Pages Menu
Chitu Okoli

DESC 495 Outline Winter 2011

DESC 495: Information Systems Design and Implementation
Winter 2011


Classroom and times

MB Building room 5.255
5:45 pm to 8:15 pm Mondays


Chitu Okoli

(#1 way to reach me)


(514) 848-2424 x2985


MB 12.339 (12th floor of the JMSB Building)

Office hours

2:30 pm to 4:30 pm Wednesdays, or by appointment

Required materials

  1. Textbook: Systems Analysis & Design Methods. 2007 (7th) edition. By Jeffrey L. Whitten and Lonnie D. Bentley. Published by McGraw-Hill Irwin. ISBN 978-0-07-305233-5.
  2. Computer-Assisted Software Engineering (CASE) tool, such as Visible Analyst Student Edition.
  3. Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for a programming language product, such as Visual Basic on Microsoft Visual Studio, or Java on Eclipse or NetBeans. Talk with me if you would like to use another programming language (such as C#).
  4. Database Management System (DBMS), such as Oracle, MySQL, Microsoft Access, or Microsoft SQL Server.
Course website and e-mail
  • The course website is
  • Grades will be posted via Moodle, which you can access through MyConcordia.
  • Online group discussions will be maintained through a Google Group for this class. E-mail me directly to request access to the group. The participation section below has more details on the utilisation of
  • You will be expected to check your e-mail at least once every day, since this is the primary means of communication for this class. I will only e-mail the address I find in MyConcordia, so be sure to keep this address current. You are responsible to act on all communications sent to this e-mail address.
Computer labs Students who need to use a computer on-campus have access to the following labs for students:

  • Hall Building labs for all Concordia students. You may obtain a computer account code through MyConcordia.
  • CASA lab for JMSB students in Room S1-465 of the JMSB (MB) Building.


DESC 381; DESC 382; DESC 481

Course overview

The main objective of this course is to expose students to the concepts, tools, and techniques they need to transform the information system requirements, resulting from the system analysis phase, into system design specifications, and to transform the information system design specifications, resulting from the system design phase, into a working system. Topics include data and process analysis and design to distribute data and activities into design units; development of database specifications, input/output design specifications, user interface specifications and structured program design specifications; system implementation activities; project repository. Besides the formal lectures, assigned exercises, workshop and in-class discussions, students will be asked to apply system design tools and techniques to a specific business application.

Learning outcomes

The objective of this course is to introduce the students to the principles, tools and techniques required to design and develop business applications. The course is a continuation of system development lifecycle that started with the analysis phase. Here the user requirements for the business application the students had chosen in a previous phase are taken as a starting point. The major deliverable of the course will be the project, the core part of which is a functioning application. The set of skills the participants are expected to acquire include, among others:

  • Planning the development project
  • Designing system architecture
  • Designing database
  • Designing inputs, outputs, and user interfaces
  • Constructing systems
  • Testing and maintenance

Teaching method

  • Project coaching: The project will be a major component of your learning in this course. I will take time, both in class and outside of class, to carefully guide and coach you in carrying out the project. Further details are specified below regarding the project.
  • Lectures: The lectures will primarily be based on the textbook. From time to time, I might provide you with supplementary materials that bring to your attention contemporary issues in systems design and implementation.
  • Reading assignments: You are required to read the entirety of the assigned chapters of the textbook. You are required to read the relevant chapters before class, as specified in the schedule. From time to time, I might also assign additional readings for in-class discussion. You will be required to complete the assigned readings before the beginning of class. The reading assignments are selected to give you adequate understanding of the course material, and to support you with the theoretical knowledge necessary for carrying out the project.
  • Tests: To tests will be conducted in class during the semester. The second test will not be cumulative. Before the test, I will give clear details about their contents. The dates of the tests are specified in the course outline, though they are subject to change.


In class: This class will feature a fair amount of in-class discussion. You should come to class prepared by having read the assigned materials beforehand (both the textbook and any additional readings I might assign from time to time) so that you can actively participate in stimulating, thoughtful discussion. I also encourage you to bring into the discussion anything you might have read, learned or experienced outside the materials for this class.

