facilitate social inclusion processes. Migrants face the challenge of joining closed communities that are incapable of or afraid to integrate. We conducted a panel discussion at the Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS 2019) in Cancun, Mexico to introduce multiple viewpoints on the topic of immigration, specifically showing how technology can both support and prevent immigrants from succeeding in their quest. The panel aimed to stimulate a thoughtful and dynamic discussion on best practices and recommendations to enhance the discipline’s impact on alleviating the challenges that occur for immigrants in their host countries. In this panel report, we introduce the topic of ICT use for immigrants’ integration, and identify differences between Europe and North and Central America. We also discuss the usage of ICT by immigrants, in particular refugees, for connection, a sense of belonging, and maintaining their identity. We uncover the dark and bright sides of ICT usage by governments seeking to deter illegal immigration. Finally, we present recommendations for research and practice on how to best engage ICT to assist with all aspects of immigration.

How AIS can improve its contributions to the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals: A Framework for Scaling Collaborations and Evaluating Impact

Watson, Richard (rwatson@terry.uga.edu)


In June 2019, the Association for Information Systems’ (AIS) adopted a new approach to addressing global sustainability issues by establishing the AIS Sustainability Task Force (AIS STF). This initiative aimed to build on the outcomes of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG, 2000-2015) and to apply its findings to address the challenges of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG, 2016-2030). The challenges and outcomes from the UN sustainability programs with their potential relevance to IS in general and the AIS in particular are reviewed in this paper to inform and assist increased efforts to achieve positive impact on the global sustainability goals. The initial event, the AIS Sustainability Summit held at ICIS 2019, aimed to provide a forum for AIS groups and communities to share their current interests, plans, activities and experiences relevant to the UN’s MDG and SDG. The primary objective was to facilitate opportunities to scale AIS’ sustainability activities through multi-disciplinary collaboration across the AIS and its communities. Members of four AIS Special Interest Groups and the STF’s Education Workgroup presented exemplary projects at the Summit demonstrating applications of applied IS and research capabilities to address sustainability challenges. The Sustainability Summit’s secondary objective was to explore opportunities to achieve positive impact in addressing the UN SDG’s global challenges through the relevant applications of the knowledge, skills and capabilities of AIS members in collaboration with suitable organizations outside the AIS. Potential organizations include business, government and societal groups as well as UN bodies. The AIS STF’s aims, plans, outcomes and impact were presented and discussed. Analysis of the details and options for cross-organizational collaboration presented in the Sustainability Summit lead to a proposed framework for scaling contributions and evaluating impact. Finally, conclusions were drawn about the proposed activities, approaches and framework for the AIS to improve the scope and scale of its contributions in addressing the SDG. Of critical importance was to ensure that AIS’ proposed activities, contributions and impact were verifiable through an internationally recognized independent process. A model for the AIS to realize this requirement is proposed for evaluation in 2021.

What is e-Government? Introducing a Work System Framework for Understanding e-Government

Lindgren, Ida (ida.lindgren@liu.se)


In this paper, we take the need for a comprehensive overview of the e-Government field’s core subject matter as a point of departure. The aim of this paper is to present a comprehensive and distilled model that can help researchers (1) to enter the e-Government field; (2) to understand the main study focus of the field in a distilled way; and, (3) to guide reflections on further research within the field. Departing from Steven Alter’s Work Systems Theory, and particularly his Work Systems Framework (WSF), we introduce a framework for understanding e-Government work systems; labelled as the eGovWSF. We distil the basic core of e-Government work systems through an interpretative and hermeneutic approach, building on previous research and theorizations made within information systems and e-Government research. We unpack the eGovWSF into 12 main elements, discuss their role as internal, semi-external and external to the work system, and reflect on the connections between these elements. Thus, contributions include a conceptual discussion on the core subject matter of e-Government, as well as a critical discussion on the applicability of the framework and future research needs.

