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Undergraduate Degrees, Majors and Concentrations

Communications and Information Systems  
List of all courses and their descriptions
List of all courses, their descriptions and offerings in the schedule book

DISC8110 - The Information Age Organiztn
Spring 2015: Doctora

This Inquiry Seminar focuses on the dramatic changes within organizations in the late 20th century as affected by information technology and such elements of change as restructuring, entrepreneurship, and managing the complex organization. Through a series of case analyses, students explore the design of the information age organization and the information infrastructure required to support it. The organizations featured in the cases have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, organizational designs that embody the characteristics of the information age drawn from field research. The course also includes consideration of problem analysis strategies rooted in classical rhetoric as a means to understand better the elements of the cases. 3 credits.
3 Credits

DISC8120 - Tech, Human Commun & Info Trf
Spring 2015: Doctora

This Inquiry Seminar focuses on the relationship between technology, particularly information systems, and human communication and interaction. The course explores four major questions: (1) Is technology the chief characteristic of society today? (2) What is the proper role of information systems in society and business today? (3) What are the primary effects of the rapid development of technology and information systems on individual and group communications, organizational problem-solving and decision-making, and on the transfer of knowledge from one sector of society to another? (4) Which communications and information theories can clarify the technology-human communication interface and provide a foundation for decision-making? Through readings and discussions, lectures, case analyses, panel discussions, video series and guest presentations, the course will cover five major topics: (1) Technology, Information Systems and Society which considers the nature of the technology, the explosion of applications of information systems and the advantages and disadvantages of technological progress; (2) Human Communication which investigates the impact of technology on human perception, interpersonal communications, teamwork and mediated communications; (3) Organizational Issues which focuses on new organizational structures, knowledge management and the implications of decision-making software; (4) Information Transfer which asks questions about the speed of information transfer, the almost exclusive use of the English language, and the relationship of information transfer to innovation; and (5) Final Questions and Answers section which poses major questions about the role of work in an information society, about who will make decisions--people or computer programs, and provide a summary of theory which can lay a foundation for answers to these questions. 3 credits.
3 Credits

DISC8130 - Cult,Values,Tech In Global Env
Spring 2015: Doctora

This inquiry seminar provides the student with an integrative frame of reference for understanding and accessing the impact of technology in an increasingly more diverse global context. Cultures and social structures, including politics, religion, and value systems, are interrelated with economic development and the analysis, design, implementation, maintenance, and evaluation of information and information systems. Ethical dimensions of communication-information situations and decisions within organizations and in a global society are treated.
3 Credits

DISC8140 - Info Systems In Legal Contexts
Spring 2015: Doctora

The inquiry seminar explores complex legal issues involved in information technology. Students consult and then develop case studies and vertical industry studies to examine the legal context of information technology in organizational and societal settings. Topics include: suitability, potential problems, limitations of information security and privacy issues. The course also reviews management and legal constraints and the treatment of information technology by consumer groups, trade associations, and regulatory initiatives.
3 Credits

DISC8150 - Economics Of Info Systems
Spring 2015: Doctora

This Inquiry Seminar focuses on examining and managing the increased complications of defining costs and benefits under an increased sense of urgency in making decisions about information technology and its competitive implications and impacts on the organization. The seminar develops the ability to assess information technology investments and their impact on improved business performance and total organizational costs. Cost is developed and expanded as a concept to include the numerous ways information technology investments can negatively affect the organization. Emphasis is on a decision-making process that forces a shift in management focus away from information technology to the effect technology has on the business itself.
3 Credits

DISC8160 - Knowledge Management
Spring 2015: Doctora

This Inquiry Seminar presents the concept of information and data management within the framework of organizational or corporate information systems used in organizational decision-making processes. Some of the topics covered include: decision making and problem solving situations in information and data management; the relationship of managing and decision making; problem-solving models and decision-making procedures; information needs and requirements, analysis, and modeling; group decision making processes and models for information and data management; organizational, political and ethical issues of information and data management; information and data modeling and design issues; cultural dimensions of information and data management; information and data management styles; cognitive and emotional styles influencing information and data management; and the organization and representation of information as reflected in a chosen mode of communication and their effect on interface design and decision processes. The seminar is divided into four modules: Organizational Issues and Data/Information Management; DSS Components in Context; DSS and International Considerations; and Future Technology, Data/Information Management and Communication Challenges.
3 Credits

