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Communication Issues In Information Technology

Course Code: CSIS 2115
Faculty: Commerce & Business Administration
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 Weeks X 4 Hours per Week = 60 Hours
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

The course covers interrelationships between programmers, users and other IT people. It includes a study of Agile, Scrum and Xtreme programming methodology and how their adaptive nature and people-first orientation has changed the way developers communicate with users. Other topics will include web page design using HTML, usability, technical research methods, presenting software demos, managing user expectations and understanding and working with various diagramming techniques. We will spend some time in discussing the impact of intercultural factors on global software development. Course content and presentation focus on a practical process to technical communication. The course will be presented using multiple case studies and role playing to convey content and provide a learning environment suitable for this topic.

Course Content

  1. Technical writing
    • Communicating technical contents to the non-technical readers
    • Human-computer interaction
  2. Corporate Culture
    • The global workplace
    • Outsourcing abroad
    • Effective electronic communications in a corporate culture
  3. Agile processes
    • Conflict resolution within the development team and management
    • Communication and collaboration within the team
    • Effective electronic communications in an agile environment
  4. Scrum and scrum meetings
    • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  5. Page Design and Web Design
    • Using HTML to design usable web sites
    • Review tools for web design
    • Web Accessibility
  6. Usability
    • Usability Testing
    • Mockups
    • Accessibility and standards compliance
    • Story boards
  7. Process Descriptions and Instructions
    • Understanding/deciphering :
      • Technical Reports
      • Requirements through Use Cases
      • Network diagrams
      • Class diagrams to write code
      • Proposals and Feasibility Studies
  8. Working with users
    • How much control do users have vs developers
    • Managing expectations
    • Language matters
  9. Oral Communications
    • How to Demo the application
  10. Technical Research
    • Locate information applicable to the IT person
  11. Job Search
    • Decipher various job ads
    • Understand what you are applying for
    • Format job-specific online resumes, covering letters and applications.

Methods of Instruction

Lecture and seminar.

Means of Assessment

Assignments/Projects (2-5)    20% - 30%
Midterm Examination   25% - 30%
Final Examination   25% - 30%
Participation     0% - 10%
Oral Presentations (1-3)   10% - 20%

Learning Outcomes

The student will be able to:

  1. explain the concepts of technical writing in terms of communicating to non technical people;
  2. describe and analyze the corporate culture and its effects on technical communication when programmers and customers are in different countries;
  3. design easy-to-use web pages to communicate technical contents in a meaningful manner;
  4. create and organize system specific information for diverse types of readers;
  5. describe the techniques for using the best elements of page and web design in the writing process;
  6. describe the process of Agile methodologies vs Scrum vs Extreme programming;
  7. explain the technical and process-driven instructions provided by use cases, class diagrams, network diagrams, and others;
  8. understand and apply usability concepts to design web pages and computer forms;
  9. recognize common conflict issues and be able to resolve them within the team development process;
  10. demonstrate presenting software demos;
  11. understand the concept of managing user expectations and applying the correct language;
  12. research various IT occupations and companies, understand job ads;
  13. format job-specific online resumes, covering letters and applications.

course prerequisites

CMNS 1115

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.