Information Systems
College of Business Administration
University of Missouri - St. Louis

INF SYS 3810 -- Information Systems Analysis
Syllabus -- Fall 2014

Hoffer, J.A., J.F. George and J.S. Valacich, Modern Systems Analysis and Design, Seventh Edition, Reading, MA: Pearson/Prentice Hall Publishing Company, 2013.

Gause, D.C. and G.M. Weinberg, Are Your Lights On? How to Figure Out What the Problem REALLY Is, New York: Dorset House, 1990.

Brooks, F.P., The Mythical Man-Month, Boston: Addison-Wesley, 1995.

Supplemental Reading:
Current Page 
Analysis Readings

Other Useful Websites:

Class Website
Regular Homework
Semester Assignments
HTML Readings
Class Schedule
Campus Events
(including suggestions for network-eligible events)
Acceptable Usage Policy
Student Technology Guide
Student Conduct Code
UMSL Home Page
IS Home Page

Prerequisites: INF SYS 3806 (Object Oriented Programming I), with a grade of C- or better. (more)

Drop Policy: For the purposes of this policy, the "effective drop date" is the date which I am informed of the drop or the actual date of the drop, which ever is later. Students can and may inform me by leaving me a note in my mailbox, leaving me a message (on voice mail or e-mail) or by speaking to me in person or over the telephone.

A student may drop this class until October 23 with a passing grade. (Note the University policy states that you may drop until September 22 without receiving a grade; this policy is simply an extension of the University policy.) Between October 24 and November 17, a student will receive either a passing grade (excused) or a failing grade (F) depending upon his or her performance (current grade) in the course. A student may withdraw after November 17 only with and solely with the approval of the dean of his or her division. If you want to withdraw after this date, go directly to your dean; do not ask for my signature -- my signature is not needed and I will not provide it. Under no circumstance may a student drop this class after December 10, 2014.

Class Objectives: Systems Analysis and Design is the art of problem solving. Systems analysis is the study of a current business system and its problems, the determination and definition of business needs and information requirements, and the evaluation of alternative solutions. Systems design (next semester) is the general and detailed specification of a computer and human solution that meets the requirements determined during systems analysis. During the life of a system, a systems analyst may monitor or evaluate its ability to continue to meet business requirements, and will design and implement modifications and enhancements in response to end-user requests and environmental changes.

At the conclusion of the course, you should be able to:
. Creatively problem solve
. Learn from failures
. Analyze business processes
. Analyze an existing information system (whether manual or automated)
. Understand the principles of SAD
. Understand methodologies and the differences among them
. Work with a variety of SAD methods, and tools
. Define object, data and process models
. Understand and apply traditional process-oriented life cycle methods
. Understand and apply data-oriented life cycle methods
. Understand and apply agile development methods
. Plan and organize an information systems development project
. Successfully make a business case for a technological solution
. Learn to consider problems from many perspectives
. Understand system stakeholders and understand how to address them
. Prepare and present a feasibility study/cost benefit analysis
. Utilize observation, questionnaires and interview schedules to discover system requirements
. Improve observation and communication skills
. Generate alternative solutions to an information systems problem and choose among them
. Evaluate process and data representations
. Document information system requirements
. Prototype a user interface for a new information system
. Understand SAD standards and measures thereof
. Understand CASE tools
. Use a Microsoft’s tool, Visio, to support the information systems development process
. Work successfully with a group of your peers on a common problem

My Expectations:
. I assume you are here to learn about systems analysis in preparation for your ultimate career. To accomplish that:
      . You must come to class prepared; you must read and think about the material before you get here.
      . You must demonstrate critical thinking skills.
      . You to participate in class discussions and class activities.
      . You must participate fully in the class project. This means that you will think about your project, go to group meetings, participate in the data collection and analysis. Each person must accept the responsibility for the project.
. It is your responsibility to ask questions in class or office hours when you are confused.
. I expect you to be courteous and respectful to me and your classmates, and professional to class visitors and to your clients.
. While I will not monitor your use of the computers during class, I expect you to be respectful in your use of the computer and I expect you to pay attention regardless of what you are doing with the computer.
Your success in this course is important to me. When I believe that the programs offered at the Center for Student Success (CSS) will help you academically, I will send a referral.

