About the Book
We set out to design an introductory course governed by four themes:
Give students a good idea of what a career in MIS looks like by doing MIS.
Enhance the professionalism of deliverables by teaching design and usability concepts.
Promote creativity by assigning projects that demand it.
Teach students about cloud computing by having them do cloud computing.
Students in an introductory Management Information Systems (MIS) course often ask what a career in MIS looks like. Lacking a clear vision, they make their own assumptions. Often they assume the career involves programming with little human interaction. That MIS is a technical field could not be further from the truth. MIS job descriptions typically require candidates to be able to collaborate, communicate, analyze needs and gather requirements. They also list the need for excellent written and communication skills. In other words, MIS workers are constantly interacting with other people both inside and outside the organization. They are coming up with creative solutions to business problems.
This course is designed to help students get a feel for what a career in MIS would be like. Our students report that they learn more about information systems from their internships than from their IS courses. Consequently, we designed a course that looks very much like an internship—an introduction to the field followed by a substantial project.
Chapter 1 begins by introducing the information systems landscape. Here we discuss all the usual suspects: the information systems triangle, the systems development life cycle, transaction systems (ERP, SCM, CRM), collaboration systems, and business intelligence systems. Other aspects of the landscape such as usability, outsourcing, database concepts and so forth are introduced throughout chapter in Chapter 2 where they fit in naturally with the flow of the project.
Chapter 2 is the substantial project which runs over a number of chapters. Over the course of the semester, students plan, build, and develop a proposal for an iPhone application. They develop a very realistic mockup. They also build a website to help market and support the app. Students are engaged because the project is fun and feels real. However, they are simultaneously learning business concepts and MIS skills. Prior to the existence of this course, we were only able to give such an interesting project at the senior level. Now, even as freshmen, students have a real experience of MIS in operation.
A by product of creating an engaging course is increased enrollment in the MIS major. Even students who have never heard of MIS become excited about the major and either switch majors or add it as a double major or minor.
Many other books have students study tools and then do a case. By contrast, most of this book is a case. Much like the real world, we introduce tools when needed, and only to the extent needed, to get at each part of the case.
About the Contributors
Raymond D. Frost is a Professor of Management Information Systems department at Ohio University. He is also the Director of Studies for College of Business students in the Honors Tutorial College (HTC). Frost joined the College of Business in 1999. His primary research areas are instructional pedagogy, information design, and database design. He was named 2010 Computer Educator of the Year by the International Association for Computer Information Systems. He has also received multiple teaching awards at both the College and University level and holds the title of O’Bleness Teaching Chair. Frost earned a doctorate in business administration and an M.S. in computer science at the University of Miami (Florida), and received his B.A. in philosophy at Swarthmore College. He lives in Athens, Ohio with his wife, Tere, and two boys, Raymond and Luke.
Jacqueline C. Pike is an Assistant Professor of Information Systems Management in the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business at Duquesne University. She earned her B.B.A. from the Honors Tutorial College and College of Business at Ohio University and her Ph.D. from the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include behavior in public online communities and social computing environments, the utilization of public online communities by organizations, human-computer interaction, and the visual display of information in a systems context.
Lauren N. Kenyo is an instructor in the Management Information Systems at Ohio University. After graduating from Ohio University’s College of Business she went on to graduate from Ohio’s Masters of Business Administration Program. In 2004 Kenyo came back to join the faculty as in instructor in the Management Information Systems department. Kenyo currently resides in Streetsboro, Ohio with her husband, Eugene, and daughter, Katelyn.
Sarah E. Pels is an Honors Tutorial College student in the College of Business at Ohio University. Her research interests include creating diagrams to aid in software instruction.