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The Role of Flow in Learning Distributed Computing and MapReduce Concepts using Hands-On Analogy

The expansion of technical concepts into everyday business practices suggests a need for effectively teaching difficult subjects to non-technical users. This paper describes hands-on analogy, an innovative method for teaching technically difficult concepts using interactive, experiential learning activities and a gamified exercise. We demonstrate our technique by investigating Hadoop Hands On, an exercise designed to teach MapReduce. Students experienced how MapReduce functions work conceptually by envisioning students as compute and tracking nodes in a Hadoop system and playing cards as data processed to complete two tasks of varying complexity. A study of 56 students was conducted to validate the exercise and demonstrated the impact of triggered flow on perceived understanding. The main contributions of this work are 1) an alternative learning approach that communicates a technically difficult concept through analogy and 2) the demonstration of the role of flow in facilitating learning using this approach. We recommend using this approach to teach technically difficult concepts to non-technical students who can more easily comprehend the benefits of distributed computing methods interactively in a way that complements the traditional lecture approach.

Scaffolding Case Analysis Writing: A Collaboration between Information Systems and Writing Faculty

In this paper, we present a collaboration between writing professors and an information systems (IS) professor to scaffold case analysis writing at an American English-medium branch campus in the Middle East. We describe our process for revising the professor’s writing assignment to make his expectations more explicit and for creating scaffolding materials that we delivered in classroom workshops to assist students’ pre-writing. We provide insights about the positive impact of the writing workshops on students’ writing from an end-of-semester interview with the professor and from interviews with students about their perceptions of the workshops and the personalized feedback they received.

Developing Measurable Cross-Departmental Learning Objectives for Requirements Elicitation in an Information Systems Curriculum

The ability to elicit information systems requirements is a necessary learning objective for students in a contemporary information systems curriculum, and is a skill vital to their careers. Common challenges in teaching this skill include both the lack of structure and guidance in information systems textbooks as well as the view that a student’s education consists of a disparate set of unrelated courses. These challenges are exacerbated by faculty who focus only on their taught courses and by textbooks that often promote an isolated, passing glance at both the importance of and the idea behind requirements elicitation. In this paper, we describe a multi-year, faculty-led effort to create and refine learning activities that are aligned to requirements elicitation learning objectives both within and scaffolded across courses in a modern information systems curriculum. To achieve success in developing this marketable skill within information systems students, learning activities were integrated across the entire information systems major in a process we call Bloomification, where learning objectives, aligned learning activities, and courses are related and connected across the curriculum. This cross-departmental process is presented and lessons learned by the faculty are discussed.

A Teaching Module of Database-Centric Online Analytical Process for MBA Business Analytics Programs

Business schools are increasingly establishing MBA business analytics programs. This article discusses the importance of a sufficient body of knowledge about databases for MBA business analytics students. It presents the pedagogical design and the teaching method of a module of database-centric OLAP (online analytical process) for an MBA business analytics course when a standalone database course is infeasible for the MBA business analytics program. The teaching module includes key database concepts for business analytics, a tutorial on database-centric OLAP, and a database-centric OLAP exercise assignment. The teaching module demands about a half-credit-hour workload and can be embedded in a three-credit-hour MBA business analytics course.

Learning by Teaching through Collaborative Tutorial Creation: Experience using GitHub and AsciiDoc

Learning by teaching is a pedagogical technique that encourages mastery of a topic by having students teach each other. Student presentations, group discussions, and face-to-face teaching are frequently used to have students teach their peers. In this paper, we describe the use of a novel assignment to implement learning by teaching. In a course assignment, learners created a tutorial using the AsciiDoc markup language. The tutorials were uploaded to a Git source control repository on the GitHub platform and combined into a single electronic book. Students were asked to complete their peers’ tutorials and provide constructive feedback. The assignment had several goals. First, students would master the topic chosen for the tutorial. Also, students would gain experience creating their own learning plans to master the topic. Next, students would learn about source control and markup languages. Finally, students would publish the resources to make the tutorials publicly available to contribute to the existing corpus of open educational resources. A survey was conducted after the final assignment submission. Results from the reflection survey show that students generally favored the assignment and found it to be a useful learning experience despite some challenges working with the technology stack. Experiences from the instructor’s point of view are shared to provide guidance for implementing this type of exercise effectively.

Telegram Charges Ahead with Gram Cryptocurrency

Telegram appears to be moving forward with
its own cryptocurrency. The company has told investors that it plans to launch
its first group of crypto coins within the next couple of months. Additionally,
the company is also providing Gram digital wallets to all the current users of
the Telegram messaging application. This totals nearly 300-global users.
Telegram has plans to make the new Gram crypto currency the digital currency of
choice and the way to move money anywhere in the world.

Who is Telegram?

Telegram is a messaging app that focuses on
security and speed.  Telegram is
available on all devices at the same time, so your messages sync seamlessly
across any number of your phones, tablets or computers. You can send messages,
photos, videos and files of any type as well as create groups for up to 200,000
people. You can also generate channels for broadcasting to unlimited audiences.
Telegram is like SMS and email combined. The company was created by Pavel Durov,
who fled Russia after clashing with the government. Mr. Durov now moves between
offices in the Middle East and Europe.

