An Information Systems Design Theory for an Expert System for Training

An Information Systems Design Theory for an Expert System for Training

Juan Manuel Gómez Reynoso (Autonomous University of Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, Mexico), Lorne Olfman (Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA, USA), Terry Ryan (Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA, USA) and Tom Horan (Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA, USA)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/jdm.2013070103


The authors developed and evaluated an expert system-based training system using Information Systems Design Theory (ISDT). First, an Expert System for Training (EST) was designed and implemented, and then a version of EST without expertise features, called IST, was also created. In order to evaluate which training system (if any) delivers better training, a three-group quasi-experiment was used. Each group was trained to use Statistical Process Control (SPC). One group was trained using the EST; outcomes for this group were significantly the highest among the three. A second group was trained using the IST; outcomes were not as high as the first group but significantly higher compared with the control group. The control group was trained with traditional means. Results show that the ISDT led to a useful purposely-developed application for enhancing the training of workers who have limited education but need to know about a very specific and complex field where the availability of trainers is limited. The authors call for further research that uses this ISDT to build purposely-developed software to support training of complex tasks.
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Information Systems Design Theory

Building on the work by Walls, Widmeyer, and El Sawy (1992, 2004), Gregor and Jones (2007, p. 329) note that their purpose “was to delineate the possible components of a design theory for IS, providing an ontological language for discussion of these theories.” They suggested eight components which we describe in the following subsections.

Purpose and Scope

When an organization has need for very domain-specific software, it is generally not available in the market. Thus, it can become necessary to develop new software that addresses these special needs. This software can be referred to as “purposely-developed”. A few years ago, a number of small manufacturing businesses in the State of Aquascalientes, Mexico identified a need to improve their workers’ ability to recognize defective products that they were manufacturing. With the help of the State employment agency and the Autonomous University of Aguascalientes, training in Statistical Process Control was offered. Although the training was successful, it was observed by the instructors that it should be possible to build an Expert System that could improve the quality of training because an ES could provide the trainees with advice as to the likelihood that a pattern of defective items was “out of limits”. We decided to create a purposely-developed ES that would be part of a class of information systems that could be used for similar training contexts.

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