Professional Master's student published in IT journal

Master of Information Management student Andrew McDowell has had his first assignment on the programme published in an international teaching journal.

Master of Information Management student Andrew McDowell
Master of Information Management student Andrew McDowell

Andrew McDowell, an IT consultant with over 20 years’ experience, drew on his professional experience for the first-year assignment in which students analyse a real-world information management case.

His case study focused on an open-source agile development project for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations called Libre Land Administration System (LAS), a system that aims to make computerised cadastre and registration systems more affordable and sustainable in developing countries.

Issues and decisions that faced a small international team working on this project were explored for his Master of Information Management assignment.

Dr Andreas Drechsler, senior lecturer in Information Management, believed Andrew’s study was worthy of a wider audience and together they co-authored a version of the case study and submitted it to the Journal of Information Technology Teaching Cases. It was accepted for publication two days later.

Andrew says rewriting his case study for publication was a rewarding process, and he hopes the article will provide other students with insight into how these projects can operate.

"It was good to go back and rethink the Libre LAS project and have the opportunity to figure out what we might have done differently. It was a bit of an eye-opener and hopefully students can take some of that knowledge away from the case study."

Director Dr Jocelyn Cranefield says the Master of Information Management programme aims to provide students with an authentic, personalised learning experience through learning opportunities like Andrew’s case study.

"Students build skills for making sense of real problems and solving them through critical analysis while drawing on research. The publication of Andrew’s case study has in turn developed a reusable teaching material that is up to date and global in focus."

Andrew was on the ferry to work in Auckland's CBD in early 2017 when he read about the IT-focused Master of Information Management and decided it was the postgraduate degree he had been looking for.

For his first year he studied full time, remotely from Auckland, and for his second year he will study part time while working in Canada.

"I think one of the big advantages is being able to fit the programme to your lifestyle. It fits with where I want to go for the next 3 to 5 years in my career."