This project-based paper covers advanced topics in information systems development, while emphasising their application during an actual information systems development project. Students organise themselves into small working groups, then locate an organisation and problem appropriate to address through the development of an information system. During the paper, students will follow the phases and perform the tasks of systems planning, analysis, design and implementation. In doing so,
they must submit reports, conduct reviews, demonstrate prototypes developed, and make formal presentations at the appropriate milestones during the semester.
The paper will be of interest to those majoring in computer science and information systems and also to students in other Faculties who wish to deepen their understanding of information systems design beyond that
covered in COMP219 Database Practice and Experience, and to obtain hands-on experience with these systems in a real business environment.
COMP219 Database Practice and Experience
COMP314 Software Engineering Project
Official Timetable Information
The lecture hours will mainly be used for discussing advanced themes, methodologies, techniques, and tools for ISD. Lectures are not intended to cover the detailed technical matters that will be required for the production of the reports and prototype; this material has been covered in an introductory way in the prerequisite courses (and students are assumed to possess such knowledge). You should refer to your COMP219 textbook, your course notes, the recommended references, and material placed on desk copy at the library. Some of the lectures will give brief reviews or provide you with further information about managing (and surviving!) ISD projects. As third year students we expect you to be able to organise your time effectively, to go and find out information you need if you do not already possess it, and to be able to have reports and other material ready when required. However, the tutor and I will give you some assistance in doing so during our weekly meetings and whenever you ask for advice or assistance.
The focus of this course will be a group project to develop a real-world information system, proceeding from the problem definition stage through to creating a prototype system. Students will work in groups of 4 - 6. In the first instance, students will form themselves into groups; if necessary, the lecturer will move students between groups or add students to a group sized less than 6 members.
Each group will analyse, specify, design, and partially prototype an application system for a local business. The business will be located by the group, and the project will be agreed to by the lecturer. The project will run according to a strict timetable of deliverable parts of the final report. Effective project management of the systems design study itself, and success in meeting deadlines with professional looking materials and presentations are essential. Draft copies of the appropriate report sections required by the timetable are prepared and presented both in written and oral form by the group to the lecturer, tutors, and the class. Structured walkthroughs are done at all stages to elicit and encourage peer review of the prototypes you develop. While MS Access is provided, the technology used for the prototype is up to the group, but must be demonstrable in presentations and agreed to by the lecturer.
On average you should expect to spend about 16 hours per week on this class. This figure includes lectures, reading, assignments, meetings, and system development.
Hoffer, J., et al Modern Systems Analysis and Design. (3nd edition) Prentice-Hall, 2013.
- Brooks, F.P. The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Addison-Wesley, 1975.
- Phillips, D. The Software Project Manager’s Handbook: Principles that Work at Work. IEEE Computer Society Press, 1998.
- Sides, C.H. How to write and present technical information, Oryx Press, 1991.
Internal assessment/final examination ratio 1:0
An overall mark of 50% is required for a pass. The individual essay, individual assignments, and individual portion of the group presentation are compulsory items of assessment.
Class attendance is expected. Attendance at group presentations is particularly important; roll will be taken and participation will be part of your grade. The course notes provided are not comprehensive, with additional material covered in class. You are responsible for all material covered in class. Failure to maintain professional behaviour—including attendance at meetings with lecturer and tutor—will result in a loss of course marks. Failure to attend class presentations by student groups will result in a loss of marks.
Tutorials will be offered in weeks 4-6 of the teaching term, to give you additional support in developing your deliverables. You will attend the tutorials as an individual; all group members do not have to attend the same tutorial slot. Note that assignments given in tutorials must be individually completed.
- If you become sick or have any special need, please let us know as soon as possible. We are very willing to help if you come to see us, leave us a note or send us an email message.
- Please ask questions if you need further explanations or help. You can ask either of the lecturer or your tutor. The best way to contact me or ask basic questions is via email - send mail to email@example.com. Alternately, please feel free to make and appointment and come and see me: my office is in G1.27, and my telephone number is 838-4402.
PLEASE COME AND SEE ME IF YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE OR NEED FURTHER EXPLANATIONS OR HELP.
- If there is a problem within your group please let me know as soon as possible so we can work it out to everyone’s satisfaction. I don’t want you to have to come to me on the last day of the year and tell me about group participation problems which have been going on for months!!
- While there are scheduled group meetings with either me or a tutor every week, you may need to come and see me at other times, either individually or as a group, to discuss particular problems that have arisen or to discuss ideas you have. I am very willing for you to do this, but it would be helpful if you can arrange a time with me first (preferably via email), as it helps me to manage other time commitments we have.
- The most important aspect of 315 is your own group’s organisation, both in terms of time management and delegation of tasks among group members. Ultimately I can only advise you on how to go about tackling a piece of work—you need to have regular meetings to discuss dividing up tasks, checking on progress and collating results. Previous years’ experience has shown that it is always the case that the better organised the group, the better grades the group members get.
MAKE SURE YOU MEET AS A GROUP REGULARLY AND DISCUSS THE WORK YOU ARE DOING THOROUGHLY.
Nilesh Kanji (firstname.lastname@example.org; R.G.13)
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