Journal of IT Education: Discussion Cases (JITE:DC) is a repository that publishes discussion case studies about situations where information technology plays a significant role. The typical JITE:DC case study will feature a manager, employee or IT professional, and will involve a decision related to IT or where the underlying presence of IT exerts a major influence. Many of our early either involved IT technology companies—in which case any type of decision could be the central theme of the case—or non-technology organizations facing an IT decision. JITE:DC cases should be open, authentic discussion cases, meaning: 1) open: there is normally not one “right” solution, 2) authentic: they are written about real situations (although names of parties and organizations involved may be disguised), and 3) discussion: they are constructed to present the context for a decision that needs to be made and will be the focus of classroom or online discussion.
Informing Faculty (IF) is a repository that publishes discussion case studies about teaching or administrative situations relating to higher education, particularly relevant to faculty workshops and Ph.D. programs. The typical IF case study will feature a faculty member, administrator, or student as its protagonist and will involve a decision that impacts a higher education institution in some way. Many of our Volume 1 cases have involved the application of technology to instruction. This should not be taken as limiting. Case studies involving topics such as new programs, resolving disputes between individuals or academic units, administrative issues or university collaborations with practice would all be welcome.
JITE Discussion Cases (JITE-DC) is a repository for discussion cases that relate to Management Information Systems (MIS), Information Technology (IT), Informing Science (IS) and related fields. The four shared characteristics of these cases are:
Designed for Discussion: JITE-DC cases offer a detailed perspective on a situation that leads up to a set of decisions or plans that need to be developed by students over the course of their preparation and discussion. They are not intended to be examples or illustrations about which an instructor can lecture. They are not designed to be in-depth extended word problems that students “solve”. They are built as showcases for specific technologies or techniques of the sort that frequently appear on vendor sites.
Authentic: They describe, as accurately as possible, real world situations. While specific aspects of a case may be disguised at the request of organizations or individuals involved in the case, the situations described in the cases have actually occurred and been verified by the case writer. JITE-DC does not publish case studies involving constructed or hypothetical situations.
Open: Case studies are sometimes categorized as “open” or “closed”. A closed case has an intended solution, the “right” answer. For open cases, such a tidy resolution rarely exists. There will nearly always be a variety of resolutions that are “good”, and many more that are unlikely to succeed.
Free: They are available for use by all, under a Creative Commons license. Educators may use the cases in their classroom and make the cases files or printed copies available to their students at no charge.
These four characteristics distinguish the JITE-DC from other outlets. While a number of publications and conferences include “teaching cases”, many times these cases are constructed as examples, as opposed to being designed as a basis for discussion. Other repositories, such as the well-known Harvard Business School case collection, emphasize open and authentic discussion cases. They are, however, very expensive to use. It is our hope that by making our cases free, we can encourage their diffusion throughout the global community, including areas still in the early stages of economic development.
The mission of JITE Discussion Cases is to promote the development and use of discussion cases for MIS, IT and Informing Science education.
In order to achieve this mission, JITE Discussion Cases seeks to achieve three objectives:
To act as a repository for discussion cases of the highest quality
To provide information resources and mentoring for educators seeking to develop discussion cases
To provide information resources and mentoring for educators seeking to facilitate case discussions in their classrooms
We have placed a copy of the Informing Science Institute Policy on Professional Ethics here.