ISM 6021

Management Information Systems

CRN 80111

FALL 2011

August 22 to December 9

Updated - 8/3/2011

Fully Internet course using ANGEL Course Management System

Syllabus: Teaching Philosophy and Grading Criteria

Professor Walter Rodriguez, Ph.D., P.E.


Welcome to the ISM 6021 Course Syllabus (Teaching Philosophy and Grading Criteria).*

[*Note: This syllabus has two parts: I. Getting Started, Lessons and Assignments and II. Teaching Philosophy and Grading Criteria. This part describes the course---including the teaching philosophy and grading criteria. To jump to "Syllabus: Getting Started, Lessons and Assignments," please click ).]

Course Description:

Introduces computer information systems technology (IT) principles, tools and strategies used to gain competitive advantage in the marketplace. The emphasis is on addressing business problems in the information-age and communicating--in writing and with commonly used desktop software--the results of one's analysis of a business IT problem or situation. In addition, students apply IT strategies in the design of an Internet-based enterprise (E-Commerce)--including on-line presentation of e-business plan and enterprise resource planning (ERP) strategy.

Executive Summary for ISM 6021: In this unique online Management Information System (MIS) course, you will research and connect to the techno-strategic use of information systems (IS) as well as the e-business processes utilized for increasing efficiency, effectiveness, productivity and profits. Drawing on the scholarship of multiple authors and IT researchers, you will research and learn how your firm can achieve the scale, scope, and efficiency that comes from being large and the flexibility, speed, and responsiveness of being small. Collectively, you and your peers will research and discuss the implications of using information technology and how it impacts operations throughout the supply chain.  In addition to the theoretical and strategic IT concepts (Applegate 8e), this course also covers practical IT/e-business topics (Rappa's Managing the Digital Enterprise) as follows:

  • how to design virtual business processes that are user friendly;
  • how to measure performance and effectiveness;
  • how to understand business models;
  • how markets change as more consumers migrate online;
  • techniques for automating business processes;
  • how to avoid channel conflict and exploit channel synergy;
  • how to foster trust in computer-mediated interaction;
  • how to securely manage the digital enterprise;
  • how to protect digital intellectual property;
  • how to operate online in an ethical manner.
Programs: Business/Computer Information Systems
Subject Areas: Information Systems/e-Business/IT/Operations Strategy
Credit Hours: 3
Delivery Mode: Internet - Asynchronous (anytime/anywhere/anyplace)
Prerequisites: Working knowledge of Microsoft's Windows and Office (equivalent to CGS 1100 Introduction to Computers)
Course URL: 

e-Learning Information:

In this asynchronous Internet course, you will have the opportunity to communicate and collaborate with a global community of students and managers throughout the USA, Europe and Asia. Of course, you need access to the Internet and the following:

A. Hardware/Software
  • Access to a Windows-based PC with Audio (Speaker) System,  connected to the Internet and running Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Internet Explorer latest (free download at ""); RealPlayer (free download) and iTunes (free download at; the Angel e-learning system [To see detailed instructions, please click .]
  • Although this is a very demanding online course, the only technical prerequisite is a working knowledge of Microsoft's Office equivalent to "CGS 1100 Introduction to Computers."  Students that are not familiar with Office software applications, are encouraged to register for the online version of CGS 1100 or an equivalent course.
  • E-Mail account from Florida Gulf Coast University.
B. Textbook*

Applegate, L.M. et al., Corporate Information Strategy and Management: Text and Cases, Eight Edition 8/e  (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2009) ISBN: 0073402931 [Browse Applegate's Corporate Information Center]

* We will supplement the Applegate's textbook readings with free online resources, such as Michael Rappa's Managing the Digital Enterprise at To listen to the Rappa's podcasted lectures, please download (free) iTunes on your computer then subscribe to Digital Enterprise podcasts directly at the iTunes Music Store.

C. Class setting - Angel Course Management System (CMS) resource at ThIS system uses discussion forums,  chat-rooms, e-mail, and multimedia to establish practice-oriented synchronous (same time) and asynchronous (anytime) discussions.

D. Delivery/Interaction  Strategy - Here is a brief summary of how the course is delivered to you and how you will be interacting with the instructor and your peers: The instructor will send you an e-mail containing the assignments due. [Important: If you don’t receive at least two e-mails per week, please contact Dr. Walter Rodriguez immediately at] Assignments usually include textbook and case readings, videos/chats and discussion forums at .

E. Case Analysis and Research Articles - The course simulates information technology (IT) practice----using cases and research articles posted on Angel. These cases discuss real-life problems (issues), and are analyzed using questions posted on the discussion forums at .

Case analysis and forum discussions via Internet is one of the most demanding forms of pedagogy: Each week, the instructor posts questions on discussion forums and assesses students' responses. In addition to understanding the textbook chapter and case "facts," students are required to identify the key issues, the information that supports their analysis of the issues, and the approach that they would take for addressing the problem at-hand, using the textbooks and frameworks discussed in the videos/chats.