Online: To support your learning, this class will have a Google discussion group as a forum for discussing various issues related to the class during the week. I will initiate some threads, and you are encouraged to initiate threads also, as well as respond to my threads and those of your fellow students.

Participation grading: I value a few thoughtful insights far more than frequent unreflective comments. Contribution to the class’s learning also means that you listen to what other students say, and you build on their comments so that our group discussion can have direction. Rather than giving a weight for in-class versus online discussions, I will consider your overall participation in both media when assigning your final participation grade.


Test 1 25 %
Test 2 25 %
Term Project 45 %
Participation 5 %
  100 %

Grading policy

Department of Decision Sciences and Management Information Systems grades are based on the official grading system described in the Concordia University Calendar as follows:

  • “A” is for outstanding performance, far above the average result
  • “B” is for very good performance, above the average result
  • “C” is for satisfactory performance, the average result
  • “D” is a marginal pass, below the average result
  • “F” is a failing grade, indicating inadequate and unacceptable results

There is no official “mark-to-grade equivalence scale”, e.g., that 50 is a “pass”, or that 50-52 is a “D-”. Faculty members individually or collectively decide what constitutes an “A”, “B”, “C”, etc.


There will be two tests held during the semester during the regular class time. There will be no final examination. The second test will not be cumulative. The specific dates and times are specified in the course calendar below, but are subject to change.

Important Note: In accordance with the DSMIS Department policy, your average on both tests together must be at least 50% to pass the course.

Term project

The purpose of the project is to provide the opportunity for you to develop a working business application for a problem chosen from your previous systems analysis course projects. You will do the project in teams of 3-6 people. There will be a number of milestones throughout the semester where you are required to show their progress. The grading of the complete projects will be done at the end of the semester. You will also be asked to submit peer assessments of the contributions of your team members. These peer evaluations will be kept confidential, although the average evaluation maybe revealed upon request. Your individual grade for the group project will depend partially on your group grade, and also on how your peers evaluate you. So, be a team player! The project is described in detail on a separate page. At the end of the semester, each group will present the project to the whole class.

Make-up policy

Tests: Only students who miss a test for university-approved and verifiable reasons will be allowed to take a make-up test. Even then, except in the most extreme circumstances, no student may miss a scheduled test without receiving permission before the administration of the test. Make-up tests might be significantly different in format from the regular tests, and will be administered at a time of my own convenience.

Attendance policy

Attendance is required for this class. You are expected to arrive and depart this class promptly at the scheduled time.

Academic honesty

The Code of Conduct (Academic) at Concordia University states that the "integrity of University academic life and of the degrees, diplomas and certificates the University confers is dependent upon the honesty and soundness of the instructor-student learning relationship and, in particular, that of the evaluation process. Therefore, for their part, all students are expected to be honest in all of their academic endeavours and relationships with the University." (Article 1)

All students enrolled at Concordia are expected to familiarize themselves with the contents of this Code. You are required to read Concordia University's website on Academic Integrity, which provides useful information about proper academic conduct.

In addition, for all my classes, I require you to sign and submit an Academic Honour Pledge. I will not return any graded work to you in this class until I have received your signed Honour Pledge.

Whereas much of the work in this course is done in groups, tests must be done individually. Moreover, group work must not involve any plagiarism whatsoever. You are encouraged to refer to outside resources, but you are not permitted to copy-and-paste, and all sources used must be properly cited.

Any violation of the Academic Code of Conduct will constitute academic dishonesty and will be handled through the appropriate university channels. If you have any question about what might be a violation of the Code, ask me directly and I will gladly clarify you. Thus, claiming to misunderstand is not an acceptable excuse.


  • It is the responsibility of the student who misses a class period to remain informed of the material covered in that period and to catch up and stay up-to-date.
  • Any changes to the tentative schedule will be announced in class. It is the responsibility of the student to remain informed of such changes.
Acknowledgements I sincerely thank Drs. Rustam Vahidov and Meral Büyükkurt for their kind assistance and provision of source materials that I have adapted and adopted in the design and development of this course.  

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *