1996 Capstone Abstracts
Faster Fact-Finding with Digital Libraries
Mark R. Barnett
This research covers the usability testing of a prototype digital library. The library holds technical manuals for scientific instruments. Findings show test subjects can locate desired documents faster with this digital library than a corresponding paper library. However, at this point in time, the same subjects can locate desired information faster in a paper document than a digital one. Most importantly, subjects reported they preferred using the on-line library of technical documents over the traditional paper library.
Electronic Mail Policy and Management
Cynthia A. Berg
E-mail changes the way we communicate. Employees spend increasing amounts of time sorting, reading, forwarding, storing, replying, and deleting electronic mail messages. As more organizations incorporate e-mail, information system (IS) managers are increasingly aware of issues involved in adequately managing e-mail systems. Issues range from the legal complexities of e-mail ownership to the economic impact of e-mail storage and retention. Based on a survey of 20 e-mail administrators, this research explores current management practices and illustrates the need for e-mail policy development. A draft e-mail policy incorporating acceptable practice guidelines is included.
Perceived Critical Success Factors and Effective Technology Implementation In K-12 Educational Environments
Bernadette Trabue Crider
This paper defines effective technology implementation in public and private schools, examines Critical Success Factors (mission-critical activities to ensure success) from the perspective of those charged with implementing technology and examines the degree school systems direct resources toward factors they rated critical. Recommendations for how school systems and implementors should focus their efforts are made based on factor rankings, current inclusion in the process and the research findings of other authors.
A Model for the Application of Internet Technology to Enhance the Practice of Home Schooling
This project explores current World Wide Web technology and presents a model to demonstrate the potential of interactive Web-based instruction. During autumn of 1996, the project employed state-of-the-art web development tools to produce a prototype website, WebMath, for 5th grade students. Reviewed by teachers, students, and parents in Kitsap County, Washington, results suggest that Web-based instructional tools can enrich the learning experience for homeschoolers and may enrich public and private schooling efforts as well.
Building a Framework for Collaborative Business Process Re-engineering Using Discussion Databases
Information sharing and decision coordination are central problems for large scale business re-engineering efforts. This project proposes a framework for building a shared knowledge repository which serves as a communication medium among cross functional segments of an organization critical to the re-engineering effort.
The collaborative framework proposed here is designed to support and improve information sharing and coordination for tasks of capturing business process knowledge from experts, sharing ideas and concerns via electronic open forum. This electronic forum or discussion database is the focal point of this demonstration.
Palette Optimization Through the Use of a Uniform Color Model
The current trend in software design is toward color-rich user interfaces, including icons, textured backgrounds and animation. The graphical nature of the Internet both demonstrates and supports this evolution. However, most computers used in business, as well as the majority of home computers, do not support True Color capabilities. This project consists of the design and implementation of a software utility that allows for True Color imaging on integrated (palette-based) systems. Utilizing a non-traditional approach, this software analyzes the color composition of a source image and generates the optimal palette to display the new image. Rather than using a mathematical algorithm to segment the color space, a uniform color model clusters visually similar colors.
A Comparison of the Service Orientation of Reference Librarians and Academic Computing Professionals
Kimberly A. Jordan
Reference librarians and academic computing professionals in higher education are finding an increasing degree of overlap in their jobs providing information services to faculty and students. In spite of this overlap, the two groups do not communicate or collaborate well. The literature suggests reference librarians have a stronger service orientation than their computing counterparts. A survey of 100 reference librarians and 100 academic computing professionals at small liberal arts colleges in the United States conducted in November, 1996, reveals very little difference in the service orientation. The results of this survey may serve as a foundation on which to build better relationships between campus information service providers.
Year 2000: The Millennium Bug
The Year 2000 date problem presents unique challenges to many large organizations as it affects nearly every aspect of the enterprise. Formal project management will play a key role in the successful implementation of plans to support the correct processing of date fields after the turn of the century. Based on a survey of thirty-two organizations, this research examines their project management methodology for repairing systems in preparation of the Year 2000. A project management model is presented to identify tasks and resources necessary to accomplish one module, mainframe applications, of a comprehensive Year 2000 project.
A Process Model for Large-Scale Software Acquisition Projects in the Public Sector
Public agencies face increasing complexity and expense in purchasing software systems to manage business and service delivery functions. This project develops a process model to guide agencies through a successful acquisition process. The model is based on current thinking in both the private and public arena, and incorporates the experiences of a selected group of public managers. Centered around the agency's overall business and information technology strategies, the ten-step model describes a path which begins with resource allocation and project planning, filters through the available options, and concludes with planning for the next acquisition cycle.
