IS 421 Systems Analysis and Design

Adam Smeets

Office: Office Hours in Classroom/Zoom
Spring 2023-2024
Class number: 35242
Section number: 902
M 5:45PM - 9:00PM
LEWIS 01510 Loop Campus
Course homepage:

Download syllabus


This course is the core analysis and design sequence. Specific topics include overview of the software development environment; project selection, initiation, and planning; determining requirements; process modeling, including DFDs and use cases; logic modeling; introduction to Entity-Relationship Diagrams. In the course you will learn to transform the logical model into a physical model, define in more detail screens, reports, and controls. This course will also discuss project management, change management and implementation tasks such as testing, training and roll out plans. Instruction types include lecture, discussion, in-class activities, case studies and projects.


Valacich, J. S., & George, J. F. (2020). Modern systems analysis and design (9th ed.). Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN: 978-0135172759, 0135172756

All other reading materials and resources will be available via the D2L course website. 

Any software required for this course will be available in computing labs on campus, as well as on DePaul’s Virtual Lab.


The final course grade will be determined based on work in the following categories:

  • Case Studies and Exercises: 15%
  • Quizzes: 15%
  • Project: 20%
  • Midterm Exam: 25%
  • Final Exam: 25%

Additional details each category are available in the course syllabus on this page.

Letter Grade Percentage Letter Grade Percentage


100 - 93%


79 - 77%


92 - 90%


76 - 73%


89 - 87%


72 - 70%


86 - 83%


69 - 67%


82 - 80%


66 - 60%




59% and below

All scores are averaged on a two-hundredths model and rounded up to the nearest percentage when .50 and over. The instructor reserves the right to add up to 2% to the total overall percentage for outstanding classroom engagement.


There are no pre-requisites for this class.

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain the system development life cycle and why it is critical to successful systems projects through case studies.
  • Describe how information systems projects are initiated and managed through course discussions and assignments.
  • Articulate the responsibilities and key skillsets of an effective systems analyst through a project plan.
  • Develop a business case and systems specification document.
  • Analyze, model, and specify a system’s requirements through group discussion, evaluation, and assessment.
  • Draw E-R diagrams, DFDs, Use Case Diagrams and other diagrams based on conditions and criteria.
  • Perform requirements gathering using appropriate techniques through discussions and online forums; and
  • Apply systems analysis concepts working on a project.

Evaluation and Assessment

Case Studies and Exercises (15% of Final Grade)

Case studies and practical exercises provide an application of the concepts and approaches reviewed in class and in course readings. These assignments are designed to help you develop a deeper understanding of systems analysis and design by analyzing real-world scenarios, identifying requirements, modeling processes, and designing solutions. Through these case studies, you will have the opportunity to enhance your critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.

Some case studies may be completed individually, while others may require collaboration in groups to simulate real-world project environments. Each case study assignment will require the submission of documentation which may include requirements documents, process models, logic models, database designs, and/or prototypes.

Quizzes (15% of Final Grade)

Aside from class meeting weeks when exams are scheduled, or projects are due, brief quizzes will be assigned. Quizzes will contain between 7 and 10 multiple choice questions and one short response question from the assigned reading. To provide you the best opportunity to showcase your understanding, you will be provided two possible short response options – only answer one of the two.

I get it… quizzes can be stressful! Your lowest quiz score will be dropped from your overall quiz score calculation. This calculation is handled automatically by D2L.

Project (20% of Final Grade)

You will select one of the available case studies and conduct the systems planning, systems analysis, and systems design phases of the System Development Life Cycle (SDLC), using either a traditional or object-oriented approach. Additional instructions and resources will be provided in D2L. The purpose of this case study project is for you to apply data modeling, process modeling, and user interface design skills to a semi-realistic scenario. Each of the case studies assigned in Valacich and George will give you practice opportunities for preparing your final project.

Midterm Exam (25% of Final Grade)

The midterm exam will include multiple choice, true/false and case/essay questions based on material from weeks 1 – 4 of our class meetings. Remember, this includes any lecture, discussion topics, and notes, as well as any handouts or assignments. To help you prepare for the midterm exam, you will have access to a study guide in D2L on April 22, 2024. All students, regardless of section, will take the midterm exam in D2L using Respondus LockDown Browser.

Final Exam (25% of Final Grade)

The final exam will include multiple choice, true/false and case/essay questions based on material from weeks 6 – 8 of our class meetings. Remember, this includes any lecture, discussion topics, and notes, as well as any handouts or assignments. To help you prepare for the final exam, you will have access to a pre-recorded preparation session and study guide in D2L on June 3, 2024. All students, regardless of section, will take the final exam in D2L using Respondus LockDown Browser. This is not a proctored exam. If you prefer to not install Respondus on your personal machine, DePaul lab computers do have this application already installed and available for completing your final exam. Please see the Respondus LockDown Browser section later in the syllabus for more information.

Respondus LockDown Browser

This course will require the use of Respondus LockDown Browser for online exams. For exams, you will not be able to take the exam using a regular browser. It must be taken using the LockDown Browser application. LockDown Browser will prevent you from accessing other websites or applications, and you will be unable to exit the test until all questions are completed and submitted.

When taking an online exam using it, follow these guidelines:

  • Make sure you’re in a location where you won’t be interrupted.
  • Turn off all mobile devices, phones, etc.
  • Clear your desk of all external materials — books, papers, other computers, or devices.

School policies:

Changes to Syllabus

This syllabus is subject to change as necessary during the quarter. If a change occurs, it will be thoroughly addressed during class, posted under Announcements in D2L and sent via email.

Online Course Evaluations

Evaluations are a way for students to provide valuable feedback regarding their instructor and the course. Detailed feedback will enable the instructor to continuously tailor teaching methods and course content to meet the learning goals of the course and the academic needs of the students. They are a requirement of the course and are key to continue to provide you with the highest quality of teaching. The evaluations are anonymous; the instructor and administration do not track who entered what responses. A program is used to check if the student completed the evaluations, but the evaluation is completely separate from the student’s identity. Since 100% participation is our goal, students are sent periodic reminders over three weeks. Students do not receive reminders once they complete the evaluation. Students complete the evaluation online in CampusConnect.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

This course will be subject to the university's academic integrity policy. More information can be found at If you have any questions be sure to consult with your professor.

All students are expected to abide by the University's Academic Integrity Policy which prohibits cheating and other misconduct in student coursework. Publicly sharing or posting online any prior or current materials from this course (including exam questions or answers), is considered to be providing unauthorized assistance prohibited by the policy. Both students who share/post and students who access or use such materials are considered to be cheating under the Policy and will be subject to sanctions for violations of Academic Integrity.

Academic Policies

All students are required to manage their class schedules each term in accordance with the deadlines for enrolling and withdrawing as indicated in the University Academic Calendar. Information on enrollment, withdrawal, grading and incompletes can be found at

Students with Disabilities

Students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss their specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential.
To ensure that you receive the most appropriate accommodation based on your needs, contact the instructor as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first week of class), and make sure that you have contacted the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at:
Lewis Center 1420, 25 East Jackson Blvd.
Phone number: (312)362-8002
Fax: (312)362-6544
TTY: (773)325.7296