Seeking Meaning: The Educationally Critical Aspect of Learning About Information Systems

Chris Cope
InSITE 2002  •  Volume 2  •  2002
The research reported in this paper investigated and compared the experience of learning about the concept of an information system (IS) at a scholarly, and an undergraduate level. A scholarly level learning experience was developed from the literature and represented a benchmark against which students’ learning experiences could be compared. A group of undergraduate students’ learning experiences were investigated in an empirical, phenomenographic study. An awareness and understanding of the process of seeking meaning was found to be an educationally critical aspect of a deep approach to learning about IS and a deep understanding of the concept of an IS. The finding has important implications for teaching and learning about IS. Learning tasks can be designed which aim to enhance learning through focussing students’ awareness simultaneously on the IS conceptual and learning aspects of seeking meaning. An example of the use of rich pictures to achieve this aim is given.
IS education, student perspectives, phenomenographic research, information systems, learning approaches
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