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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

The fundamental goal of this study was to investigate the effects of an experience-based learning environment on information systems students' knowledge structure. The learning environment was structured in a way consistent with the problem solving approaches used by information systems experts. The focus of this paper is to report the assessment of the knowledge structure of the information systems learners in a self-managed and experience-based learning environment. The key issue here is whether information systems students can develop the necessary cognitive skills in such learning environment. To assess the knowledge structure of the learners, this study designed three research instruments that included a declarative-knowledge test, a problem-solving task, and a similarity-judgment task. The analysis results suggested that the learning outcome in this experience-based learning environment was very positive. The environment that imposed an expert-like organization both on information gathering and on problem solving activities resulted in improved problem-solving skills. The learners mastered the necessary declarative knowledge, as well as developed domain-specific basic skill and strategies.

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