Business Information Systems: Design an App for That Instructor’s Manual


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Business Information Systems: Design an App for That

Instructor’s Manual

Instructors Manual

Description 7

Required Text 7

Software 7

Grading 7

Pedagogy 7

Assignments 7

Caveat 7

Required Free Accounts 8

General Rules 8

Chapter Introduction 9

The Big Picture 9

Possible hooks to gain student interest 9

1. Poll Everywhere 9

2. Start with Why 10

1. What are information systems? 10

Key Takeaways 10

Questions and Exercises 10

2. Designing Information Systems 11

Key Takeaways 11

Questions and Exercises 11

3. The Big Picture 13

Key takeaways 13

Questions and Exercises 13

L1 Assignment--About Me Slide 13

Instructions for students 13

Grading Rubric for L1 Assignment 14

Instructions for students 14

A User Friendly Instructor’s Manual

We worked hard to create an Instructor’s Manual that would be user friendly. We would like you to enjoy teaching the course. Please let us know how we did.

Raymond Frost,

Jacqueline Pike,

Lauren Kenyo,

Sarah Pels,

Creating the ClassApp Store

The class hinges on the construction of an online store for your students to market their App designs. You create the structure of the store and the students fill in the product pages. Fortunately, we have automated most of the construction of the store using a Google Sites template. It is really easy to set up:

Get a Gmail account. Then create a new site using Google Sites. The first option is to pick a template. Search for and select the ClassAppStore template. Like magic the template creates the entire site! It even creates APP and SALES spreadsheets in your Google Docs account! These spreadsheets store all the transaction data. Now you just need to customize the site for your class. Follow the customization instructions that are on the template.

Three keys to teaching

Three keys make an enormous difference in student learning and in teaching evaluations: Hooks, Big Picture View, and Learning Objectives.

Hooks are a way to quickly capture student attention at the beginning of the class. They should take only a couple of minutes. We provide suggestions for each chapter.

Big Picture View means letting students know where they are in the overall plan of the course. Otherwise the course appears to be a random series of topics. We used the Systems Development Life Cycle in order to have a link with the rest of the MIS curriculum. However, we could just as easily have used the outline of the schematic report which students create as their final deliverable.

Learning Objectives are much maligned because so many of them are badly written. However, good learning objectives should be actionable and measureable: “After completing this section you will be able to….” Now the students have something tangible to get excited about.


We don’t like the PowerPoints that accompany most texts any more than you do. Very few of them are written by the authors. However, our PowerPoints were created by us. They are what we actually use. And we try to practice what we preach. We tend toward Presentation Zen (see chapter 12, Presenting the Business Case) rather than death by PowerPoint. Therefore, our slides are mostly images with few words. The students will be listening to you rather than reading the slides!

Sample Syllabus


This course is designed to teach information design and information literacy concepts in a business setting. Over the course of the quarter, students plan, build, and develop a proposal for an iPhone application. This includes building a website prototype to help market and support the app and forecasting financials. We will be simultaneously learning business concepts and MIS skills.

Required Text

Business Information Systems: Design an App for That The text is available online from Order now to allow time for shipping!


Microsoft Office 2010 or Office 2011 (Mac). Gmail, Kuler Colors, Dropbox, ISMS, Google Sites, and Google Docs are in the cloud.


For all projects, the requirements, deliverable format, and evaluation criteria will be precisely specified.


























• Levels 1 and 2 —Mastery of techniques in a business context

• Level 3—Apply concepts to a new business problem


There are weekly homework assignments that have a heavy weight in your grade. Please allow 3 to 4 hours each week to complete.


Schedule and points distribution are subject to change.

Required Free Accounts


Your Gmail account also gives you access to Google Sites and Google Docs—all of which we will use.


General Rules

This is a course for aspiring professionals. The following are the expectations and rules for the class:

  1. Disrespect in anyway, by anybody, toward anybody, will not be tolerated. This includes designing apps that promote unethical behavior—such as drug use or underage drinking.

  2. Occasionally you may need to turn in an assignment late or miss a class. You begin with three lives. A life may be used to miss one class session (lecture or lab), arrive late, or to turn in an assignment up to 2 days late.

  3. Your lives can be redeemed for 500 points extra credit each if you preserve them through the end of the quarter.

  4. You can also earn additional lives. Lives may be earned (up to 6) by perfect attendance for two weeks straight. (1 week in summer).

  5. The student will act honorably at all times. Honesty is valued at 1 letter grade for a first offense, and 3 letter grades for a second offense—i.e., failing the course. This means, among other things, the student will not cheat - to do such is an insult to your soul. If you do this, you are not of the caliber of student I want to graduate.

