The assignment was for the module 'Key Issues in Information Systems Development' (ISD), and in this module I introduced the students to Dooyeweerd's aspects as a way of identifying broad spheres of meaning, i.e. constellations of meaningful issues in ISD. The thesis under which I operated was the shalom principle, in which things (including ISD) will go well to the extent that we function well in every aspect, for example the following in ISD:
|Biotic/Organic||Health of team members|
|Sensitive/Psychic||Feelings of ISD team members|
|Analytical||Clarity of objectives of ISD project|
|Formative||Planning of project; structure of data|
|Lingual||Project records; communication between team members; written computer programs|
|Social||Relationships and roles within team; respect for others|
|Economic||Deadlines, budgets, skills and knowledge as assets|
The whole project should hang together. |
The project should be enjoyable.
|Juridical||Project contracts; doing justice to all stakeholders; doing justice to data|
|Ethical||Going beyond what is contractually required|
|Pistic/Faith||Project vision; loyalty to project|
What follows is a number of comments by Masters students who took this module. In the main, the comments are positive (sometimes embarrassingly so!) but the reason for giving these is not just to show how Dooyeweerd's thought and especially his aspects are liked and found to be useful in practice, but also to show the wide range of things that are appreciated about them.
"Learning about aspects has been the highlight of the whole course it has made me sees things form different angles." - S.A.
"The aspects have been a good way of explaining each different element of how we interact with technology and the physiological implications that occur when we are interacting with technology, which I found very insightful." - O.S.
"Introduction to the idea of aspects and gaining a relatively better understanding of these has helped me to 'humanize' ISD activities recognizing this as comparably more important than the processes or the artefacts." - W.P.U.
"I have found that the Dooyeweerd's aspects have helped me greatly as I am able to relate these aspects to everyday life not just to ISD. I intend to use the aspects in the future when I create the resource to be used in my lessons to aid the delivery of my lectures such as a powerpoint presentation." - M.A.
"During my time on this module, I had learned many important themes that are involved in the development of any project either ISD projects or any other ordinary project belonging to any other field but the most important theme that I came across are Aspects. These aspects are very important tools for any ISD project manage not only for completing their project work on time, but they are also important for maintaining better inter-personal relations among members involved in the group projects." - S.V.
"His [the lecturer's] explanations on different aspects of the Information Systems Development (ISD) inspired me. It significantly enriches my thinking not only on ISD but also how I view the world and behave in the society. For example, awareness of the Dooyeweerd's aspects such as juridical, ethical and faith aspects has transformed my behaviours positively in the society. I personally believe that an individual's critical thinking together with good behaviours, knowledge and practises bring wisdom. This wisdom has a positive influence towards effectiveness, efficiency and human friendliness of Information Systems (IS). In this way I find it significantly valuable for IS practitioners to learn Dooyeweerd's aspects." - S.W>
"Getting to know about aspects has been the highlight for me because it has made me look at everything I do in a different angle. Before aspects, yes I did the right thing and in the right way but with a missing element." - M.B.
"The importance of aspects as a tool in ISD projects cannot be over emphasized. ... application of aspects to my personal life currently has impacted the way I view things and make decisions" - S.O.
"Thus it is really exciting for having attained a valuable vision for analysing any system by observing its various aspects." - K.S.
"Beyond just understanding the four different activities in Information Systems Development, I have come to learn something with was completely new to me - aspects! These aspects help us to see and understand the key - or persistent - issues that a central to Information Systems Development and which happen all the time in the development project. These key issues are those things that are important in all Information System Development, or could be important. ... I am eternally grateful. It got to a point where I felt as if I was almost choked with 'aspects', but it was worth it in the end because I have realised that those are actually the issues that are most important in the development of any information system." - J.I.E
"I believe the most important concept that I have learned during this module is aspects, which would remain with me all my life whether in professional or personal life. This is because it has broadened the scope of thinking process of my mind and is helping me in making any decision taking in consideration all the possible contexts and their interrelationships." - P.S.
"I believe I could have done my job much better if I knew about all these aspects and various issues in IS. That was the main reason why I opted for a study even when my promotion was about to be declared. I wanted gain more theoretical knowledge in Information System development and the main facts which decides the project a success or failure and how does that make world a better place to live." - N.R.M
"This module was really interesting as we were discussing about the real scenarios of the IS development, which included the fifteen aspectual analysis, four Human Activities in ISD and client approach methods. This is something each and every person who works in any IT industry should know and the key factors which can make big success and benefits in the projects and ignoring them at any stage of the ISD cab cause big affect on it. I would say studying about these aspects is now helping me in my common life to make any decision or even make it less stressful, I think these aspects plays a vital role in every activity, projects and human life's success." - N.R.M.