What Plans Does Telegram Have for its
Crypto Coin?

The scope of Telegram’s ambitions became
clear in 2018 when it raised $1.7 billion from some of the largest venture
capital firms in Silicon Valley. The goal initially was to launch a new crypto
currency that could be used on the telegram application. Unlike Facebook, which
released public plans for its digital money long before the first token was
ready, Telegram has largely proceeded in secrecy.

How Have Regulators Reacted?

Regulators appear to be concerned that
coins like Gram and Libra could, like Bitcoin before them, be useful to drug
dealers and money launderers. There is little regulation on crypto currency,
and authorities are concerned with any operation that has a platform to launch
a coin. The authorities in the United States have already moved to shut down
smaller cryptocurrency projects. The Telegram app makes it easy to send
encrypted messages between phones. While this is very attractive to
cryptocurrency operators it also makes the app popular both with terrorists and
with government dissidents.

How Will the Coin Function?

The New
York Times reports that the company has reviewed the pitch deck for the
Gram digital currency. The prospectus says that Telegram’s new digital money
will operate with a decentralized structure similar to Bitcoin. Similar to
bitcoin and Litecoin, Telegram releases the coins, it has said the coins will
be governed by a decentralized network of computers that will give Telegram no
control over the future value of these coins. Security researchers raised
concerns about the coin because of security problems Telegram, or problems the
company has had in the past. Telegram promised in legal documents that it would
deliver Grams to investors by October 31, 2019 or give back the money.

While many investors have agreed to a
holding period once the coin is launched, some people will immediately be able to trade crypto currency
on exchanges and exit their positions.

IT Adaptation Patterns to Enterprise-wide Systems

The introduction of enterprise-wide systems requires users to simultaneously adjust to both the new system’s requirements and changes associated with modified business processes—an adaptation that often goes beyond conspicuous behavioral elements. Therefore, to investigate the underlying attributes that characterize user interaction with and adaptation to information technology (IT), we collected data from four organizations that had implemented enterprise-wide systems for at least three years prior to commencing fieldwork. By taking a grounded theory approach, we identify four distinct adaptation patterns: reluctant, compliant, faithful, and enthusiastic. These patterns represent configurations of five interrelated attributes that users espouse in their interaction with enterprise-wide systems: attitude towards the system, approach to learning how to use the system, level of interaction with the system, exploration of system features, and stance towards changing work practices. We propose an emergent, substantive theory of IT adaptation patterns that explains the intricate interplay of individual, task, and organizational initiatives in shaping these adaptation patterns.

Conflict and Development: A Headquarter Intervention View of IT Subsidiary Evolution

In this paper, we examine the impact that headquarter interventions have on how subsidiaries evolve in the Indian IT offshoring industry. We analyze how a subsidiary evolved in the presence of a rare phenomenon: a negative headquarter intervention. Such an evolution has nuances and theoretical implications that existing frameworks cannot fully explain. Although researchers have often studied the relationship between a subsidiary and its headquarters through a headquarter-intervention lens, they have not employed it to examine how subsidiaries evolve. In this paper, we present a generalized model of subsidiary evolution using three constructs: value potential, headquarter intervention, and headquarter control of the subsidiary. In line with our study’s exploratory nature, we conducted an in-depth case study of a multinational firm and its Indian subsidiary over several years. We found that, in the presence of high potential value in the subsidiary ecosystem, certain headquarter interventions can lead to a conflict between the headquarters and the subsidiary. If not aligned with the subsidiary’s interests and values, a headquarter intervention can negatively affect the subsidiary’s growth even if the headquarters has good intentions.

User Satisfaction with Information Systems: A Comprehensive Model of Attribute-level Satisfaction

In this study, we introduce and test a comprehensive model of attribute-level satisfaction to measure user satisfaction with information systems (IS). Recognizing that, as complex “objects”, IS feature multiple subsystems, components, and attributes, we draw on marketing research and attribute satisfaction theory to assess user satisfaction across three levels of abstraction. We first assess overall satisfaction as the most abstract level then move to satisfaction with each major IS component (i.e., information, system, and service satisfaction). Subsequently, we measure user satisfaction with key attributes of each major IS component (e.g., information format, system reliability). The results provide a parsimonious yet practical model along with associated measures that can assess user satisfaction across various IS aspects (i.e., components and attributes) and different user interactions with IS.

Gearing Up For Successful Digital Transformation

Digital technology platforms have become the foundation for an increasing share of economic activity resulting in a changing business environment. Digital transformation—the reinvention of a company’s vision and strategy, organizational structure, processes, capabilities, and culture to match the evolving digital business context—is not only changing companies but also redefining markets and industries. Executives require frameworks to guide their transformations and assess their digital journeys over time. Six dimensions of digital transformation at the enterprise level emerged from our research as those that position a company for a successful competitive stance due to digital transformation. They are: a company’s strategic vision, alignment of the vision and its investments in digital transformation, the suitability of the culture for innovation, possession of sufficient intellectual property assets and know-how, strength of its digital capabilities, and its use of digital technologies. The six-dimension framework facilitates benchmarking one’s company with others—either within a sector or against companies that are in the same state of progress towards digital transformation.

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