  6. Any out-of-class e-mail communication from the instructor will be through your email account. You must make sure that you check your email on a regular basis because you are responsible for any information contained in such messages.

  7. When the instructor is talking to the class, everyone is to pay attention quietly.
  8. Trips to the restrooms are to be made only in cases of emergency and only during the activity phases of the class, not while the instructor is talking. Bring a water bottle to class so that trips to the drinking fountain are not necessary.

  9. Students will not pack up to leave until you are told to do so.

  10. A student may not attend another class section, even if it is taught by the same instructor, unless they have made advance prior arrangements with the instructor.

Chapter 1: Information Systems in Your Life

Chapter Introduction

This chapter provides an overview of the information systems field. It defines information systems, discusses types of information systems, and talks about the process by which systems are designed.

The Big Picture

Possible hooks to gain student interest

1. Poll Everywhere

Shock your students by having them take out rather than put away their cellphones at the start of class.

Show what an information system is by having prepared a Poll Everywhere ( poll that the students respond to using their cell phones. For example, they can text what they did for break (qualitative) or favorite football team (bar graph). Discuss how this simple example incorporates all three dimensions of an information system: people, process, information technology.

This hook requires a bit of setup as you will need to create a free Poll Everywhere poll before class. The free account also only allows 32 responses—great for a small class, but in a big class only the first ones to text in get counted.

2. Start with Why

Another possible hook is to let your students know what you believe about teaching and about them. Why did you decide to choose an unconventional and fun text? What does that say about you, and about what you believe with respect to teaching and learning?

1. What are information systems?

  • Understand the parts of an information system

  • Identify companies that practice user centered design

  • Identify typical careers for information systems graduates

Key Takeaways

  • The information systems triangle includes people, processes, and information technology. It is a good reminder that MIS is about much more than just technology.

  • Well-designed information systems keep the user in mind at each step of the process.

  • Information systems are used by every functional area of business--marketing, management, finance, and accounting. For this reason it is good to have a strong background in information systems.

  • Careers in information systems tend to be dynamic, team based, and focused on problem solving.

  • Few information systems careers involve programming. However, IS professionals must be able to communicate with programmers.

Questions and Exercises

1. Search for news stories on the Bristol Palin vote controversy. What systems did ABC put in place to catch voter fraud?

Answer: They have various security checks that go over the votes before they are calculated such as spotting IP addresses and seeing if one computer sends in a ton of votes, and if it does, they discard them. Excessive votes aren’t counted. They discard anything that looks suspicious. They don’t reveal all systems though so that people don’t look for ways around them.

2. Pick a user centered web site other than and explain why you think it is well designed.

Answer: EBay would be another example of a user-centered web site. Its focus is its users and the way they interact with one another. I think it is well-designed because it has links that help show how to buy or sell, different sections for different items, and many people who use it once can’t help but to get addicted and use it repeatedly because they get good results – either finding desired items or receiving a decent amount of money for selling things. With this website it is true that one man’s trash can be another’s treasure. The visual design of the website itself is also very user friendly because the coloring and format make it easy and fun to use even for people with minimal computer skills.

3. Find job descriptions for two information systems jobs. Do the job descriptions emphasize soft skills or technical skills or both?

Answer: One job description I found was for a computer and IS manager position and it seemed to emphasize both soft skills and technical skills because they need to be able to both work with personnel and machines to get their jobs done with computers information systems. The other job description I found was for a Geographic information systems specialist, which focused a bit more on the technical skills than soft skills because it has more to do with the information itself than translating the information for people.

2. Designing Information Systems

  • Compare and contrast usability, graphic design and analytical design.

  • Outline the steps by which an information system should be designed.

Key Takeaways

  • The systems development life cycle (SDLC) is an approach for designing and developing MIS solutions. It proceeds in stages: analysis, requirements (vision of future state), design, development, and implementation.

  • Information systems professionals often make the equivalent of a sketch of the design of the final system. When the sketches are crude they are called wireframes; when they are more refined they are called mockups. However, sometimes the terms are used interchangeably.

Questions and Exercises

1. Watch a home improvement show such as Curb Appeal and identify all five stages of the SDLC in the show. About how much time does the show devote to each stage?


Analysis: They currently own a home that from the exterior has the style of a pub, with brick and curves, which they wanted to continue the theme of in their basement. The bar is just piles of wood right now because the contractor left them high and dry - leaving them for months without doing any work.

Requirements: The owners want to finish the entertainment system, bar, and ceiling. They’d also like a surface shelf for the TV.

