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INFO 101: Developing an International Approach
INFO101 tutor and international student Nadia Ali (right), from India, helps one of her student groups
The first challenge SIM's Undergraduate Manager, Korean-born Simon Park, faced while studying in New Zealand was when his Auckland teacher got frustrated with him for not following her instructions. He wasn't being deliberately disobedient, he says -- he simply hadn't understood.
As course coordinator for first-year Information Systems course INFO 101, Simon is part of a faculty-wide pilot project to ensure that international students are not only better at understanding and being understood, but that they are also more active participants in the classroom.
"In the first tutorial we try to mix students up, so that international students are not just sticking together -- we also have some tutors who are international students," says Simon.
"The first few tutorials include some fun activities so that students get to know each other and are comfortable working together."
The joint initiative with Student Learning Support Services (SLSS), sponsored by Victoria's Learning and Teaching Development Fund, aims to provide an international experience for all students, and to produce students who can function effectively as global leaders.
"For our international students, we want them to feel more at home and happy talking about how things work in their country -- and for our domestic students, we want them to be more aware of the international perspectives from those around them," says Associate Professor Vicky Mabin.
SLSS facilitators, led by project co-leader Karen Commons, have been working with a number of FCA staff, tutors and lecturers. Together, they have been developing new teaching activities that incorporate multicultural perspectives. There is an emphasis on active, experiential learning -- such as role plays, group discussions and student panels. Karen says the best thing about the new approaches is that the students are learning from each other.
"The next step in our project is to review course material to ensure global perspectives and examples become an integral part of the curriculum."
SIM Staff Tops in Postgrad Students Popularity Poll
Dr Brenda Chawner (Most Popular Lecturer) and Professor Sid Huff (Most Popular Supervisor) were both delighted with their 2011 Victorias Awards, organised by the Postgraduate Students' Association to recognise and celebrate excellence at Victoria University. Read more about the Victorias Awards »
SIM Staff Awarded Research Funding
There was good news for two of our staff members at the end of the year with funding for their research projects. Dr Mary Tate is part of an international team awarded a $125,000 Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery grant to research a global Information Systems success measurement model; and Dr Chern Li Liew receives $19,000 from the University 2012 Research fund for her work on "Service Success in Asia: Spotlight on South East Asia".
Hons Student Wins NZCS Research Competition
Congratulations to our BCA(Hons) student Azim Ali, who has won the Wellington NZ Computer Society's Research Competition with "A Qualitative Study of the IS-Impact of SAP in a Large Organization". The competition, with a maximum of six competitors and first prize of $400, show-cases the best student research from tertiary institutions in the region and covers computer science and engineering, design, and information systems disciplines. Azim, who was supervised by Dr Mary Tate, combines his part-time study in Information Systems with work as a SAP Functional Specialist at Telecom.
ITCP Accreditation for Dion Peszynski
Congratulations to one of SIM's quiet achievers, our Technical Services whiz Dion Peszynski, who has been awarded Information Technology Certified Professional (ITCP) accreditation. This is is the overarching standard for IT professionals in New Zealand and, as a measure of competence rather than just knowledge, includes recognition of more than just ICT skills and knowledge. ITCP certified professionals must also have a solid understanding of other issues such as responsibility and accountability, communication skills, demonstrable leadership, and an understanding of the relevant legislative framework. At the moment, Dion and Professor James Noble are the only two accredited members from Victoria University.
Cloud Computing Theme for Inaugural Case Competition
The inaugural SIM Case Competition, for third year INFO and ELCM students, focused on cloud computing using the case Game Time Decision for AppDirect. Students had to apply not only their knowledge of information systems and electronic commerce, but also their knowledge of finance, economics, accounting, marketing, and strategy acquired from their coursework in the BCA programme at Victoria University.
All student teams in the INFO 395-ELCM 395 capstone courses analysed the case, wrote a report, and completed a presentation of their action recommendation for the firm. Following a preliminary round, four teams were chosen as finalists to answer questions from a judging panel of industry experts from Deloitte.
This was an important event for both our students and the School, with friends, family, Victoria University staff, and guests from the local Wellington business community in attendance. The sessions ran from from 5.00-7.30 pm on Wednesday 12 October, at the Government Building Lecture Theatre GBLT1.
All PDF documents require Acrobat Reader.
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Information Systems Doctoral Conference "a Great Success"
Head of School Val Hooper (centre) flanked by NZISDC participants and organisers of the event.
SIM hosted the second New Zealand Information Systems Doctoral Conference in August, and Head of School Val Hooper says it was hailed as a great success.
The conference, held at Rutherford House, provided PhD students in New Zealand with an opportunity to present and obtain feedback and comments on their research from fellow students and leading academics in the Information Systems field. About 50 people attended, with the keynote address delivered by Professor Benoit Aubert from HEC, Montreal (the independent affiliated business school of the Université de Montréal, and the oldest management School in Canada). There were 20 presentations, seven poster presentations and a panel session.
The Conference is held under the auspices of the Professors and Heads of Information Systems in New Zealand (PHIS-NZ), a peer network of information systems professoriate and heads of schools/departments responsible for information systems research and teaching at New Zealand universities. While the Conference organising committee provided guidance, this was a student-led event and management of the programme and the day's proceedings was ably handled by our PhD students Nicole Braun and Kevin Carillo.
You can see more about this event at the NZISDC 2011 website.
SIM has Record Number of PhD Graduates in May
Professor Sid Huff (seated) with PhD graduates Dr Eusebio Scornavacca, Dr David Johnstone, Dr Hartmut Hoehle, and Dr Sally Jansen van Vuuren (Photography by Woolf)
Professor Sid Huff says he felt "like a proud father" when four of his PhD students graduated in the May celebrations, part of the record number of six new PhDs from the School.
