Athens State Information Systems and Information Technology Review

| March 14, 2014

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Personally, I have long believed that the best ideas on business improvements reside with those people who work there. Far too often I’ve watched the development of ideas be centralized with a small group or even outsourced to a third-party who neither knows the organization nor has a vested interest in its health. Instead, I have discovered that those best ideas and practices are often found in the lowest level of an organization, with those who many times are found performing the routine and what some believe are the less critical activities.
I believe this also holds true with customers and that is why I am such a staunch proponent of businesses soliciting feedback. The best ideas for attracting new customers, maintaining existing ones, and building brand loyalty are not found with a consulting firm but with customers. So with that premise established, I believe it also holds true at Athens State. In reality, our customers are you and if we want to truly become the absolute best, we must draw upon you for ideas, suggestions, and understand opportunities as you see them.
Athens State provides you with a service and we too are subject to the same dynamics you’ve read about this semester. We employ information systems such as Banner and the Student Advising Module (SAM). We utilize electronic commerce as found with our on-line registration system and automated billing. Even the delivery of our services is hinged to systems such as Blackboard, Tegrity, Safe Assign, and other institution information technologies. Your task is to conduct a personal assessment of your education experiences at Athens State, identify/outline three specific information systems (IS)/information technology (IT) areas that Athens State does well, and three areas that need improvement. Please feel free to draw upon your experiences at other institutions or capabilities you know are in place elsewhere to define these shortcomings. I want you to be candid and assure you, everything you write will be totally and unequivocally anonymous. For example, when you attended another university you may have used a web-based system designed to facilitate student mentoring and advising called the Student Academic Advising System (SAAS) and found it to be far superior to SAM. Another example may be smart phone tools you know could be used but are not. It may even be that the tools we are using are good but the proficiency of the professors is lacking. It could be in the area of support (or lack of timely support) when you encounter problems. Again, do not worry that any negative comments can hurt your grades because they will not.
For the 3 particular IS/IT areas you believe are working well, identify what works well with them, how they make education easier for you, what benefits you have realized, etc. For the 3 areas that are problematic, tell me the shortcomings you see, why these have hindered your educational experience, and why you believe these must be rectified. This should not be based exclusively upon personal opinion but also include sound, reasoned, and objective literature you review and not opinion or conjecture. It does not matter to me what issues you cite or what recommendations you make as long as it is supported by the literature you reviewed. Ensure these 6 areas are clearly identified and easily found in your paper.
Your paper should be formatted as follows:
• Double-spaced, one-inch margins all around, using Times New Roman with a 12-font size.
• Use a cover sheet with your name, date, course name, professor name, and topic (refer to the APA manual for additional information to be placed on the cover sheet). Do not put a page number on the title sheet.
• An abstract.
• You must adhere to the APA manual, 6th edition format. If you are not familiar with the APA handbook, one is on reserve at Athens State University library and an additional copy is at the reference desk. The book can be only used in the library – you cannot check it out. You can purchase a copy at any bookstore for your own reference as well as APA tutorials and users guides.
• The body of the paper, not including your cover sheet and references, should be 3-5 pages.
• As a MINIMUM, you are to cite at least 3 references/sources from academic publications. Publications such as Time, US News & World, the New York Times, and Newsweek are NOT academic publications but they can be part of your literature review.
• Wikipedia should not be used, cited, or even mentioned – never. It is not valid, reliable, nor considered credible by any academic institution.
Send the research paper Safe Assignment in Blackboard no later than 11:59 pm, 14 July. Students need to plan ahead because they are responsible for all exigencies. What that means is that if your computer is going to get a virus or the electrical power is going to go out at your house, it needs to happen before 11:59 pm, 14 July because papers will NOT be accepted after that date. Students who have had me before know that unless prior coordination has been made with me, there are no extensions on any due dates so please plan ahead and all dates can be met. And any plagiarism will automatically result in a grade of zero.
You must provide citations to support your statements. Unsupported opinions and generalizations are not sufficient justification for objectively analyzing and evaluating the issues. The utilization of concepts from the textbook, research articles, and classroom discussion are mandatory regardless of the options you choose. The purpose of this requirement is to demonstrate your comprehension of the information management and decision support processes relating to the delivery of academic services to you.
Your analysis must be both reasonable and objective. Do not be biased by your emotions or opinions. Instead, concentrate on offering a balanced analysis and evaluation of the issues. Phrases such as, “I think,” “I feel,” and “I believe,” have no application to analysis at the college level and must be avoided.
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