"Aspectual analysis is one of the interesting parts of the module that I worked upon, interesting to learn and in fact I did the assignment with much more enthusiasm and dedication than ever. ... To talk about the assignment as a whole, it was an awesome experience giving me enough opportunities to learn things which I could've not learnt otherwise." - G.K.T
"Aspectual analysis was especially worth listening and worth using in an individual's life, the best part of this module is that the knowledge acquired from the tutor can be analyzed and use on almost anything irrespective of topic and area of study." - S.R.R.G.
"The most exciting part of my study during this module is aspectual analysis. Importance of this module and particularly this topic is that an individual can apply the knowledge gained by this topic in his each and every activity carried out in a day." - P.S.R
"All the above and the aspectual analysis of the implementation of IS was worth highly valued as it helps identifying the exact reasons that can cause failure in the development of IS and identifying and overcoming them would result in the best desired output." - S.H.A.
"Overall this module has been very interesting and challenging at the same time. It has provided me with the knowledge and skills required to excel in my field of job choice and act as a stepping stone towards a successful and fulfilling career. The two assignments provide the students with the opportunity to enhance their skills such as time management, analytical, communication, team-working etc whilst making new friends in the process. I would recommend this module to anyone who is keen to pursue a career in IT especially in the IT management field." - R.B.J.
"To wind up this study on a very positive note, I would like to conclude by saying that this module has created enough number of opportunities to gain knowledge over various multitudes of topics ranging from technical to aspect oriented concepts. The aspectual analysis that has been made has had an impact on some of the daily activities which leads to the betterment of an individual, in his/her life. The assignments assigned and the study itself involved a lot of thinking about aspects and has provided enough number of opportunities to implement the knowledge that is gained in the process. The work that is involved was more of fun than any regular work to do, and searching for passages was interesting. I can very well say that I've never done an assignment like this before in my student life." - G.K.T.
"With the help of this module I have now been able to look at a problem or rather life through a theory of 15 different aspects which were procured by Mr.Dooyeweerd's. ... I am really thankful to Mr. Andrew Basden for helping me to open my eyes into the wonderful world of Mr. Dooyeweerd's modal aspects." - A.B.
"This module has really fulfilled my expectations. The best thing I have learned from this module is about implementation of Aspects in daily life. As it was defined in one phrase in the first lecture was the aspects in one phrase, to understanding complexity." - R.K.Y.
"When I first learnt about aspects, I wasn't sure how they were going to help me in an ISD [Information Systems Development] environment. However, since we have implemented the aspects in our first coursework, it has all become apparent and opened up a whole new thought process for myself. Aspects is a great way to think and can be used in conjunction with methodologies which companies are currently using. This means companies would not have to change the way they work drastically to gain the benefits from aspects. I am going to use aspects at work to see if or how they make a difference to the projects I am working on and if successful, will introduce the concept to my colleagues." - R.M.
"As a prospective information technology manager, key issues module has been an eye opener on how well I can manage IT projects with ease by starting up with required stages and methodology as well as adopting the relevant research theory during the course of development. I also want to apply aspects in my personal life because I observed that application of aspects in your activities open door to logical thinking and you having clear view of what you actually want to do." - A.A.
"This module has served has an eye opener for me such that, I now understand what an information system is, the activities involved in its development and the main things to consider while developing an information system. I consider it a priviledge to be a part of this module and I will like to appreciate the management of the Salford Business School for making this module a core course for the MST/MIT students." - O.A.
"The aspectual analysis gave me in-depth knowledge about how the IS development is happening and what are the main causes for the failure of the application or why we are unable to delver what client was asking for. I went through few projects we undertaken while I was working and realized each aspect had a key role in the project and if we had thought of it prior to the design of the application we could have completed the projects in desired time with least amount of bugs in it. I will definitely implement these aspects when I start working again; I think these aspects can make an impact on everybody's day to day life activities." - J.M.
"Most of the topics I learnt in this module were new to me and I found it very interesting. I was surprised to know that so many details were there to be understood while creating a system. When I first read the aspects I thought that this would not be the main topic in the module. But as the lectures went on I found out that the aspects were linked to each and every part while developing a system and I was amazed by it because it was simple and very meaningful. The four activities that were spoken off were very interesting and it was also valuable because if the activities are followed by each stage it makes it easier for the engineers to program and design and also easier for the project manager to monitor the proceedings and therefore making it easy for the system to be developed." - B.YD.
"Many valuable things have been learnt in this module. ... I think the introduction to the 15 aspects by Dooyeweerd is the most important thing in this module. It gave a clear understanding about the key issues which is involved in the development of information systems. Learning and understanding the aspects was very interesting as it persuaded me and my classmates to think about the aspects which is involved not just in information systems development but also in terms of real life events or scenarios." - K.S.N.
