4141 Corporate IT I - Information Structures
Dr. Helena Lovasz-Bukvova
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
02/06/18 to 03/04/18
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Wednesday 03/07/18 09:00 AM - 10:00 AM D2.0.326
Wednesday 03/14/18 09:00 AM - 01:30 PM D5.1.002
Wednesday 04/11/18 09:00 AM - 01:30 PM D2.0.326
Wednesday 04/18/18 09:00 AM - 01:30 PM TC.0.02 Red Bull
Wednesday 04/25/18 08:00 AM - 12:00 PM TC.3.05
Wednesday 05/02/18 09:00 AM - 01:30 PM TC.2.01

The collection and management of data plays an important role in today’s organisations. Increasingly, the importance of management of information and knowledge are also recognised. The understanding of mechanisms and ideas behind data and information management is an important skill in nearly all professions, as it helps to increase the personal as well as the organisational efficiency. This course aim is to furnish an in-depth understanding of the principles and key languages behind data and information collection, structuring, and retrieval, together with knowledge of their practical application.

In the course, we will address the following topics:

  • different possibilities of structuring data, their application as well as advantages and disadvantages
  • relational data structures, including the design of relational databases and data retrieval with SQL
  • encoding non-relational structures with XML (this includes also defining data structures with DTD and XSD) and HTML (this includes also CSS)
  • transforming XML-encoded information into different data formats with XSLT
  • management and retrieval of unstructured information (Information Retrieval)
  • introduction to Semantic Web and related information structures
The focus of this course is on theoretical understanding as well as practical application. The course structure also allows the participants to place their own focus on particular areas.
Learning outcomes

After attending this course, you will be able to understand, describe and judge key approaches to data and information management.

Subject-related skills

  • distinguish different approaches to structuring data, information, and knowledge
  • design relational databases and write SQL-queries to retrieve data
  • define structures of XML using DTD and XSD and create XML-files
  • design HTML-pages
  • transform XML using XSLT
  • understand key principles of information retrieval, such as Boolean logic in search expressions and Web Information Retrieval
  • understand key ideas of the Semantic Web


  • ability to autonomously collect, filter, and structure information on a previously unknown subject
  • ability to assess own strength and weaknesses and adjust practices accordingly
  • experience with designing own learning processes
  • practice with decision making and planning
Attendance requirements

Following attendance is mandatory:

  • attendance in the introductory unit (else you will lose the place in the course)
  • attendance of 20% of the learning units (that's at least one full unit)

Please note that some of the assignments can only be done in the units.

Teaching/learning method(s)

The aim of this course is not only to provide you with relevant theoretical knowledge, but also to enable you to put what you have learned into practical use. The design of the course reflects this, combining phases of knowledge acquisition with exercises and practical application. The instructor takes a part of a mentor, rather than a teacher; hence the course is driven by your active participation and learning needs.

There are six learning topics to choose from and different depth of knowledge to reach in each. You can decide for yourself what you want to learn and how well you want to master it. Depending on this, you can engage in the following learning activities: autonomous preparation, unit activities and project work.

  • Autonomous preparation. The course area on Learn@WU provides the participants with materials for autonomous preparation. The participants are expected to work through these materials on their own in preparation for the presence units.
  • Unit activities. In each unit (these can be better described as labs), the participants will take part in repetition and self-tests that will help them to better assess their own progress. They can develop their knowledge of the topic further and put it to test (Assessment) or get started on the project. The exact content of the presence unit is driven by the students' needs and level of preparation.
  • Project work. While parts of the assessed activities are carried out in the units (see assessment), the project work is of a complexity that needs a greater time investment. Although the participants are invited to carry out parts of the projects work in the units, according to their interest, they are likely to need further work after the units.

