Information Systems Education Journal

Volume 13

V13 N4 Pages 12-23

July 2015

Live, Model, Learn: Experiencing Information Systems Requirements through Simulation

Kathleen Hartzel
Duquesne University
Pittsburgh, PA 15282, USA

Jacqueline C. Pike
Duquesne University
Pittsburgh, PA 15282, USA

Abstract: Information System professionals strive to determine requirements by interviewing clients, observing activities at the client’s site, and studying existing system documentation. Still this often leads to vague and inaccurate requirements documentation. When teaching the skills needed to determine requirements, it is important to recreate a realistic environment to develop analytical thinking skills. To address this, we developed a simulation for students to learn requirements gathering and analysis where they experience the requirements by operating a fictitious manufacturing firm. The students manage and operate the company, taking on a variety of employee roles from the physical “manufacturing” to the order-taking to the purchasing of component parts. With this pedagogical approach, students deal with the messiness of the problem by drawing on their own experience working in the manufacturing firm, making assumptions, and having the opportunity to verify their assumptions and analyses by working with their classmates. The simulation was implemented across two courses in an undergraduate information systems program.

Keywords: simulation, Modeling, Pedagogy, requirements determination, active learning

Download this article: ISEDJ - V13 N4 Page 12.pdf

Recommended Citation: Hartzel, K., Pike, J. C. (2015). Live, Model, Learn: Experiencing Information Systems Requirements through Simulation. Information Systems Education Journal, 13(4) pp 12-23. ISSN: 1545-679X. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of ISECON 2014)