Classroom Courtesy: I realize that I should not have to tell you these things, and I apologize to those of you for whom this is unnecessary, but in the past few years I have noticed a significant increase in bad classroom manners and inconsiderate behavior. So please adhere to the following rules. Repeated violations of these will be grounds for reducing your course grade.
. Adherence to the Student Conduct Code is expected.
. Adherence to the Acceptable Use of Computing Code is expected.
. I commit to create a climate for learning characterized by intellectual diversity and a respect for each other and the contributions each person makes to class. I expect you to make a similar commitment.
. I am committed to insuring a positive learning environment by respecting that University policy. I expect you to make a similar commitment. In particular, I refer you to the University’s Collected Rules 200.015, which says, “Information about student views, beliefs, and political associations that fellow students acquire in the context of course discussions should be handled responsibly. Students are encouraged to be sensitive to the potential that dissemination of information about fellow students derived from course discussions may be perceived as defamatory and/or may subject them to ridicule, harassment or reprisal from those who do not agree with the views, beliefs or political associations expressed in the course.”
. Turn off your phones and pagers before entering class; do not talk on the phone in class.
. Come to class on time. In those rare cases where being late is unavoidable, please enter the classroom quietly and take a seat as close to the door as possible. If the class period is more than half done, do not bother to come to the class. Once in class, do not get up and leave unless it is truly an emergency.
. Open beverage cans and bottles and snack bags before class starts. If you eat during class, please do so quietly. Clean up afterwards; wipe up spills and throw away trash.
. Keep talking with your neighbor to a minimum. If you are confused about something in class, please ask me - that is my job.
. When you the laptop computers, do so quietly.
. When we have guest speakers, I expect that you will pay attention and will not be improperly using the computer or talking to neighbors.
. Bring a handkerchief or tissue to class to blow your nose in case you get the sniffles.
. I am not going to supervise your attention in class. However, you are responsible for all the material covered in class -- if you do not pay attention and miss important material, I am not going to go over it again.

Academic Honesty: According to the University Standard of Conduct, Section 6.0101,

The Board of Curators recognizes that academic honesty is essential for the intellectual life of the University. Faculty members have a special obligation to expect high standards of academic honesty in all student work. Students have a special obligation to adhere to such standards.

Furthermore, note that the University's Collected Rules 200.010 B.1 REQUIRE faculty to notify Academic Affairs of suspected cases of dishonesty. It states, "In all cases of academic dishonesty, the instructor shall make an academic judgment about the student's grade on that work and in that course. The instructor shall report the alleged academic dishonesty to the Primary Administrative Officer."

For the purposes of this class, cheating will include: plagiarism (using the writings of another without proper citation), copying of another (either current or past student's work), working with another on individually assigned work or exams, unauthorized marking on a graded paper or exam, or in any other way presenting as one's own work that which is not entirely one's own work. It is unacceptable to seek the help of another (whether in the class or not) for help on an exam; this is considered academic dishonesty. Further definitions and clarifications can be found in the University guidelines.

Any student who is caught cheating on any assignment or exam will receive a grade of zero (0) for that assignment or exam. Further, a recommendation will be made to the appropriate university officials that additional disciplinary action be taken.

Assignments and Items that are Graded: see assignments page. (more)

Exams: There will be one in-term exam and the final exam. (more)
In-term Exam: October 15 distributed; October 22 collected
Final Exam: December 8 distributed; December 15 collected

Make-up exams will be provided only for those students who have spoken with the professor prior to the exam and who have a justifiable reason for missing the exam. In ALL other cases, the student will receive a grade of zero (0) on the exam. NO late exams (if it is a take home exam) will be accepted.

Grading Policy: The following proportions will be used for grading.

"Networking" Activities 5%
Class Participation 8%
Homework 10%
Progress Reports 15%
Analysis Project 20%
In-term Exam 20%
Final Exam 22%

So, to compute your grade, you will take the grades (as described in the previous sections) and substitute them into this equation:

Grade = .05*(Networking Activities) + .08*(Class Participation) + .10*(Homework)
         + .15*(Weekly Progress Reports) + .20*(Analysis Project) + .20*(Midterm) + .22*(Final Exam)

This will give you a number between 0 and 100. Grades may be curved from the standard normal curve based upon the difficulty of my grading (not on the performance of the class).

Approximate letter grades will be assigned when exams and projects are returned. Students should remember, however, that the term average is a weighted average of the numerical grades, not an average of the approximate letter grades. (more)

Religious Observance: I am committed to creating an inclusive campus community that values and respects all its members, and achieves educational excellence through diversity and nondiscrimination. This includes supporting students regardless of their religious affiliation or non-affiliation. I will make a good faith effort to accommodate your religious practice or belief, unless such accommodation would create undue hardship.

Accommodations for makeup assignments, presentations, homework, quizzes, or exams should be arranged with me early in the semester and well in advance of the anticipated class absence and requested accommodation. To request an accommodation for a religious observance, submit the form to me as the semester begins and no later than two weeks prior to the religious observance. Submit a separate form for each observance.

Disabilities: Students requiring special accommodations should meet with me during office hours so that we can discuss how to meet your needs this semester. Prior to our meeting be sure you have met with someone in the campus offices that supports student with disabilities (MSC 144). If, during the semester, you are experiencing a serious emotional trauma, please inform me of this before taking an exam; once an exam is taken the grade must be counted and no "retake" is possible.

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