"They're all terrific people and top notch scholars and researchers each in their own way, but all quite different individuals also. A lot like the kids in a large and active family," said Sid, who is busy supervising a further four PhD students.
"Actually, as far as supervision goes, I am technically a 'great grandfather' at this point -- I have supervised students who have in turn supervised their own students, who in turn have supervised their own students!
"So I'm proud and also very happy to see them having finished their doctorates and moving on with their lives."
Other supervisors of the latest round of PhD graduates in Information Systems were Associate Professor Hans Lehmann, Professor Pak Yoong, Dr Brian Harmer, Dr Beverley Hope, Dr David Pauleen, and Dr Joerg Evermann.
Also featuring in the May ceremonies were six MIM and 10 MIS/MLIS graduates, along with the five BCA (Honours) and the first five BBIS graduates.
Using MIS: Launching a New Undergraduate Textbook
Pearson Educational hosted a book launch at the School in May for Using MIS. Published earlier this year, and based on an original American text by David Kroenke, Using MIS incorporates New Zealand case study examples, personality profiles, and cultural idioms. The content is designed to help students develop a solid understanding of information systems and to acquire the essential skills that all business professionals will need for managing IS in the future.
Co-edited by Tony Hooper, Director of Teaching and Learning, Using MIS includes contributions from SIM staff members and is supplemented by videos, powerpoints and additional online teaching materials provided by Simon Park. The text has been well received and has already been adopted by Victoria and Canterbury for first year classes.
Featured in the book are well known New Zealand personalities from the IT profession such as Sam Morgan, Ralph Norris, Grant Webster and Don Christie, with case studies for teaching purposes utilising local companies and situations. In this way, New Zealand students can identify better with the professional environment being covered, and relate concepts to familiar companies, places and situations.
Journeys Towards a New Paradigm: Exploring Collaboration and Access to Digital Artefacts in the GLAM Sector
Journeys Towards a New Paradigm was a professional development symposium for the GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) sector, hosted by the School in April. This day-long symposium explored concepts and practices at the heart of the GLAM disciplines, and speakers reflected on the implications of emerging digital technologies for what we do and how we think. In attendance were professionals involved in organisations providing digital access to their collections: managers, curators, cataloguers, recordkeepers, systems developers, and students.
Below are links to videorecordings of presentations and discussion from the five sessions, which included former practitioners who are now engaged in academic research and have reflected deeply on their own professional and intellectual journeys within and across the sector "silos". Other speakers explored the thinking behind some recently developed conceptual models in the library, archive, and museum world.
- Professional Journeys and Research Perspectives
Speakers: Prof. Wendy Duff and Kay Sanderson n
- Trajectories of Technological Design
Speakers: Chris Todd, Adrian Kingston, and John Roberts
- "The Scary Washing Machine"
Discussion Facilitator: Amanda Cossham.
Panel: Chris Todd, Adrian Kingston, John Roberts
- Linked Open Data (Part 1)
Speaker: Brenda Chawner
The recording of this presentation is presented in two parts. A video clip of Tim Berners-Lee on Linked Open Data that Brenda included in her presentation has been removed for copyright reasons.
- Linked Open Data (Part 2) and Looking Back at the Journey
Speakers: Brenda Chawner and Prof. Wendy Duff
For further information: View the Programme.
The Syracuse Campus Community Entrepreneurial Initiative
SIM hosted Professor Bruce Kingma in March, and his presentation discussing Syracuse University's model of experiential-based entrepreneurship education and its impact on Central New Yorkcan be viewed here. The goals of this programme include: to infuse entrepreneurship across the curriculum, to create meaningful and productive campus-community connections, to encourage entrepreneurship research across disciplines, and to stimulate the CNY region with the power and energy of entrepreneurship.
Professor Kingma is the Associate Provost for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Syracuse University, with responsibilities including the Syracuse Campus-Community Entrepreneurship Initiative (Enitiative) -- a collaborative partnership of six institutions and five community foundations. He also oversees the Center for Experiential Learning in Entrepreneurship (ExCEL); the award winning Web-based Information Science Education (WISE) Consortium; the South Side Initiative (SSI); and the Mary Ann Shaw Center for Public and Community Service.
Organisational Culture for Information Managers
Written by Dr Gillian Oliver, Organisational Culture for Information Managers explains and explores the concept of organisational culture, specifically within the domain of information management. Understanding organisational culture is fundamentally important for anyone working in information management. Consequently, no matter how technically correct approaches are to managing information, if the organisational culture is not taken into account success will be patchy at best. [Published by Chandos, March 2011]
Using MIS: New Zealand Edition
Tony Hooper has co-edited the first New Zealand edition of Using MIS, a textbook on management information systems, with contributions from staff teaching in the School. This adaptation of the US version has been enriched with New Zealand case studies, personality profiles, and other examples to create relevance and familiarity for local students of business information systems. The content is designed to help students develop a solid understanding of information systems and to acquire the essential skills that all business professionals will need for managing IS in the future. [Published by Pearson, December 2010.]
Return to Tomorrow: 50 Years of Computing in New Zealand
Edited by Dr Janet Toland, Return to Tomorrow explores the history of ICT and computing in New Zealand through the eyes of those that lived it.
Authors include innovators such as Perce Harpham, founder of Progeni (New Zealand's first software company) as he outlines the rise and fall of this ground-breaking company, Ray Delany discussing the history of health informatics in New Zealand, and Johnny Chan examining the business of open source.
Many of the lessons learnt and outlined have as much relevance today as they did over the last 50 years, and this is an account not to be missed. (Launched September 2010, and only available from the NZCS Website.)