Computers in the Schools: An Examination of the Degree to Which Computers Have Been Integrated into the K-12 Curriculum
While installation of modern computer technology in American public schools has been taking place at an accelerated rate, there has been increasing concern that teachers are ill prepared to deal with this technology. Based on a survey of computer use in Junction City, Oregon, this project examines how K-12 teachers are using computers as part of their instructional program. Focus is on how and how much computers are used as an instructional tool in the classroom and in labs. Findings from the survey are compared with data collected from similar studies.
Using Object Modeling as a Business Reengineering Tool:
A Case Study of the Pacific Northwest Research Station
Thomas C. Peters
Successful business process reengineering (BPR) requires that processes be modeled using methodologies sufficiently expressive while simultaneously clear and understandable. Object-oriented modeling, successfully used in software development, is believed to hold great promise for business modeling. This project is designed to examine and illustrate the use of object-oriented modeling as a BPR tool. Recently available, off-the-shelf software is used to model the reengineering of a budget distribution process of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station.
A Multimedia Curriculum Model
Helen Van Phan
Multimedia is exploding into peoples lives at work and at play. Currently there is no comprehensive multimedia curriculum in colleges or universities. The purpose of this project is to develop a multimedia curriculum model, designed to educate students and fulfill industrys need for multimedia specialists. This curriculum model was developed utilizing information gathered through a review of multimedia literature and curricular research. A survey was conducted among professionals in both academic and professional settings to validate the model.
Check Image Processing: Determinants for Implementation
Vicki Aimi Piersall
Check imaging is a new technology on the West Coast, and as such, there is limited experience with it. As with all new technologies, implementation requires a significant capital investment, time to produce technological expertise, and re-engineering of operations. Due to the vast resources necessary to implement image, this study identifies the critical success factors to check image technology implementation. Using these factors, a decision model is provided for organizations to employ.
On-line Travel Information Services' Impact on Travel Agency Distribution System
The merging of two powerful trends-exponential growth in the number of on-line households and dramatic improvement in the quality and reliability of on-line travel information-is resulting in drastic changes to the business environment for the travel and tourism industry. Communications technology tools such as e-mail, commercial on-line service providers, and the Internet are recognized as essential for remaining competitive in this new environment. This project analyzes the response of five representative travel agencies in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area to the on-line information issue. Additionally, an experiment is conducted comparing the process of booking five domestic trips by the traditional travel agency method and by new on-line travel sources. A review of several major on-line travel service providers is included. Sources from America OnLine, CompuServe, and the Internet feature Eaasy Sabre, Worldshopper, United Connection, American AAcess, TraveloCity, and major airline web sites.
Just-In-Time Training Through the Use of Current Cognitive Approaches and Delivery Mechanisms Utilizing the World Wide Web
James K. Robbins
Recent studies conclude that American workers are losing their competitive edge, in part due to inadequate training. Problem solving and communications skills are particularly lacking. Training journals frequently discuss just-in-time training, however little has been accomplished toward realization of this concept. The bandwidth constraints of the Internet require a careful balancing of media in order to provide the learner with a rich and rewarding experience. This project demonstrates sophisticated instructional methods using the World Wide Web to provide effective training when and where needed.
Network-Based Surveys: A New Model for Computerized Self-Administered Questionnaires
Combining E-Mail and World Wide Web Technologies Traditionally, social science researchers have had three main categories of tools available for survey data collection: paper questionnaires, telephone surveys, and personal interviews. While there has been some study on Computer-Assisted DAta Collection (CADAC), it is currently not considered a fourth type. Additionally, very little research has been conducted on Network-Based Surveys (NBS), an emerging form of CADAC which uses a combination of e-mail and the World Wide Web (WWW). This paper presents Network-Based Surveys as a unique tool category for the collection of survey data, one that can stand alongside paper questionnaires, telephone surveys, and personal interviews. A model of NBS is developed depicting its design, delivery, and analytic methods.
Web-Based Customer Support Systems: A Model for Development, Evaluation and Usability Testing
Many companies are establishing sites on the World Wide Web. In their speed to enter the Internet arena, companies often fail to test and evaluate Web-based systems. Without proper testing and evaluation, a Web site may not serve customers or accomplish company goals. Current methods of Web site design are examined. A model is presented for effective, development, evaluation, and testing of Web-based customer support systems. An examination of development of a Web site is used to illustrate the model. Customers at this Web site are surveyed to improve the model and suggest areas for possible future studies.
An Evaluation of Desktop On-line Analytical Processing as a Strategic Tool for Sales Analysis
On-line Analytical Processing (OLAP) is a class of database query and reporting tools, delivering multi-dimensional views of data to users. This project investigates OLAP as a productive and strategic information technology for sales analysis. Two types of systems used for business information analysis, a desktop OLAP system and a transaction processing system, are compared to explore OLAP's potential as a decision support tool. Additionally, a review of desktop OLAP by sales and marketing management provides input on the information requirements of management and the ability of OLAP to meet these requirements. Conclusions address the role of desktop OLAP as a complementary technology in business information analysis.