I am now at Boston College and have a lot more to say about my teaching and new developments. Stay tuned…

Older info on my teaching

While an active research agenda is vitally important to me, I have come to appreciate that I am passionate about teaching and focus significant creative energy on both curriculum development and the classroom itself.

In recent years I have taught the introductory information systems course in the undergraduate program, an object-oriented analysis and design course at the graduate level, as well as several technology intensives, also at the graduate level.

A particularly important contribution I have made at BU is helping to develop new course materials. I have been an active contributor to the curriculum for BU’s MS-MBA program since its inception. Students in this program earn an MBA together with a Masters in Information Systems. My involvement has been primarily with the technical courses in the MS-MBA curriculum. The best known of these is what is referred to as the “summer intensives” where students get 8 credits of technology coursework in 3 weeks. I have been involved in the development and delivery of the systems architecture component of that coursework along with the “third week,” a two credit course which is meant as an opportunity for students to apply technical concepts at the business level. In that latter course I have developed teaching materials focused on telematics (the future of OnStar), as well as course materials and exercises focusing on IT in healthcare. For this latter, I have led the development of student projects ranging over a wide range of topics, including physician offices, medical records sharing, innovation in the hospital, home medical devices, and personal health records. To support student teams in these projects I adapted ideas from the Unified Process and object oriented design to give students a “business level” methodology for describing their proposed innovations. Most recently I walked our (mostly non-technical) students through creating a web application using Google’s AppEngine platform.

Another, more recent, curriculum development effort has focused on a one week winter intensive intended to prepare students for the summer intensives. This introductory course focuses on basic concepts of modularity and architecture. I have developed material on those topics and, together with a colleague, have developed an exercise to take non-programmers through a three day sequence in which they start learning the Python programming language on day one and finish on day three by working with classmates to develop a (simple, non-graphical) user interface for restaurant patrons in a restaurant of their own devising. We presented this work at AMCIS in the summer of 2011.

I have also developed some innovative material in the graduate system design course which I presented at WITS in 2010, and for which I won a “Best Instructional Technology” award.

At the undergraduate level I have been involved in the design of the information systems component of BU’s cross-functional core course required of all Juniors at the School of Management. I have developed teaching materials and other student resources for several web technologies, including Joomla!, WordPress, and Dreamweaver. I developed a simple but effective set of screencasts to walk students through the skills necessary to complete a simple homework assignment using Microsoft’s Access database management system. This last was especially important in this course since limited class time was available to cover some of these techniques.

I have also created a range of smaller-scale classroom innovations including:

  • having students play the parts of components of a computer system and act out the flow of control in a CPU as it executes a series of machine language instructions, and
  • using candy to illustrate the operation of a data warehouse and also to illustrate how information flows across the internet.

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