Journal of Information Systems Education


Assessment and programs of continuous improvement are becoming wide-spread in higher education. Several of the questions about assessment are concerned with its costs as compared to its benefits. This paper provides the results of an assessment effort for the introductory computer course in a large college of business and shows that assessment can be a valuable experience because of the information the process can provide and its ability to demonstrate, objectively, that learning is occurring. The members of a large introductory computing class were given “before” and “after” examinations to measure directly the increase in their level of knowledge about computers and their level of computing expertise over the semester term. They were also examined as to attitudes, specifically their personal preferences for risk, a possible metaphor for their increase in computing experience and expertise. The results of the two “snapshots” showed that much learning occurred during the course and that certain preferences for risk changed as the students gained information technology skills. The assessment effort provided input into the development of the course and identified areas in which the course could be improved.



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