Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Information is a term widely but carelessly used in our day-to-day language While used poorly as a common expression, a growing number of recent publications on information have identified the importance of the term for both IS research and practice. Most of these publications, seeking to anchor the term more specifically, attribute meaning to information to distinguish it from data. In this paper, we present several in-class exercises we have developed to help students understand the implications of this semantic distinction. While one can use these exercises to teach and explain any semantic theory of information, they were originally designed to reinforce a particular semantic theory of information—the difference theory of information (McKinney & Yoos, n.d.). We discuss the lessons we learned and the paper’s limitations and implications.





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