Design: They decided they needed to pull ceiling tiles down do inspection, pull fireplace out and replace stone with brick, take bar frames down, make a drop ceiling, would encourage using the same layout for bar but strengthen the structure itself, will cover electrical panel full cabinet etched brick against the wall limestone for shelving, bring in someone to check the electric to make sure everything is as should be goes to someone to design the bar cabinets, at the beginning planned on having 2 French doors but now a gate to enter bar 6ft by 80 in. 18 in table for t.v. with a wood top.

Development: The remodelers pull the ceiling tiles down and see that all electric and plumbing is fine, gently tear down wall around fireplace and move the fireplace over a little, tear out the tiles at the bar because it was placed incorrectly, place the fireplace where they want it and build a brick wall around it, place gate at entrance to room.

For last minute details, they need to put in the ceiling tiles, fix up crevices, put in tiles on floor, tiles on bar surface, repainting the wall behind the bar for a rougher feel, brush over for imperfections to create a suede affect, put in sink plumbing and wiring into bar.

Implementation: Final tidy and cleanup for the big reveal.

A decent amount of time was allotted to explain their current situation because it is unique in the sense that they not only want some work done in their house, but it is because someone didn’t finish the job in the first place. Very little time for the wish list because it is short, the homeowners just want the thing finished, they don’t know yet what is not set up correctly or what details the new contractors will put into the design of the room. Designing the solution took about as long as the wish list because even the designers didn’t have all the details worked out from the beginning, they just stated the main things they were going to fix and how. They then got started on the actual demolition of the old and rebuilding of the new which took up maybe 75% of the show because that is what takes the most time in real life and is the most entertaining to watch. The finishing details just took about five minutes to show because they were just last minute things done within the last few hours before being shown to the homeowners.

2. Read and summarize an article on interface design from

Answer: The article I read was called “Visionary Usability: Making Friends With Graphic Design.” It was about visual appeal vs. usability of websites and was very interesting to me because it tested whether usability can make up for a lack of initial impact visual appeal of a website has on a person. They found that no, the usability can be wonderful in a website but if the visual appeal factor has already been ruined there is no chance for a website to be rated well by the viewer. Therefore, the visual appeal of a website seems to make the first impression on a viewer so graphic designers need to make sure that the website looks good in order for people to stay on the site and take advantage of its usability.

3. The Big Picture

Key takeaways

  • Most business information systems can be classified as enterprise systems, collaboration systems, or business intelligence systems.

  • Ideally all these systems smoothly exchange data to help managers make information driven decisions.

Questions and Exercises

1. In Good to Great, Jim Collins quotes former Kroger CEO, Lyle Everingham, on how Kroger management made the decision to pursue the Superstore concept, “Basically, we did extensive research, and the data came back loud and clear: The supercombination stores were the way of the future.” Which of the information architecture systems could produce such data? Explain.

Answer: Although enterprise resource planning helped gather the information, I would say that the type of information architecture system that could produce this type of data would be business intelligence because it is “the process of analyzing data to spot trends and opportunities.” The idea of supercombination stores was one of thinking toward the future and taking the opportunity to hop onto the next trend to continue to be successful.

L1 Assignment--About Me Slide

Technically this chapter has no hands on assignment. However, we recommend the following easy assignment:

Why not make the first assignment something that doubles as an ice breaker? Each student creates an About Me single slide in PowerPoint. They can get as creative as they like—even animate it.

Instructions for students

  • You will be making a PowerPoint slide about you.

  • Name your files something useful

    • Ex. SlideAboutMe

  • Include:

    • Your name

    • Your major

    • Class rank

    • Hometown

    • Interesting facts and/or hobbies

    • A picture of you (from Facebook?)

      • Show how to download from Facebook

        • Choose Image > Click download > save > (On PowerPoint) Insert > Picture

If you have access to PowerPoint Merger (Mac) or a similar program you can put all the slides together in a slide show with a music soundtrack and play it as the hook to start the next class! Students will wake up and take notice for the rest of the quarter if they get the message that their work might appear on screen at any point in time. The quality of their work will also increase.

Grading Rubric for L1 Assignment

Late Submission:  0

Your assignment was submitted late or not submitted at all.

Completion (700 points available):  700

Assignment is complete

Instructions for students

Welcome to Lab!


  • Introduce self

  • Always be courteous, whether in person or in emails

  • When coming late into lecture, do not walk in front of the professor and please try to be as quiet as possible.

  • Email the TA first with any questions, regarding ANYTHING. If the TA can’t help you, he/she will email the professor.

  • On the second day, sit in the seats you want to be in for the rest of the semester.


  • Set up accounts for required websites

  • How to turn in assignments

    • If you want to leave the TA a note, type it into the submission box. (Demonstrate this on screen)


  • Try to find out the answer to your questions by using the grading rubric or the book first.

  • It is very helpful to read through the rubric before turning in the assignment.

Frost, Pike, Kenyo, Pels Page of

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