DISC8170 - Ldrshp,Str Prob Solv,Org Chg
Spring 2015: Doctora

This inquiry seminar presents the use of information and information systems as corporate resources and tools for strategic planning, leadership, and organizational management. Topics include corporate goals and information system goals; information as a corporate resource; strategic planning and information system support; managing the process of planning by information systems; business processes and information system modeling; the information system as a change agent; corporate leadership and information use; and the relationship of managerial needs, corporate objectives, and information systems.
3 Credits

DISC8710 - Appl Quan Meth To Info Syst
Spring 2015: Doctora

This Field Investigation Seminar provides students with practice using quantitative methods to evaluate, adapt, improve, or verify the effectiveness of information systems and technology in an organizational or other social setting. As such, the course surveys traditional social science research methodologies--survey methods, experiments, content analysis, and evaluation research--and reviews their application in optimizing and trouble-shooting human developed systems for the storage, retrieval, transfer, and creation of information. Course includes readings and discussions, demonstrations, case analysis, analysis. 3 credits.
3 Credits

DISC8720 - Ethnography Of Info Systms
Spring 2015: Doctora

This field investigation seminar examines how ethnographic methods may be used (a) to analyze information-based work practices and, in turn, (b) to inform the design of informational systems to be sensitive to those who use them. Typically, information-based practices are highly distributed (shared by many parts of a single organization), infrastructural and radidly changing--features that have required those in information sciences who draw on ethnography to being modifying its classical principles and tools. For this reason, the focus is on using ethnographic methods within specific information-based domains (e.g. governmental and industrial sites, business and scientific organizations) and for specific purposes that are relevant to the science of information systems (e.g. workplace assessment of new technologies, requirements engineering, and participatory design). Grounded in this way, the course aims to help students develop the judgment necessary to design, test, and evaluate effective information systems of the future. 3 credits
3 Credits

DISC8730 - Sys/ Usablty, Studies,Tst, Dsn
Spring 2015: Doctora

This Field Investigation Seminar focuses on the identification and specification of user needs or information requirements and its practical applications. The course investigates usability and its consequences for information design in regard to hard copy documents, screen displays, presentational materials, user interfaces and other information system displays and reports. This course stresses the importance of choosing the appropriate user test for the test goals. Particular attention is paid to creating testable objectives, conducting pilot tests and user tests, and analyzing test results, as related to the applied nature of possible field projects. This course focuses on methods from perspectives grounded chiefly in cognitive psychology.
3 Credits

DISC8740 - Read In Info Syst/Comm Res
Spring 2015

This course presents an overview of qualitative research traditions and methods and focuses to depth investigation of five specific methods: case study, ethnography, narrative, phenomenology, and grounded theory. Using literature featuring diverse methods, students map the correlation between the review of the literature and methods section of a research study and evaluate academic research for conformity to a specific methodological approach.
3 Credits

DISC9110 - Data Warehousing
Spring 2015: Doctora

provides an introduction to, strategies for, and applications of data mining, also known as knowledge discovery in databases. Data mining, "the nontrivial extraction of implicit, previously unknown, and potentially useful information from data," uses machine learning, statistical and visualization techniques to discover and present knowledge in a form which is easily comprehensible to humans. The course focuses on the analysis of data and the use of software techniques for finding patterns and regularities in sets of data. In particular, the course emphasizes data mining analysis which works from the data up and employs the best techniques developed with an orientation towards large volumes of data, making use of as much of the collected data as possible to arrive at reliable conclusions and decisions. The analysis process starts with a set of data, uses a methodology to develop an optimal representation of the structure of the data during which time knowledge is acquired. Once knowledge has been acquired in a particular field, students will extend this knowledge to larger sets of data working on the assumption that the larger data set has a structure similar to the sample data. Applications will be across the fields relevant to students careers and interests. 3 Credits.
3 Credits

