GBC Logo
IS 301
Management Information Systems

Revised: January, 2015
Credits: 3
Instructor: Ed Nickel
Office: HTC 133
Phone: 753-2241 (office with voice mail)
E-mail: due to increased spam my email address will be provided the first day of class
Class Web Page:
Textbook: Principles of Information Systems, 10th ed. by Stair & Reynolds, ISBN 0538478284, Course Technology/Cengage Learning. Search using the title, author, or ISBN for pricing at various discounters/used book dealers, or pay full price at the college bookstore. Please note: you may also use the older 9th edition, ISBN 0324665288, however, while the essentials are still the same most of the case studies and many of the examples illustrating various concepts have been changed from this older text. The menu of links in the upper right corner of the class web page includes material relevant to this class.


CATALOG DESCRIPTION: The fundamentals of design, implementation, control, evaluation, and strategic use of computer-based information systems for business data processing, office automation, information reporting, and decision making. Emphasizes managerial and strategic aspects of information technology with some hands-on work using information management software. Prerequisite: Completion of an Associate degree.

Welcome to IS 301, Management Information Systems, an Internet based class via GBC's WebCampus site. This course covers both the basic theory and the current practice of management information systems in business and enterprise. We will cover information systems from input, through processing, output, and storage, as well as system design, data validation, and security issues.

The weekly chapter readings, links to supplemental readings, and the most significant assignments are listed in the schedule below. Assignments are due the week after they have been assigned. Additional assignments may be given from time to time depending on class progress with due dates noted when the assignments are given. To complete assignments students may use open GBC computer labs in Battle Mountain, Elko, Ely, Pahrump and, Winnemucca, or, if available, your own computer and appropriate software.

I urge you to watch the Nightly Business Report on PBS, listen to Marketplace or Marketplace Morning Report on NPR or, read Infoworld, Computerworld, the Wall Street Journal, or some other information technology and/or general business resource during this semester. You will find that hardly a week goes by without a news story of a significant business success or failure that directly relates to business information systems. You are encouraged to incorporate these news events in your discussions during this class.

As an Internet based class, there are no traditional lectures, discussions, or labs. However, I plan to produce several podcasts which will be linked to this online syllabus for you to download. These podcasts will be recorded in the MP3 format and can be listened to using any Windows, Mac, or Linux computer or with an MP3 player. Furthermore, you are expected to keep up with the weekly chapter reading assignments from the book. In lieu of lectures I will create various posts and link supplementary materials in the schedule below which you are also expected to review each week. Instead of classroom discussions you will be expected to post your own college quality written comments on one topic related to the class readings each week as well as respond to your fellow students' comments. To help you with ideas for posts, I will post potential discussion ideas and comments from time to time. I will read and assess your posts as well as comment on them if necessary for clarification purposes.

METHOD OF INSTRUCTION: This class may be taught in a live classroom setting, online via WebCampus, or as a hybrid class. You are expected to participate in weekly discussions, exercises, as well as various quizzes, projects, and other class activities. The schedule of reading and assignments is found below. Additional assignments may be given verbally, as handouts in class, or via the WebCampus lesson modules.

CLASS PARTICIPATION: In the on-line version of this class, you are expected to post at least one original discussion and one response to other classmates' posts every week and your posts should relate to some aspect of the material we are covering during each lesson or some related issue. In the live version you are expect to be similarly prepared for and participate in every class discussion. Whether live or online, participation in class discussion is a significant portion of your grade as it indicates how well you understand the concepts being covered.

INSTRUCTOR CONTACT: I can be reached either at my office phone number shown above or via the WebCampus email, you can drop in during my office hours, or make an appointment to see me at other times. Office hours are posted on my office door and on my web site. The schedule of reading assignments, homework and tests is found below. Additional assignments may be given verbally or as handouts in class.


The primary objective of this class is to provide students with an intermediate level understanding of information technology as it applies to business systems. In addition, we will cover some of the many ethical dilemmas surrounding IT uses in business. We will also discuss appropriate uses and common misuses of IT. Some of the more significant topics to be covered in this class include:

  • computers and networks as communications medium and business advantage in both C2B and B2B contexts;
  • enhancing both quantitative and qualitative information analysis, e.g. information systems are useful for collecting, organizing, & analyzing data but only if the assumptions behind the data are understood & the algorithms used in their processing are accurate;
  • the conflicts between confidentiality and business advantages when collecting, analyzing, and using personal information, e.g. data use and privacy issues;
  • the challenges and solutions for implementing multi-national corporate information systems, including those of economic and cultural differences;
  • intellectual property rights, including patent, copyright and the fair use doctrine.


