What is it about?

The ability to construct models of software solutions is important especially in light of the increasing complexity of these software systems but little work has been done to explore student competency in this area. This paper sheds light on the varying levels of modeling proficiency displayed by 97 students belonging to a second year systems analysis and design course.

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Why is it important?

In most fields (engineering, physics, medicine and history ) where the Structures-Functions-Behaviors (SBF) framework was employed, novices were found to be most proficient at identifying the structures of a given system followed by behaviors and functions. In the context of information systems though, our findings show that students were generally proficient at modeling an information system in terms of functions while, at the same time, facing some difficulty in modeling the structural and behavioral aspects of an information system. Statistically significant correlations were also found between student proficiency of abstraction and their overall proficiency of modeling.

Perspectives

I enjoyed collaborating with the co-authors for this article. I believe that this paper sheds some light on a relatively under-explored area of information systems education and the results should be of interest to researchers and practitioners alike.

Paul Thomas
Kansas State University

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This page is a summary of: Characterizing Student Proficiency in Software Modeling in Terms of Functions, Structures, and Behaviors, ACM Transactions on Computing Education, July 2021, ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), DOI: 10.1145/3458039.
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