VALIDATING A COURSE DESCRIPTION: UNKNOWN CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS

J. Velencei

Obuda University Keleti, Faculty of Business and Management (HUNGARY)
Is it possible to have experience-free expectations? Everywhere we hear that innovations have to satisfy consumers’ expectations. Will the customers also be the consumers? If we think of the gadgets of the digital age, no one can seriously say that they were created to satisfy consumer expectations. Early-bird buyers purchase them, and the consumers of these gadgets will be those who are hooked on them; their expectations will be shaped during their use. If we think of business applications, then the customer is also vague. The developers of a new application will negotiate with the Chief Investment Officer or Chief Information Officer of the buyer, because they may have a reason to or benefit from the purchase of a new business application. The consumers, whether they like it or not, will get what the CIO or CITO bargained for, based on their own experience.

During my twenty years of experience teaching in higher education and in knowledge engineering, I have often tried to rejuvenate the course descriptions of Decision Making or Decision Support Systems by teaching some business applications. I tried to introduce Knowledge Based Systems and discuss case studies in different ways. In this paper, I will show that the then-and-there expectations of Knowledge Based Systems consumers are not visible in the here-and-now. The result is that only competent lecturers can validate a course description, as one cannot expect twenty-something year old students here-and-now to have expectations that will be the same 5-10 years in the future, when they become the consumers of a business application then-and-there.