Participation in discussion forums account for 50% of the grade. The grading criteria for participation includes both quantity and quality of contributions--but we emphasize the  relevance to the topic and objectives at hand (Important: Please study the "Grading Policy" near the end of this page).

F. Concepts - The basic business-driven information technology concepts and terminology are learned by reading and discussing up-to-date articles, reviewing videos/chats and by working on the assigned discussion questions.

G. Multimedia - Some assignments may point to podcasts and videos. The first time that you try to play the videos you may be directed to download a free version of RealPlayer from "" or some other free software viewer.

H. Library - Students are encouraged to access the following online Library Electronic Resources: GaleNet, J-Stor, Lexis-Nexis, NewsBank InfoWeb, Stat-USA, Uncover, and others. Until now, some library resources were unavailable remotely because many vendors ensure that their products are limited to subscribers by checking the address (IP) of the computer requesting access. Currently, all of the computers on the FGCU campus network automatically provide a network assigned address and connect to those electronic resources unhindered.  Users are able to assign a valid address to a computer outside the campus network by using a proxy connection that identifies the request for access as coming from an authorized FGCU user. Step-by-step instructions for using the proxy server are on the library web site.  Just go to the library home page ( and click on Electronic Resources.

For instance, you may want to access the Communications of the Association of Information Systems journal. The URL for direct access is but you may also access via the library's web site:, and then click on Library Catalog. Select Journal/Magazine Title Search, and type in CAIS in the search Box. (It is not case sensitive). The result will open up the record for this journal and you will find the link for the CAIS journal's web site.

I. General Objectives -

* You will research the approaches executives use to make IT decisions as well as how organizations attempt to leverage IT to create business advantage.

* You will learn the concept of a business model as a key framework that guides executive decision-making and action.

* You will research how emerging technologies influence approaches to managing IT assets, projects, and risks.

* You will explore the responsibilities, obligations, and expectations of IT leaders as businesses try to exploit today's IT solutions and services to drive business advantage.

* You will research and analyze IT business problems and communicate solutions using information-age tools and operational strategies.

* You will learn the best IT practices and principles. And how information systems can be used to address business challenges. You will understand fundamental IT concepts and terminology. You will understand the basic database, decision-making, and collaborative tools used in information-age businesses.

Instructor Information:

Name: Walter Rodriguez, Ph.D., P.E.
Phone #: 239.590.7360
E-mail address: 
Office Location: Lutgert Hall 3350
Office Hours: Virtual office hours via online chat room or phone. The optimal time for campus visits is Fridays afternoon.
Of course, you may also contact the instructor anytime at .

Professor's URL:
Teaching Philosophy:

I. Instructor's Role - The instructor serves as facilitator in the learning process:
  • Creating exciting research and learning opportunities for the students;
  • Assigning readings & challenging projects; and
  • Assessing students' work and stimulating participation. 

II. Grader's Role (if applicable) - When available, a grader may assign preliminary values to each of the assignments and projects, based on the criteria given below. [The instructor will review and validate.]

II. Student's Role -  Students (learners) should be active participants in the learning process:
  • Reading assigned chapters & analyzing cases (by due date)
  • Researching and participating in discussions (online forums)*
  • Submitting assigned questions, projects and exams by the indicated due date --- per course schedule (for details, see Part II). 

* Students should be aware that all required writings may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to for the detection of plagiarism.  All submitted work will be included as source documents in the reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such work.  Use of the service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the site.


In general, grades in this class have been very good. For instance, only two students got a C last semester. Depending on the semester, average final grades have ranged from A- to B+. Nevertheless, you may be a bit concerned. So, below is a review the grading criteria (beyond what's normally posted in a syllabus). I have also included some guidelines that may help you understand how discussion forums are evaluated. Regards, Walter Rodriguez

Grading Policy:

Grades will be awarded on the plus/minus (+/-) basis

*Note: Per College policy, graduate students must pass the class with at least a 70 average  (if not, the grade will be automatically recorded as fail):

A 93-100
A- 90-92.99
B+ 87-89.99
B 83-86.99
B- 80-82.99
C+ 77-79.99
C 70-76.99*
D 60-69.99*

Below 60*

Percentage Distribution:

50% Weekly Assigned Tasks: Including, participation in Harvard Business School's Cases and other discussion forums

25% Post Mid Assessment (IT/e-Business Knowledge Questions and Case Analysis)

25% Final Project (Strategic e-Business Plan or MIS Research Paper)

Grading Criteria for Participation in Discussion Forums:

1.   Per syllabus, students are required to participate in the discussion forums.

2.   The Discussion Forums "participation" grading criteria includes both quantity and quality of contributions---emphasizing the relevance of the particular contribution to the topic and objectives at hand.