The successful student in this class will be able to:
  1. explain the meaning of terms used to describe common techniques and concepts in business information systems;
  2. design a simple information system using appropriate computer software to analyze various business decision scenarios;
  3. generate and interpret the results of a small-scale information system project;
  4. articulate major social and ethical issues involved in the development and use of information technology.
Learner Outcome Assessments
Assessment Method Learner Outcomes
Class Discussion via web posts 1, 2, 3, 4
Business Decision Software Assignments 2, 3
Exams 1, 4


GRADING POLICY: This is a letter grade class an A=90-100%, B=80-89%, C=70-79%, D=60-69%, F=59% or less or W=Official Withdrawal if done before the withdrawal deadline. There is no curve in this grading scale. Your grade will be based 20% on assignments, 30% on discussions, and 50% the two exams. All assignments are due by the beginning of the next class unless otherwise indicated by the instructor when they are assigned.

EXAM & QUIZ PROCEDURES: All exams and quizzes will be objective, e.g. true/false, multiple choice, fill-in the blank, etc, and will be conducted using GBC's web based learning system.

ATTENDANCE POLICY: The instructor must agree in advance to any excused absences unless there are strong extenuating circumstances. Three (3) unexcused absences can result in a failing grade, in an on-line class an absence is one week when you do not participate in class or contact the instructor.

OTHER POLICIES: The student rights & responsibilities policy stated in the current GBC Catalog apply to this class. Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and can result in a failing grade. This syllabus is not a contract and is subject to reasonable changes as the class proceeds.

ACCOMMODATIONS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: Great Basin College is committed to providing equal educational opportunities to qualified students with disabilities in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. A qualified student must furnish current verification of disability. The Director of Services for Students with Disabilities will assist qualified students with disabilities in securing the appropriate and reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids and services. For more information or further assistance, please call (775) 753-2271.

CAMPUS SECURITY: GBC is committed to the safety of our students and has a duty to promote awareness and prevention programs for violence on campus under the Jeanne Clery Act as well as the Campus SaVE (Sexual Violence Elimination Act) and VAWA (Violence Against Women Act), which are amendments to Clery. Acts of violence include, but are not limited to, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Acts of violence can occur on the physical campus or centers of GBC in addition to field placement sites, clinical practice settings, and other places where college or class activities occur. As well, the online environment at GBC is considered a GBC site. If you experience any incidence where your safety has been threatened or violated, or if you feel threatened or harassed, immediately report this to me, any center director, faculty, or staff member, or directly to the Director of Environmental Health, Safety & Security (775-753-2115) or the Vice President for Student Services (775-753-2282).


In order to keep up with the posted web discussions, you should read and understand each week's topics as they are covered. The first week of class begins in late August, the mid-term exam will be available the eighth week of the semester, and the final will be available the last week of the semester. Each exam will have a two hour time limit once you begin taking it.

From time to time I will create podcasts (downloadable mp3 files) on topics which lend themselves to audio delivery. These will be audio explanations and other commentary related to specific lessons. As I create these podcasts you can find them by either clicking on this link: podcasts or "subscribing" to the RSS feed for this syllabus. You will be able to download them for free onto your computer, to any mp3 player, or add the podcasts' URL to iTunes or similar podcast receiving software.

Readings, Topics, & Assignments by week:
Week      Chapter   Topics Assignments
Week  1: Chapter 1 Introductions & IS terminology Review class requirements
Week  2: Chapter 2 Information systems in organizations  
Week  3: Chapter 3 IS hardware  
Week  4: Chapter 4 IS software 1st Excel/Solver assignment
Week  5: Chapter 5 DBMS & business intelligence  
Week  6: Chapter 6 Telecommunications & networks 2nd Excel/Solver assignment
Week  7: Chapter 7 The Internet, intranets, & extranets  
Week  8:     Midterm Exam
Week  9: Chapter 8 e-Commerce  
Week 10: Chapter 9 Enterprise systems MS Project assignment
Week 11: Chapter 10 Information & decision support systems  
Week 12: Chapter 11 Knowledge management & specialized ISs MS Visio assignment
Week 13: Chapter 12 Systems development: part 1  
Week 14: Chapter 13 Systems development: part 2  
Week 15: Chapter 14 Personal & social impact of ISs  
Week 16:     Final Exam

Creative Commons License
Original content on this website created by Ed Nickel
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
United States License
based on a work at
Some classes include rss-podcast

Valid HTML 5.0   Valid CSS!