Cloud Computing Adoption: A Literature Review on What Is New and What Still Needs to Be Addressed

Strahringer, Susanne (susanne.strahringer@tu-dresden.de )


Research on Cloud Computing (CC) recently emerged congruently with the technology’s importance for organizations at a fast pace. This makes it difficult for practitioners to obtain a consolidated overview of what determines CC adoption based on the numerous papers in this regard. Moreover, for further research in the field to add value, it is necessary to identify what still needs to be addressed. In this vein, we conducted a descriptive review of 39 papers, integrating the results of a previous review on 23 papers from 2014, to compare findings across studies. We identify 44 determinant factors that exhibit consistent directional influence on the dependent meta-variable “CC adoption”, extending previous literature reviews with regard to asset, client, and environmental characteristics. We then critically reviewed the research landscape to identify what is there, and what is not yet covered: Future research should specifically regard the adoption of Infrastructure-, Platform-, and Everything-as-a-Service, private, hybrid, and multi-cloud deployment, investigate vendor, solution, and individual characteristics, analyzing information systems, or the decision-maker.

ACM SIGMIS CPR Panel Report: Elephant in the Classroom: Should Information Systems Professors be More Techno-Savvy than Students? (And what would this mean for teaching in times of the COVID-19 crisis?)

Van Slyke, Craig (vanslyke@latech.edu)


Rapid advances in information and communication technologies present a challenge to Information Systems (IS) professors. Not only do these advances frequently make course materials out-of-date, but also IS professors may struggle to stay current with popular technology applications. In a sense, these forces lead to a paradox that students may be more techno-savvy than their professors, at least, in certain areas. Also, students may feel frustrated when techno-savvy professors cannot efficiently teach them in learning technologies. This paper synthesizes the panel titled “The Elephant in the Classroom: Do Information Systems Professors Need to be more Techno-Savvy than Students?” that was presented at the 55th ACM SIGMIS Computer and People Research Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. The discussants were Thomas Ferratt of the University of Dayton, Michael Gallivan of Georgia Institute of Technology, Yaojie Li of Columbus State University, Thomas Stafford of Louisiana Tech University, Mary Sumner of Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville, and Crag Van Slyke of Louisiana Tech University. The discussion is used to develop techno-savviness as a construct in the context of IS education, and to describe distinct types of techno-savviness.

Forthcoming Papers: COVID Special Issue

A Course Plan for Principles of IS Programming to Withstand COVID-19

Connolly, Amy (conno3aj@jmu.edu)


The COVID-19 pandemic has created a no-win situation for Fall semester classes: bring students back to campus and risk spreading the virus or teach online and risk insolvency. As faculty work through summer to plan even as situations change, flexible course plans must be built to weather COVID-19 while still meeting students’ needs and expectations for teaching at their institutions. This paper discusses how Principles of IS Programming was quickly and successfully transitioned from a face-to-face course to fully online in Spring and how lessons learned from that transition will be applied to Fall semester. In addition, the paper describes how to organize the course and course schedule to maximize engagement and active learning while remaining agile enough to shift from face-to-face to online (or even vice-versa if the opportunity occurs). This paper is intended to help other IS instructors build a course plan to meet student needs for programming courses..

Rapid Transition of a Technical Course from Face-to-Face to Online

Shankararaman, Venky (venks@smu.edu.sg)


Just like most universities around the world, the senior management at Singapore Management University decided to move all courses to a virtual, online, synchronous mode, giving instructors a very short notice period—one week—to make this transition. In this paper, we describe the challenges, practical solutions adopted, and the lessons learnt in rapidly transitioning a face-to-face Master’s degree course in Text Analytics and Applications into a virtual, online, course format that could deliver a quality learning experience.