Workload: 4 ECTS = up to 100 hours for grade 1
The course covers a large number of topics within a very short period of time and with only 5 presence units, you will be expected to invest a considerable amount of time into autonomous learning.
The workload for each unit can be roughly divided into following parts (the exact amount of time necessary will depend of your background and your learning style):

  • 5-10 hours preparation
  • 4.5 hours presence learning (20% compulsory attendance, but full attendance is strongly advisable)
  • 5-10 hours (ideally spread out evenly throughout the term) for project work

Please note: This is not a difficult, but a very demanding course. The course format requires a high level of time-management, self-discipline and interest in learning.


This course is based on the idea that the participants are the decision makers in the course, who govern their learning according to their own needs. The assessment format takes it into account.The overall principle is that of performance-based assessment: you have to demonstrate certain abilities to gain points, but you are free to choose your assessment in a mix-and-match fashion.

  • In the introductory unit, the participants write a short quiz (5 points).
  • The participants are expected to prepare for each unit. Part of the preparation is an online test. (6 tests, 5 points each = 30 points)
  • In the units, the participants try their skills in written challenges, each focusing on the unit topic. (6 challenges, 10 points each = 60 points)
  • The participants apply their skills in a project that relies on real-world case studies. (6 project tasks, 10 points each = 60 points)
  • The participants can choose to learn more, going beyond the topic and developing their project further in an advanced project. (6 advance projects, 5 points each = 30 points)
  • There will be further bonus points available, but these are not guaranteed to all students and sometimes require using a particular external platforms or apps.


The grading system is closely aligned to the assessment methods. The scale is non-linear, representing different levels of achievement:

  • under 50 points     5 (fail)
  • under 60 points      4
  • under 75 points      3
  • under 90 points      2
  • 90 points or more   1
Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists
  • Courses: GK1 Grundzüge der ITK (Foundations in ICT)  - this is a fixed restriction that cannot be waived under any circumstances!
  • Recommended:  BIS I, BIS II  (see also recommended previous knowledge and skills in the syllabus)
  • Administrative: Registration in the LPIS, attendance of the first unit, participation in course planning

    Please note:

    • The number of available places is limited and there is often a list of students waiting for free places. If you have signed up for the course and during the registration period find out you will not attend, please remove your name from the list via LPIS. This will make your place available to others.
    • The assignment of available places in the course is based on the „first-come, first-served" principle.
    • The participation in the first unit is mandatory; students who fail to come forfeit their place to students on the waiting list. Students can excuse themselves if the reason for missing the first unit is serious and will concern only the first unit.

    Students who are absent on the first session without bringing an absent note lose their place in the course. This place will be allocated to students in the waiting list who come to the first session according to the waiting list order.

    Recommended previous knowledge and skills

    The following knowledge is expected in this course.

    • You need a basic understanding of the role of information systems in organisations in general, such as their use in corporate value-chain and Supply Chain Management.
    • You need to know what relational data structures look like and what properties they have.
    • You need to be able to interpret and draw Entity-Relationship-Diagramms.
    • You need to be able to interpret graph-based structure.

    At the WU, these topics are covered in the course BIS I and BIS II.

    If you are not or no longer familiar with the above topics, there will be a preparatory course material that you can use to catch up on your own.

    Above all, you should be open to learning about technical issues and willing to try them out yourself (even if you think that you are not technical).

    Availability of lecturer(s)

    Lecturer:   Helena Lovasz-Bukvova


    Room: D2.2.078 (Building D2, entrance C)

    Schedule appointment:

    Is this for me?
    This is a course for everyone who not only wants to know about data and information structuring, but who actually wants to be able to sit down to a computer and apply the new-learned knowledge. The course welcomes participants from very different backgrounds (with existing IT skills or even totally without), as it provides a very very flexible learning structure. Participants should take into account the high learning effort that is associated with this course as well as the fact that it requires you to learn and work autonomously. Those who are not afraid to invest their time and get their hands dirty can expect to gain an array of new skills, and even discover their hidden IT talent.
    Last edited: 2018-02-28