Journal of Information Systems Education


While making decisions on curriculum content, many colleges have to resolve the conflict between teaching the traditional skills required by future employers of their students, and teaching new technology. These decisions are further constrained by the limited number of courses available for the major. One such conflict is between teaching COBOL and teaching Object-Oriented (O-O) techniques. A review of the current literature, both practitioner and academic, clearly indicates that the teaching of the O-O paradigm needs to be included within MIS curricula. Two approaches can be taken: to integrate the teaching of O-O concepts into several courses spread across the curriculum; or to teach a single course covering the entire O-O model. It is suggested that the more practical approach is to distribute the teaching of O-O concepts across several courses. In particular, the elements of encapsulation and modularity can be addressed in a beg course covering the COBOL language. The paper begins with a literature review and an explanation of the major elements of the O-O model. The paper then describes a student project that was developed to introduce two of these concepts in a course in COBOL.



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