DISC9310 - Spec Topics In Is and Comm
Spring 2015: Doctora

This seminar focuses on problems like the technical, management and legal aspects of the Year 2000 computer problem and its ramifications in small and large businesses and organizations. Using the Year 2000 problem (Y2K) as a current example of a significant technology-based problem that affects the survival and bottom line of businesses worldwide, the course investigates in-depth the following topics: the intricate networking of information and data exchange systems within and among organizations; mainframe systems and applications, PC and network systems and applications, and embedded chip issues as related to the Y2K technical problem and potential solution sets; budgetary and management impact of resolving or ignoring the problem; five-step strategy for addressing the problem and conducting institutional audits of the Y2K problem; cost analysis and financial planning; risk and impact assessment strategies; legal issues related to personal and organizational liability, software/hardware licenses and agreements; SEC, FASB, and other compliance regulations; and auditing. Related communication issues are integrated with these topics. Students are required to conduct an audit of the Y2K situation in their (or in another) organization and report on the problems and strategies used to address the problem. Course includes readings and discussions, demonstrations, RMC/PBS Y2K video series, case analysis, panel discussions, and guest expert lectures. 6 credits
3 Credits

DISC9510 - Field Project I-Research
Spring 2015: Doctora

Field Project I is the capstone seminar of the process of inquiry and investigation, as well as the first step toward the development of a field-based inquiry. The course synthesizes the modes in inquiry and investigation, and ways of constituting evidence discussed in previous seminars. Synthesis occurs in the process of writing and presenting a formal proposal for a field project, as well as in the discussion of each other's proposals in the seminar. The course focuses on the delineation of a field problem and the plan for conducting substantive research leading to the resolution of or recommendations on the problem. After examining the theoretical bases of problem-solving methodology from the perspectives of rhtetoric and information science, the student will write a formal state-of-the-art proposal that defines a problem and its context, evaluates the current status of the problem, surveys relevant research related to the problem, and evaluates that research. The seminar requires students to demonstrate an ability to present a plan for finding, evaluating, organizing and presenting data and information on a focused area of investigation. Field Project I also includes the assembly of a portfolio of doctoral candidacy status. 3 Credits
3 Credits

DISC9515 - Proposal Development Seminar
Spring 2015

Focuses on the design, development, and writing of a field project. Emphasis is on research, organization, argument development, format, presentation and defense of the field project proposal. 3 credits
3 Credits

DISC9517 - Research Design Seminar
Spring 2015: Doctora

This course is designed to enable students to understand and apply research methods drawn from Communications and Information Systems methodologies, for collecting data to answer field project research questions. The course includes instruction and practice in sampling, instrumentation, and data collection procedures for both qualitative and quantitative methods in order to construct feasible and purposeful research designs. Primary focus will be on methods most appropriate for students? needs, but a range of methods will be covered to ensure familiarity with typical designs in Communications and Information Systems fields, both as a consumer of research and a practitioner. Ethical issues in research will be examined, and researcher assumptions and design limitations will be addressed as research designs are drafted. The aims are to prepare students to complete the Proposal Methodology chapter.
3 Credits

DISC9520 - Field Project II - Research
Spring 2015

This course continues the capstone experience of Field Project I. With an approved proposal for the field investigation and admission to doctoral candidacy, the student applies his/her knowledge and investigative strategies within a corporate, professional, or educational context. Working with a faculty advisor and a field-based informant, the student addresses the complex problem proposed in Field Project I and develops a viable solution to that problem.
Prerequisites: Field Project I and Admisison to the Doctoral Candidacy. 6 Credits
6 Credits

DISC9525 - Advanced Methology Seminar
Spring 2015: Doctora

Focuses on the data gathering and analysis process associated with the field process research. 3 credits
3 Credits

DISC9530 - Field Project III - Research
Spring 2015: Doctora

Continues the capstone experience of Field Project II. At the completion of the field investigation, the student presents his/her investigative methods, findings, and solutions to the problem in a written document that conforms to the needs of the audience to whom the solutions are addressed and makes a formal presentation of the invetigation. Successful completion of the written and oral presentations of the field project is required for completion of the degree. A committee of doctoral faculty will assess the written and oral presentations.
Prerequisites: Field Project II and Admission to the Doctoral Candidacy.
6 Credits

DISC9535 - Field Project Develop Seminar
Spring 2015: Doctora

Field Porject III (Seminar) focuses on the desigh, organization, writing, and defense of the field project. 3 Credits
3 Credits

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