Digital Innovation for COVID-19: Turning Challenges to Opportunities

Chen, Yu (yu.chen@sjsu.edu)


The COVID-19 pandemic swiftly changed almost all aspects of our lives and society. This paper depicts course adjustments made to an undergraduate digital innovation course project, called Innovation Farm (IF), in response to the pandemic. Designed as an in-person course project, IF requires students to create AI-powered Android apps to address important social issues. As stay-at-home orders went into effect in March 2020, the course shifted to the online modality and student topics were refocused to address social issues engendered by COVID-19. This paper presents three challenges and the coping strategies we employed, namely: framing students’ social innovation topics in the context of COVID-19; using virtual studios for online groupwork; and hosting a virtual pitch competition. Surprisingly, these strategies not only addressed the challenges but also created unintended benefits and opportunities. The paper hopes to encourage educators to consider the possibilities in transforming challenges to opportunities during these unprecedented times.

Stealth Theory through Instructional Scaffolding in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond

Frost, Raymond (frostr@ohio.edu)


Information systems classes often separate theory and practice, presenting the theory through lecture and practice in the form of demonstration and assignments. The purpose of the theory is to connect to prior knowledge (instructional scaffolding) while introducing new material. In the wake of COVID-19, transferring this duality into an online setting with separate theory and demonstration videos may not be successful. Most students, even the better ones, admit to skipping the theory video and going straight to the demonstration video. If the demonstration video is weak on theory, then they miss a critical component of instructional scaffolding. This paper describes techniques to interleave theory with practice to produce what might be called stealth theory. The inspiration for these techniques comes from varied sources.

Teaching Business Analytics During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Tale of Two Courses

Williams, Benjamin (Benjamin.Williams@du.edu)


This paper describes the experiences of two business faculty who taught two different levels of undergraduate business analytics courses during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, we focus on two challenges that arose during the shift to Emergency Remote Teaching: student engagement and teaching the use of software. We discuss our efforts to mitigate the effects of these problems and highlight the differences in implementing our strategies in a general-education (i.e., required for business majors) course versus an upper-level elective. Finally, we discuss lessons learned and recommendations for other educators regardless of their teaching modality.

Fighting Zoom Fatigue: Keeping the Zoombies at Bay

Urbaczewski, Andrew (andrew.urbaczewski@du.edu)


Outbreaks of COVID-19 in early 2020 caused much disruption to educational processes around the globe. Traditional classroom experiences transitioned to emergency remote ones, and with little guidance or preparation time many professors simply moved their lessons to an online video format using video conferencing systems. The methods needed for teaching effectively online are different than those from the traditional lecture formats, and as such, students often found themselves fighting online video meeting fatigue. To combat online meeting fatigue, several strategies were tested and employed and are discussed in the paper, activity switching, online small groups, and asynchronous lectures were found to be particularly effective techniques.

Programming in a Pandemic: Attaining Academic Integrity in Online Coding Courses

Goldberg, David (dgoldberg@sdsu.edu)


The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has necessitated a transition to online courses, prompting widespread consequences for higher education. Ensuring academic integrity is a serious concern in these circumstances. Drawn from my experiences teaching online programming courses, I discuss the considerable and manifold flaws in our current anti-cheating measures. I propose a series of strategies that instructors can pursue in hopes of creating assessments more resilient to cheating. Although there is no panacea, we must begin by acknowledging the problem facing us and discussing earnestly how we can refortify academic integrity.

How Working From Home During COVID-19 Affects Academic Productivity

AbuJarour, Safa'a (safaa.abujarour@uni-potsdam.de)


The COVID-19 pandemic has forced most academics to work from home. This sudden change of venue can affect the productivity of academics, exacerbating the challenges confronting universities as they face an uncertain future. This paper aims to identify factors influencing academics’ productivity while working from home during the mandate to self-isolate. Analysis of our global survey results shows that both personal and technology-related factors affect an individual’s attitude toward working from home and productivity. Results should prove valuable to the university administration to better address the work-life challenges academics face.