3.   Duplicity or unrelated comments are not penalized---but are not counted. 

4.   We want to conduct a conversational-style, threaded discussion----that is, a dialogue that is as close as possible to a regular class conversation ... where the professor asks a question and one or two students respond to the questions ... then other students react to what has been said. To this effect, students should address only one of the suggested questions, at a given time, in sequential order, if possible. [You may also develop your own questions.] Then, return later on and provide feedback on another student's comment. Below you will find how we evaluate your responses ... remembering that there is no right answer ... it's rather rational/emotional process to arrive at general business conclusions or principles that can be applied to your own business situation. Therefore, the open question should always be: what did we learn from this particular case or article? 

6.   It’s important to provide guidance to students desiring to maximize their final grade. Although assigning a value (number) to a discussion forum or comment (grading itself) is ultimately derived from previous experience, either teaching or evaluating items under similar circumstances, here are some guidelines: Usually, comments that have “higher density” of thought are assigned higher value. For instance, very insightful and/or experiential (your own business experience) comments may earn a 9.5 or even a 10. But, say quoting the textbook, or restating the obvious, will earn maybe an 8.0, since it’s correct (but, obviously, not as valued as a higher density comment.) Of course, the slight 0.5 differences come with experience and it’s harder to explain. But, an experienced grader is able to evaluate the difference between say an 8.0 and 8.5, in a fairly consistent manner thanks to the insights gained from reading hundreds of similar comments over an extended period of time. In summary, fresh, relevant, high-density, accurate, creative, experiential and insightful comments will be assigned a higher value. On the average students will have ups and downs depending on how familiar or interested students are in the current topic. So it all averages out real nicely. Although we ask you to address one question at a time, we do count your cumulative submissions to each unit ... so you can feel free to enter more than one quality comment at various times ... giving you opportunity to defend, clarify, rebut.   

7.   Although the requirement in many forums is to answer one or two questions (discussion forums), these forums are open-ended discussions involving the full class and the students are encouraged to expand in order to try to maximize their grades ... that is, students should add comments later on, or ask and answer other questions to create a discussion similar to a real class. As mentioned earlier, the grader mainly looks at the quality of the answers, i.e., density of thought and relevance to the topic at hand as well as the general discussion. But, please note that the items above indicate that the grading criteria include "both quantity and quality of contributions---emphasizing the relevance of the particular contribution to the topic and objectives at hand." Please read again this grading criteria very carefully and do not hesitate to contact me again, if you want to discuss further.

8.   Late Postings: The assignment deadlines are firm and, under normal circumstances,  students will not receive partial credit for late assignments.  Nevertheless, we advice students to complete past due assignments belatedly. Reason: If we determine by the end of the course that those students have been consistent timely-participants throughout the course (i.e., not missing more than one or two units) we will consider checking for late assignments or allocating some partial credit. Important: One assignment that all students must complete---sooner or later---is the Roll Call forum, since your peers will read it for selecting partners for the final project.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me ASAP.


Walter Rodriguez, Ph.D., P.E.

To jump to ISM 6021 Syllabus Part I: Getting Started, Lessons and Assignments, please click

Additional Information:

Students will develop an strategic e-business plan or write an MIS research paper

University Statements:

Academic Behavior Standards and Academic Dishonesty

All students are expected to demonstrate honesty in their academic pursuits. The university policies regarding issues of honesty can be found in the FGCU Student Guidebook under the Student Code of Conduct and Policies and Procedures sections.  All students are expected to study this document which outlines their responsibilities and consequences for violations of the policy.   The FGCU Student Guidebook is available online at

Disability Accommodations Services

Florida Gulf Coast University, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the university’s guiding principles, will provide classroom and academic accommodations to students with documented disabilities. If you need to request an accommodation in this class due to a disability, or you suspect that your academic performance is affected by a disability, please contact the Office of Adaptive Services. The Office of Adaptive Services is located in Howard Hall 137. The phone number is 239-590-7956 or TTY 239-590-7930

Student Observance of Religious Holidays

All students at Florida Gulf Coast University have a right to expect that the University will reasonably accommodate their religious observances, practices, and beliefs.  Students, upon prior notification to their instructors, shall be excused from class or other scheduled academic activity to observe a religious holy day of their faith. Students shall be permitted a reasonable amount of time to make up the material or activities covered in their absence. Students shall not be penalized due to absence from class or other scheduled academic activity because of religious observances. Where practicable, major examinations, major assignments, and University ceremonies will not be scheduled on a major religious holy day. A student who is to be excused from class for a religious observance is not required to provide a second party certification of the reason for the absence.

In lieu of including the full policy in the course syllabus, provide a link to General Counsel Policies at:

Additional Resources:

General Education

Information on General Education program requirements is available online at


Information on integrating service-learning into the course and course syllabus is available online at


Information on distance learning courses is available online at


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