Prescriptive Training Courseware: IS-Design Methodology




Information systems (IS)-design, instructional design, instructional systems design (ISD), workplace training, first principles of instruction, goal-based training education, component display theory (CDT), item-response-theory (IRT), Rasch model


Information systems (IS) research is found in many diverse communities. This paper explores the human-dimension of human-computer interaction (HCI) to present IS-design practice in the light of courseware development. Assumptions are made that online courseware provides the perfect solution for maintaining a knowledgeable, well skilled workforce. However, empirical investigations into the effectiveness of information technology (IT)-induced training solutions are scarce. Contemporary research concentrates on information communications technology (ICT) training tools without considering their effectiveness. This paper offers a prescriptive IS-design methodology for managing the requirements for efficient and effective courseware development. To develop the methodology, we examined the main instructional design (ID) factors that affect the design of IT-induced training programs. We also examined the tension between maintaining a well-skilled workforce and effective instructional systems design (ISD) practice by probing the current ID models used by courseware developers since 1990. An empirical research project, which utilized this IS-design methodology investigated the effectiveness of using IT to train government employees in introductory ethics; this was a study that operationalized the interactive effect of cognitive preference and instructional format on training performance outcomes. The data was analysed using Rasch item response theory (IRT) that models the discrimination of people’s performance relative to each other’s performance and the test-items’ difficulty relative to each test-item on the same logit scale. The findings revealed that IS training solutions developed using this IS-design methodology can be adapted to provide trainees with their preferred instructional mode and facilitate cost effective eTraining outcomes.

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Author Biography

Elspeth McKay, RMIT University, School of Business IT & Logistics

Associate Professor Elspeth McKay, PhD, Fellow ACS is located in the School of Business IT and Logistics at the RMIT University, Australia. Her PhD is in Computer Science and Information Systems, from Deakin University, Geelong, Australia. Elspeth also holds further qualifications in Instructional Design, Computer Education and Business Information Systems. She is passionate about designing effective eLearning resources for the education sector and industry training/reskilling programmes. Her research interests involve investigations of how individuals interpret text and graphics within Web-mediated learning environments. Her Australian Research Council’s research project investigated Government eTraining strategies. Her work involves developing specialist e-Learning tools implemented through rich internet applications. Over the last decade Dr McKay has published extensively in the research fields of HCI and educational technology, with more than 150 peer reviewed research papers, several educational technology books and has been awarded numerous awards for funded projects.




How to Cite

McKay, E. (2018). Prescriptive Training Courseware: IS-Design Methodology. Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 22.



Research on Educational Technologies