Teaching Online: Creating Student Engagement

Dick, Geoffrey (gfdick@aol.com)


In this time of world-wide upheaval and with universities struggling to cope with vast numbers of students being forced into online classes, student interest and engagement in their studies becomes all important. Online classes do not provide the inherent discipline of the face-to-face environment and this is exacerbated by the turmoil many find in their home lives today. This paper suggests that as instructors we have a responsibility to our students to help them to “want to be there”. Drawing on the author’s personal experiences over many years, the paper suggests that ways to achieve that are centered around building rapport, establishing communication links and using the course content to ignite and retain student interest. The paper contains several suggestions for ways this might be achieved, while acknowledging that there is no all-encompassing solution.

COVID-19: Leap-frogging 8 000 Students from Face-to-Face to Online Learning in Three Weeks

Prinsloo, Tania (tania.prinsloo@up.ac.za)


In this paper, the focus is on a large residential university having to cope with the effect on COVID-19. It has a course with approximately 8 000 students and the course had to move to an online environment in a matter of weeks. Numerous actions were taken by all stakeholders, starting from top management who supplied 2 000 loan laptops to students, suppliers who zero-rated their data bundles and assistant lecturers who made videos, voice over PowerPoint slides and even telephone consultations. This colossal effort paid off, with only a slight decrease in pass rates after the first semester. Future research includes asking the students to complete a survey on their experiences and to dissect the pass rates of both AIM 111 and AIM 101 over the three campuses where it is presented.

Pandemic Pedagogy in Online Hands-on learning for IT/IS Courses

Zha, Shenghua (shzha@southalabama.edu)


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many educational institutions have transitioned to online instruction. As a result, instructors need to investigate online small group learning opportunities to bond with their students who feel isolated from their peers because of social distancing guidelines. In this article, we discussed three key issues in online hands-on learning. These issues were interactions, equity and inclusive participation, and students’ readiness for hands-on or higher cognitive-level learning. We reflected our teaching experience during the COVID-19 and offered suggestions to help instructors plan and implement online small group hands-on learning.

Facilitating Online Learning via Zoom Breakout Room Technology – A Case of Pair Programming Involving Students with Learning Disabilities

Li, Ling (lli@odu.edu)


The COVID-19 pandemic has required many educators to redesign the delivery process of their courses. The purpose of this study is to develop innovative procedures and pedagogy to teach pair programming via Zoom breakout rooms in a cloud environment. Six fundamental innovative teaching mechanisms and procedures are reported in this article. These include strategically planning a course, effectively managing teaching resources, enhancing faculty responsiveness, selecting reliable technology, mandating online educator’s training, and accommodating students with learning disabilities. Teaching pair programming via Zoom breakout rooms has provided us valuable experience in promoting collaborative, engaging, active learning, and problem-based learning activities in a cloud environment. The results of the study have enriched our knowledge of delivering online education and have contributed to pair programming literature in general.

Coping with COVID-19 in Mexico: Actions for Educational Inclusion

Rodríguez-Abitia, Guillermo (grdrz@unam.mx)


Challenges posed by the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemics affected universities worldwide. This is especially true for educational institutions in developing nations, where social inclusion and the digital divide are topics of great relevance. This paper describes the main problems faced in the particular case of Mexico, and the actions undertaken by its main university to provide academic life continuity to its community. It also reviews items that need to be addressed in the future, not only to survive the crisis, but to benefit from it.

Instructor-learner Interaction: Pre- and Post- Interaction in an IS Technical Course

Kumi, Richard (rakumi@ualr.edu)


This paper provides an overview of how instructors can use collaboration software to facilitate post- and pre- learner-instructor interactions in online learning environments. These interactions are a vital part of teaching and often overlooked yet critical to student success. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many colleges to swiftly transition their Face to Face (F2F) classes to some form of hybrid modes to integrate synchronous and asynchronous course delivery. The lack of physical and social presence in online learning environments make it challenging for instructors to use pre- and post- instructor-learner interactions to engage students and provide immediate feedback. This practice paper contributes to teaching in a synchronous online learning environment by demonstrating how instructors can leverage collaboration software to simulate F2F instructor-learner interactions.

Utilizing Recent Graduates as Five-minute Guest Speakers to Provide Professional Socialization and Topical Context for Students

Olsen, Timothy (olsent@gonzaga.edu)


Information Systems professors sometimes employ guest speakers in the classroom. Teaching online with synchronous video affords new ways to use guest speakers. We relate the benefits of using recent alumni at the beginning of synchronous online class sessions for short question-and-answer discussions on class topics. This provides a useful context for the professor to utilize during the lecture as well as socialization into IS professions for students. Inviting professionals and recent alumni back into our classroom to "meet with" our students and provide context for lectures is easier in a time where many professionals work from home.

Effective Shifting of Software Capstone Demonstrations to an Online Experience

Davis, Karen (karen.davis@miamioh.edu )


The rapid transition to remote instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic created many challenges for students, instructors, and in the case of a capstone software development course, also clients of project teams. We describe an approach for creating and delivering a successful, online culminating event involving all stakeholders that also addresses learning outcomes such as solving open-ended problems and communicating effectively. We describe the processes and technologies utilized and offer feedback collected from participants. We conclude with lessons learned in order to improve the experience in future offerings.

From Stress to Success: Leveraging the Online Experience for Information Systems Students

Barber, Connie (cobarbe@siue.edu )


The development of the coronavirus and universities’ unprecedented and abrupt transition to remote learning were disruptions to higher education that impacted stress levels for both graduate and undergraduate students. However, remote learning could be implemented in a method with lower stress that also helps prepare students for an increasingly digital workplace. Additionally, different modes of remote learning could enable students to enhance their digital competencies. In this paper I describe a teaching practice in which I modified one undergraduate and one graduate course to reduce the stress of remote learning and provide opportunities for students to enhance their digital competencies of adaptability, conceptual thinking, and digital literacy. Overall, the students and I found the experience to be positive. I will continue this practice in online courses even once the mode of delivery for higher education campuses returns to face-to-face.

Physical Learning Environment Challenges in the Digital Divide: How to Design Effective Instruction During COVID-19?

Singh, Jang Bahadur (jbs@iimtrichy.ac.in)


Covid-19 has changed the way we work, learn, and interact with others in society. Academic institutions have responded by shifting face-to-face teaching to online instruction. However, the success of online instruction also depends on the students’ social and physical learning environment, particularly in developing countries. In this article, we discuss how learning space challenges exacerbate the digital divide. We argue that weak digital infrastructure, combined with family and social dynamics, create learning space inequality that negatively influence learning outcomes. We provide recommendations on how academic institutions can reimagine content delivery, evaluation, and student support to mitigate learning space inequalities.

Creating Accessible Videos: Captions and Transcripts

McCarron, Elizabeth (emccarron@bentley.edu )


The rapid shift to online teaching due to COVID-19 exponentially increased the use of videoconferencing/virtual classroom tools like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams. It also exposed the challenge of ensuring that all video content is accessible for all students. Captions or transcripts may be required not only to address certain student accommodations but also to fulfill an institution’s legal responsibilities, under accessibility laws, to conform to the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Captions and transcripts can be created manually, created off-site by a third-party service, or generated automatically by some recording tools. As faculty are quickly being required to adapt course materials from in-person to online, it is important to learn best practices for technology use in order to help all students succeed. This paper shares experiences and lessons learned regarding the creation and use of accessible video content for use in online courses.

How the Thread Was Lost: Misalignment of Expectations Between Students and Professors

Nittala, Lakshmi (lnittala1@udayton.edu)


We argue that many of the difficulties and frustrations that occurred during the transition to remote learning in the Spring 2020 semester occurred because of misaligned expectations between students and professors. Many of the expectations held by professors were rooted in the general expectations professors have of students who enroll in online courses, despite the fact that the students who were forced to make the switch were not doing so in the same circumstances as typical online students. Meanwhile, students’ expectations of faculty were also tied to standard norms during regular times and did not discount for the unusual circumstances created by the global pandemic. Given the unique circumstances of learning from home, faculty also needed to deal with misalignments in expectations from student families as well. We discuss these important differences and offer suggestions on how to best approach policies going forward as we inevitably have to make accommodations for students forced to make the switch in the coming semesters.

Problem-based Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Can Project Groups Save the Day?

Haslam, Christian Ravn (haslam@dps.aau.dk)


This study offers a detailed account of how a Danish problem-based-learning university adapted to the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings reveal that digital problem-based-learning mitigated some of the negative consequences of the lockdown and resulting shift to 100% online teaching. While students prefer the traditional face-to-face mode of teaching due to the energy, variation, and socialization of on-campus learning, we observed that students who have worked in project groups have a more positive experience, indicating that belonging to a project group can increase the student’s motivation to participate in online teaching activities. Our findings challenge the idea that problem-based-learning revolves around face-to-face interaction on campus. We end the article by highlighting lessons learned from this extreme situation of a rapid shift to online distance teaching.

From Synchronous Face-to-Face Group Work to Asynchronous Individual Work: Pivoting an Enterprise Modelling Course for Teaching during a COVID-19 Lockdown

Drechsler, Andreas (Andreas.Drechsler@vuw.ac.nz)


This paper outlines the challenges faced in a particular instance of an enterprise modelling (EM) course that lost the ability to have face-to-face interactions and describes a solution that proved to be at least equally effective and appreciated when moved online. The revised course design is primarily driven by exercise and assignment work, provides course content in a ‘piecemeal’ fashion, and relies almost exclusively on asynchronous interactions. This paper distils the solution into specific design features of the revised course as well as more general design principles that can be applied to other EM courses (and potentially beyond).

Stray Off-topic to Stay On-topic: Preserving Interaction and Team Morale in a Highly Collaborative Course while at a Distance

Przybilla, Leonard (leonard.przybilla@tum.de)


The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted schools and universities to shift their teaching to virtual classrooms from one day to the other. As a unique example, we had to virtualize the second half of a two-semester course on human-centered innovation, which heavily relies on direct interaction of students in small groups. In going virtual, we have found that adapting assignments is only the tip of the iceberg. Despite being familiar with the students, the real challenges were preserving high levels of creative interaction as well as surveying team morale and status. Reflecting on our experiences, we detail solutions related to the lack of creative interaction by fostering off-topic chit-chat and surveying team morale by introducing more explicit communication and seeking team consent. To help teachers adapt to virtual teaching, we discuss how our mitigation approaches, which we developed in an extreme setting requiring close, creative collaboration, may apply to virtual teaching in general.

When Worlds Collide: Framing Students’ Challenges With Stay-at-Home Learning During COVID-19 Through The Lens of Conflicting Role Identities

Nittala, Lakshmi (lnittala1@udayton.edu)


Based on a survey of undergraduate business students at a private Midwestern university we found that the abrupt mid-semester transition from campus learning to at-home online learning due to COVID-19 led to an unexpected challenge for students. Students reported that stay-at-home learning eroded support for their student role while also creating conflicts between the student role and other competing roles – such as child, sibling, or supplemental wage earner. The result was a significant lack of motivation towards completing schoolwork during stay-at-home orders. Using a framework rooted in role identity theory, we analyze this role erosion and role conflict, and suggest potential actions to faculty for mitigation of its adverse impact on learning. The suggestions provided are aimed at bolstering the student role while simultaneously reducing conflict between the student role and other competing roles. As we brace for multiple semesters of teaching during COVID-19, such efforts to facilitate positive stay-at-home learning experiences for our students will be important determinants of our academic success as well as our educational institutions’ economic viability.

