Class activities (20%)
Class activities include preparation specified for each class and discussion in class (together 10 points) as well as student presentations (10 points) during the semester. Students are expected to read the prescribed material (papers provide via Moodle), keep notes on their reading and complete any tasks required before a class. Preparation for classes will help students' contribution to class discussions.
As part of their active engagements, students will present selected theories (based on mutually agreed references) in class throughout the semester. The selection of theories will be made based on students interests. Presentation of a theory will involve ppt slides and handouts and will normally take 40 min. followed by class discussion. The assessment will be based on the quality of presentation and the interaction with other students.
Assignment #1 Short essay on an IS theory (15%)
This individual assignment is a short essay (1000 words) on an IS theory that a student chooses in consultation with the lecturer. The purpose of this assignment is to develop and demonstrate understanding of a theory, its implications and relevance; this assignment will also contribute to the development of students’ written and oral communication skills.
Students should choose a specific IS theory and identify key references in which it is described and used. The essay should include a short description of the theory, theory development, application or testing (whatever is applicable), theory implication and relevance, and also how it has been critiqued. It is desirable that the student expresses his/her own view and critique of the selected theory. The essay has to be brief and not exceed 1000 words (references are not counted). Students will present their selected theories in relevant classes.
Assignment #1 is marked out of 15 based on the quality of the written report and presentation (specifications and assessment guide is provided via Moodle).
Assignment #2 Essay: Compare and contrast two theories (25%)
This individual assignment involves a discussion that compares and contrasts two theories written in a form of an essay. The purpose of this assignment is to develop a more in-depth understanding of two competing theories or theoretical approaches and also foster critical assessment and debate about them; furthermore, this assignment will contribute to advancement of writing and argumentation skills as well as engagement in theoretical debates.
Students should compare and contrast two competing IS theories or two theoretical approaches related to a particular phenomenon. More detailed specification of the assignment #2 will be provided via Moodle.
Assignment #2 essay should not exceed 2000 words excluding references, figures and appendices (if needed). Assignment should list a full set of cited references, using Endnote. Text is to be typed using 12 point font and 1.5 line spacing.
Students will also present their key arguments on the two selected theories in relevant classes.
Marking criteria involve both written essay and the presentation and will focus on the quality of argument in comparing, contrasting and critically assessing theories (assignment specification and marking guide document can be downloaded from Moodle). Word count will be checked and marks will be deducted for excessively long reports.
Assignment #3 Project: Development or application of a theory (40%)
This individual assignment is a kind of a project in which students attempt to apply a theory to a specific research problem in a new way or develop a theory (based on the literature) to address a research problem. This may be related to a student’s research thesis. The purpose of this assignment is to demonstrate ability to apply a selected (and potentially modified) theory or develop a new theory that will inform an empirical study and allow novel insights.
It might be useful to think of this assignment as a theoretical foundation or discussion useful for a thesis and/or a journal article. Accordingly, the assignment should be written in a style similar to an article in a top tier academic outlet.
The text should not exceed 4000 words, excluding references, tables, figures, or appendices (if applicable). Each assignment is to be accompanied by a full set of cited references (using Endnote). The text should be typed using 12 point font and 1.5 line spacing.
Students are expected to present drafts of this assignment in relevant classes (to be determined during the semester – depending on the type of theory and topic).
Written assignments and presentations will be marked based on the quality, strength and soundness of the theory application or development, the quality of writing as well as presentation (detailed assignment #3 specification are available on Moodle). Marks will be deducted for excessively long reports.