Designing an information systems development course to incorporate agility, flexibility, and adaptability

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 22 - Publication in policy or professional journal

5 Scopus Citations
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  • Chuan-Hoo Tan
  • Wee-Kek Tan
  • Hock-Hai Teo

Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-194
Journal / PublicationCommunications of the Association for Information Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


Managing changing business environments and requirements in Information Systems (IS) development is becoming increasingly important. IS development project courses could thus benefit from the infusion of agile, flexible, and adaptable processes. This article reports two years of continuous effort in refining the IS development project course in the National University of Singapore to illustrate how undergraduate students could be effectively taught the agile IS development approach. The course design process was based on the system approach model to instructional design and followed the principles of instructional events suggested by Dick and Carey [1991] and Gagne et al. [1992]. Input from students, as well as pedagogic principles drawn from the extant literature, were used to rigorously refine the course design over time. The final course design exhibits five distinctive characteristics. The two most important characteristics were (1) the adoption of a hybrid agile methodology incorporating the best practices in both coding and project management drawn from three established agile methodologies, and (2) the introduction of requirement shocks at appropriate junctures to train students to react to changes in business requirements. The effectiveness of the course design was assessed using objective measures of learning operationalized as the numerical scores obtained by students. Statistical analysis results indicate that the students who were taught using the final course design obtained higher scores than those who were taught with the initial design. Our course design effort was, therefore, deemed successful. © 2010 by the authors.

Research Area(s)

  • Agile information systems development, Course design