Information Systems

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Research & Publications

Information Systems faculty are not only accomplished educators, but they are recognized experts in their field. Their research covers topics in the areas of electronic commerce, technology supported collaboration, IT governance, IS pedagogy, and other areas of IS. The faculty in this area regularly publish in academic journals as well as collaborate with students in areas of undergraduate research.

Recent publications include:

Mitchell, A. (2018). Small business website development: Enhancing the student experience through community-based service learning. Journal of the Midwest Association for Information Systems, 2(4), 33-45.

Small-scale retail and service businesses often do not have the knowledge, skills, time or money to develop an online web presence. These small businesses recognize that in order to be competitive they need to use technology and have an online presence in order to attract customers. At the same time, research suggests that students can benefit from projects that provide real world experience. Community-based, experiential service learning offers a way for students to work on realistic and valuable projects while benefitting small-scale retail and service business owners. Therefore, this research uses experiential service learning as a way to meet the web development needs of small businesses while providing students with a real-world educational experience. This study presents the findings in terms of impact and lessons learned from a student partnership with small-scale businesses from a small community for experiential service-learning website development.

Strader, T. & Bryant, A. (2018). University Opportunities, Abilities and Motivations to Create Data Analytics Programs. Journal of the Midwest Association for Information Systems, 1, 37-48.

Some US colleges and universities have developed undergraduate and graduate data analytics programs in the past five years, but not all universities appear to have sufficient resources and incentives to venture into this multidisciplinary academic area.  The purpose of this study is to identify the characteristics of schools that have developed data analytics programs.  The study utilizes the motivation-ability-opportunity (MAO) theoretical framework to identify factors that increase the likelihood that a university will develop a data analytics program.  An analysis of 391 regional master’s universities in the US finds that schools with data analytics programs are more likely to be in larger cities and have larger student enrollments, better educational quality rankings, and an existing statistics and/or actuarial science program.  These findings support the idea that data analytics programs are more likely to be created when universities have opportunities to access a larger number of businesses and governmental organizations, and sufficient resources to support program development, while also having abilities associated with innovation and faculty resources.  Preliminary results also indicate that there are two motivations –need to increase student enrollment and need to maintain an up-to-date curriculum.

Mitchell, A., Petter, S., & Harris, A. (2017). Learning by doing: Twenty successful active learning exercises for information systems courses. Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice, 16, 21-46.

This paper provides a review of previously published work related to active learning in information systems (IS) courses. There are a rising number of strategies in higher education that offer promise in regards to getting students’ attention and helping them learn, such as flipped classrooms and offering courses online. These learning strategies are part of the pedagogical technique known as active learning. Active learning is a strategy that became popular in the early 1990s and has proven itself as a valid tool for helping students to be engaged with learning. This work follows a systematic method for identifying and coding previous research based on an aspect of interest. The authors identified and assessed research through a search of ABI/Inform scholarly journal abstracts and keywords, as well as additional research databases, using the search terms “active learning” and “information systems” from 2000 through June 2016. This synthesis of active learning exercises provides guidance for information technology faculty looking to implement active learning strategies in their classroom by demonstrating how IS faculty might begin to introduce more active learning techniques in their teaching as well as by presenting a sample teaching agenda for a class that uses a mix of active and passive learning techniques to engage student learning.

Strader, T. (2017). Identifying Effective Online Service Strategies: The Impact of Network Externalities and Organizational Lifecycle Stage. Journal of International Technology and Information Management, 26(3), 1-19.

This study presents a framework for identifying effective online transaction-based service strategies that incorporates network externalities and organizational life cycle theories. The framework considers changes in marginal costs, marginal revenues, and service value as the company moves through its initial three life cycle stages (start-up, growth, and maturity). Propositions describe potentially effective strategies for service sites in each lifecycle stage. Each of the propositions is supported by real-world strategy examples and research related findings from three industries – online auctions, online career services and online travel services. Start-up strategies must focus on increasing the number of service users, growth companies need to differentiate themselves from their competitors, and large mature service providers can take advantage of their financial resources and service value by raising entry barriers to maintain their dominant position. This study provides a multi-theory perspective that can be used as a basis for further study of strategies used in these industries.