Preparing industry-ready analysts in classroom: a module injection based approach


Author/Creator ORCID




Towson University. Department of Computer and Information Sciences


Citation of Original Publication




An analyst plays one of the most influential and important roles in an Information System Development (ISD) project, especially in the Requirements Elicitation (RE) phase of Requirement Engineering. Soft skills of an analyst role is in critical demand in the IT industry. A significant portion of researchers have also explicitly identified soft skill sets important for analysts. However, IS pedagogy and curriculum initiatives do not have any such systematic pedagogical approach that will be explicitly used for nurturing students with soft skills. Since there is a need, our initiative is to introduce a Behavioral Injection Module (BIM) approach. In traditional class lectures, we do not see any role-play simulation tasks or simulated practice session involved during the course. There is a need to practice interview question techniques for an analyst role in the class environment after the lecture contents. In particular, analysts need to simulate and practice the client-analyst requirement elicitation process and to improve certain soft skills in the process. This research presents a theoretical framework that uses the e-learning design principles of segmentation, role-play simulation and the Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle mapping three soft skills to address the issues. We developed Behavioral Injection Module (BIM) that has two major components: lesson section and practice session. We provide our module description, our experimental design, the instruments we used and its outcome in this paper. We test the effectiveness of our BIM through experimental studies using courses of Computer and Information Sciences Department of Towson University. We have conducted total five studies including the pilot study during spring 2015 and 2016, summer 2016 and spring 2017 semesters. We divided our participants into two groups: control and experiment. We then measured following constructs during the studies- 1) Individuals’ soft skills (Communications, Perceptual and Thinking skills) evaluations using post survey. 2) Individuals’ knowledge based skills (RE KL and Awareness on REKL) evaluations using pre and post survey. 3) Individuals’ learning performance (transcript and report writing) evaluations using transcript and report. A significant increase was found in learning performance (p < 0.05) and knowledge based skills (0.05) of the treatment group using our role-play simulation task of the BIM compared to traditional class lecture who did not participate in the role play simulation. However, there was no significant difference found (p>.05) in soft skills development among the experiment group.