Information and Communication Systems

The course provides students with the opportunity to gain an overall understanding of information and communication systems, their development, management, application, implementation and their impact upon organisations, in particular in an SME context. Students will develop the knowledge and skills to use and manage information and communication systems to effectively and efficiently support business processes, improve business decision-making and gain a competitive advantage. The course will enable students to recognise the impact and value of information systems in business, in particular supporting managerial decision-making and strategic advantage from the perspective of both a user and that of a manager. Through practical tasks and assignments, students will also gain an understanding of data and process modelling.

• Strategic role of information and communication systems and historical progress

• Principles and theory of information and communication systems

• Business processes: business processes using information and communication

systems, interfacing different business processes, data and process modelling techniques, management information systems, decision support systems and the Internet as a strategic business tool; Big Data

• Technological building blocks for information systems

• Project management of ICS-projects: project initiation, feasibility and planning, defining project quality issues and project quality plans

• Different methods of procuring and delivery of information systems: buying applications, outsourcing, customizing, developing

• Information systems development, including a look at various systems development methodologies, get an understanding of the systems development life cycle, and the role of a system analyst in this process

• Ethical, legal and security issues concerning IS

On successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • demonstrate a critical awareness and understanding of Information and Communication Systems at the master's level that provides a basis for developing and/or applying new ideas, often within a research context.
  • apply knowledge, critical understanding, and problem-solving abilities in new or unfamiliar environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to their field of study (Information and Communication Systems)
  • assimilate knowledge and formulate opinions with incomplete or limited information, but that include a reflection on social and ethical responsibilities.
  • communicate their assumptions, and knowledge regarding Information and Communication Systems and the rationale underpinning these, to specialist and non-specialist audiences clearly and unambiguously.
  • use the acquired skills to allow them to continue to study in a manner that may be largely self-directed and autonomous.
  • integrate knowledge from other courses of the master program and practical business and formulate critical judgments with incomplete data.

The course is offered as self-study in e-learning. The learning material is provided in the form of lectures, literature, and lecture notes. Independent learning is required. In the case of paper submissions, further research is expected in compliance with the given scientific standard. LIVE course sessions are offered to support the students with questions regarding the content. Students are supported in their scientific work by corresponding online seminars.

All lectures and learning materials are made available in the online campus GHU Campus. Students can participate in LIVE course sessions and get in direct contact with the lecturers. All lectures are recorded and are available for download 24/7. The lecture notes, as well as additional material provided by the lecturer, can also be accessed in the GHU Campus.

Documents for exam preparation consisting of lectures and lecture notes. Additional material provided by the lecturer serves as independent files and can be used to work on the exams. The examination comprises theory questions, reflection, and case study and is intended to confirm all learning objectives.

The assessment consists of a 5000-word Information and Communication Systems report and assesses all learning outcomes. As a master-level assignment, the report requires a command of a complex and specialized area of knowledge and skills. This implies that, in addition to demonstrating a sound grasp of the ideas and concepts relevant to the topic of thereport, students will show that they can evaluate aspects such as conventions of approaches, their internal consistency, relevance, and applicability, as well as strengths and weaknesses.

To reach an assessment, students will consider competing approaches and draw on critiques put forward in scholarly literature. The position adopted in the assignment and any claims made must be based on a careful, coherent, and logical arguments, need to be appropriately supported with evidence from relevant scholarly sources, and should be presented in a coherent piece of writing. Sources must be referenced appropriately in-text and in a quote/reference list as set out in the GHU Referencing Guidelines.

Mqondisi Bhebhe

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