"During my 4 year career in the software industry, I have come across many issues and I often thought the issues were mainly technical and human errors but once I started gaining understanding about different aspects I was indeed surprised to know there were more than just the technical errors. I realised there were factors such as vision, teamwork, morale, and communication, psychological and ethical issues which really played an important role in the development of information systems or success of any project. I thought to myself that if I had known about these aspects long time back, I would have solved many issues and also it would have assisted me in performing my duties in a better and efficient way." - K.S.N.
"I would like to conclude by saying that the module 'Key issues in Information Systems development' has been a very important module as it lays a foundation for understanding the importance of knowing the aspects and the activities which is vital for information systems development. It is very important for people who are looking forward to start their career in the field of information systems to understand the aspects as it will enable them to kick start their career with maximum efficiency. For people who have some work experience can always relate back to their work experience and analyse how much better they could have performed their duties if they had known the aspects and also realise that they could take something valuable in their career ahead." - K.S.N.
"The knowledge especially aspectual analysis was something I had been thinking about after doing my first degree. It was very interesting ... I found aspectual analysis very useful and will most likely help me in the future." - S.A.
"I found many topics in this module but all the topics were not so important as aspects. I think aspects are one of the good and most important topic during my Master's. I will remember it for the rest of my life." - S.S.
"I understood from my group assignment, these aspects are most important for every developing programme like socially, economically, Ethically, Analytically like so on. The analytical aspect is most useful for developing the programme, this is first step to developed the programme, It uses for the technically and the social aspect is useful for developing the programme socially. This is also so much of important for every organisation who developing the programme." - K.K.Y.
"Mainly I concentrated in my group assignment on more important aspect like Analytic, Lingual, and Economic and social, rest of other aspects did my group member. I am also participated discussion on every aspect but mainly I concentrated on some important aspects. At initially I tried going through the aspects in some random order, what was the difficult was keeping tabs on which aspects I had looked at. In the end of the group assignment, I found a different aspectual method. In which I could go through the aspects in order. In this case I found easier to keep tabs. But I learned this aspectual concept became little bit inflexible. So I then tried to mingle of random and order and that work together." - K.K.Y.
"... As I said already found my programming practice improved from this module. This is because I have already applied what I learned here to it. With it, and also with my new understanding my Information System Development, I have managed to halve the time I take to develop programmes, while at the same time giving a better service and making the client feel more involved. In addition to this, from this module I learned something for the aspects. In future I will implement these aspects in my professional life; previously I did some mistakes in the programming, because of no less knowledge on the aspects, not only in my programming knowledge I will use these aspects on in business applications also." - K.K.Y.
"My Expectations about Key Issues in Information System Development module was to learn the research on project development and management in ISD. Now, It comes to know that I was not only learned about the project management and development of ISD but also learned new approaches to understand information and systems, which are useful for the software system development, to validate and utilize these approaches in information system and project development. By studying this module I learned different approaches in research. I gained a lot of knowledge from this module to reach my career objectives in future." - R.R.V.
"... In my group assignment I learned how to start the aspectual analysis. ... In the aspectual analysis I analysed some aspects of programming and explained how it could useful in the Information System Development, from this I understood that the aspectual analysis was very easy at core level. I could not believe it first but after implementing I came to know that it is fact. ... We can use the aspectual analysis not only in the Information System Development but also we can use it in real life also. In programming the important aspects what we explained are analytical, formative, lingual, social, ethical, economic, aesthetical, juridical, pistic/faith aspects. All these aspects we have consider in programming for getting the good result. While planning the project we have to make sure that on which aspects we have concentrate. All These aspects are taken from suite of aspects by the Dutch philosophy, Herman Dooyeweerd (1894-1977). I read about aspects for the dooy Salford university site. From the aspectual analysis I learned which aspects are important and how to implement in the real world. The group analysis there is chance to discuss each and every aspects we can get a lot of thoughts through the team work." - R.R.v.
"... In conclusion of this Key Issues Information System Development module is very important and useful for the students who want choose their career in different areas like Software, business and management in future. This module is more focused on the analysis aspects, system development, ISD project management and Documentation, programming. And we can apply these aspects in real life also. I gained a lot of information that is related to my background studies. The research on aspectual analysis gave me good experiences on the aspects. It will useful for me in future a lot. I suggested to the students who are interested in this module should concentrate on the subject. If they concentrate, they will gain a lot and it will useful in the future to settle in good job." - R.R.V.
Written on the Amiga and Protext.
Compiled by (c) 2006 Andrew Basden. But you may use this material subject to conditions.
Created: 28 January 2010 Last updated: 16 June 2010 added Feb 2010 cohort. 8 June 2011 added Sep 2010, Feb 2011 cohorts. 29 April 2014 RM14.