Applying Innovative Technologies and Practices in the Rapid Shift to Remote Learning

Mavengere, Nicholas Blessing (nmavengere@bournemouth.ac.uk)


Shifting to remote learning during times of a crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, is very different from well-planned online learning. This paper highlights the experience of shifting to remote learning and outlines lessons learned from the experience. The COVID-19 pandemic brought a wholly new educational context, which uncovered problems such as; course delivery & assessment; communication & misinformation; and technology limitations. This highlights a gap in research on rapid mid-term shift to remote learning in times of a crisis. There are plenty of resources for Information Systems education to draw lessons for effective online learning practices. However, there is limited research on remote learning in response to a crisis, such as COVID-19. This paper presents a case study at Bournemouth University, in which a Business Systems Analysis and Design (BSAD) course was moved to remote learning during COVID-19. The results reflect on the importance of learning focus, students focus, and learning resource focus for remote learning. This includes activities to promote effective communication and information resources, student engagement and support, and remote course delivery and assessment. All these activities are essential elements in a rapid shift from blended learning to remote learning during a crisis, such as COVID-19.

Practical Tips For HyFlex Undergraduate Teaching During A Pandemic

Nittala, Lakshmi (lnittala1@udayton.edu)


Many US universities have resumed campus-based learning during COVID-19. Many instructors are considering the HyFlex approach to redesign their undergraduate courses under these special circumstances. However, a HyFlex teaching model adopted in reaction to a global pandemic is significantly different from HyFlex teaching that is strategically adopted by universities under normal conditions. In this paper, we provide actionable practical tips that will allow fellow instructors to better prepare themselves for running a COVID-19 HyFlex classroom. First, we explain how the COVID-19 HyFlex model has some key distinctions from the regular HyFlex teaching model. Then, within the COVID-19 HyFlex classroom, we focus specifically on how to effectively use group-work as the learning instrument in these types of classrooms. We consciously seek to go narrow and deep on the dimension of group work as it has the most potential to yield beneficial outcomes while also being fraught with logistical challenges in the COVID-19 HyFlex context. Our collective success with undergraduate HyFlex teaching in future academic terms during COVID-19 will determine the economic success of our universities, and the security of our jobs.

Finetuning the Evaluation Focus in the University Cooperative Learning Model in Relation to the Pandemic

Abcouwer, Toon (A.W.Abcouwer@uva.nl)


During the COVID crisis the University of Amsterdam faced a sudden change in education with radical impact being in the middle of innovating our courses based on the principles of cooperative learning. We realised that more focus on evaluation plays an important role. It helps to get a better insight, adapt the educational processes to improve the learning outcome and the learning journey of the students to function better in contemporary society. The current crisis influenced the restructuring heavily, as cooperative learning requires contact-based education, and we suddenly had to switch to online learning, which limits the opportunities for cooperation, mutual knowledge sharing and inspiration. Students needed more intensive stimulus to stay involved and active. Monitoring the learning journeys is an important task of evaluation that has to be improved. It became obvious that traditional end-of-course evaluation is no longer sufficient in the new online educational setting. We share our experience about the changing role of evaluation, as an impact of switching to online education due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We describe how evaluating the effectiveness, the success, the efficiency and the reached impacts of working online with students, as our university has decided to continue to work mainly online.

Special Section: COVID-19, Learning, Pedagogy, and Educational Systems

Van Slyke, Craig (vanslyke@latech.edu)


In spring 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic affected the information systems higher education community (along with the rest of the world) profoundly. Institutions of higher education across the globe had to quickly shift to online courses – in some cases faculty had to transition their courses in a matter of days. The CAIS Special Section: COVID-19, Learning, Pedagogy, and Educational Systems was launched to facilitate the sharing of effective practices among information systems faculty, and to provide a forum for opinions regarding the long-term consequences of COVID-19 on information systems education.