MIS 204.101
Management Information Systems
Spring 2010
John Smiley
Last Updated: May 5, 2010

"Be greedy when others are fearful, but be very fearful when others are greedy." -Warren Buffett-
"I never give anyone hell. I just tell the truth. They think it is hell." -Harry Truman-
"There is only one boss: the customer, and he (or she) can fire everyone in the company from the chairman and down, simply by spending their money somewhere else." -Sam Walton-


Interested in raising your midterm grade? Click here

Late Stuff:

Case Study



Danielle Cullen
Wendell Georges---Needs Summary
Stephen Haldis
Maryam John
Stephanie Yeager

Danielle Cullen
Stephen Haldis
Catarina Moreira

Gloria Ahn
Danielle Cullen
Dakota Hahn
Stephen Haldis

What I have

Wall Street Journals



Click here


Phone: (856)314-8615 (24 hours a day)
Email:  psu@johnsmiley.com
Website: http://www.johnsmiley.com

Textbook: Introduction to Information Systems: Essentials for the e-Business Enterprise with MIS Source 2007, 15TH Edition
ISBN:  978-0-07-337677-6
Author: James A. O’Brien and George M. Marakas
Book Website: http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0073376779/student_view0/index.html
http://www.mhhe.com/misource   MISource Online Version of CD Rom

Other Materials Required:

CD ROM MISource 2007
Wall Street Journal: http://wsjstudent.com/
When ordering, specify Semester Schools, Enter '190' for the Zip Code, find Penn State Abington, and please select my name from the Professor's drop down list box



MIS 204 is an introduction to the role of computer-based information systems in business organizations. The focus of this course will be the preparation of the student for future interaction with computer-based management information systems. Topics will include basic technical concepts fundamental to information system design and usage, management and control of information systems, transaction processing systems, and decision support systems.

Class times:   Monday Evenings, 6:00-8:40, Sutherland Room 208 Classroom until 7:30, Lab from 7:30 to 8:40. 
Assignments Readings/Class Participation:
Each chapter is divided into two sections and each section includes a real world case.  All students are required to read one chapter each week.   In addition, be prepared to discuss the first real world case in each chapter.  It is strongly recommended that you answer, in writing, the case questions before class.  End of chapter discussion questions, MiSource, and the on-line quizzes will help you prepare for the exams
Wall Street Journal: (10% of your grade)

As a business student and future business leader, you need to be continuously informed about events that may impact your work.  Reading the Wall Street Journal daily is essential!  In this course, you are required to read the WSJ and be prepared to report on an article each class. Record the title, author, date, and section and page number on a 3x5 index card and hand in at each class. You may choose an article of interest to your career or to the material in M IS 204. 

Students will be called on randomly to report on their chosen articles. You will have several opportunities to report throughout the semester. Introduce your article by title, date and author. Include an explanation about the article’s relevance to this course or to your intended major or career.  The article must be timely---something from the week leading up to class. It is advisable to prepare a written summary or outline of each article that can be referenced during your oral report. However, you are not permitted to read your summary to the class. 

If you are not prepared to report on a current article when you are called on, you will forfeit your opportunity to satisfy the Wall Street Journal Grade.

Case Study:
Each student is assigned one Case Study from the Textbook to prepare and write up (See the schedule below). You need to summarize the Case Study and answer the 3 questions following the Case Study in the book. In the past, short summaries and short answers to the questions (less than 3 sentences) have resulted in poor grades. 

MISource 2007 (10% of your grade)

The MISource 2007 CD comes with our Textbook, and you may install it on your computer (Click here for screenshots of the installation). 

Complete the MIS Concept, Computer Concept, Excel and Access modules according to the suggested schedule below. MISource allows you to print a report of your progress, which you should turn into me. You may turn in your report the night of the Final Exam---but it would be a good idea to submit your work periodically during the Semester.

MISource 2007 Alternative. If you prefer not to complete the MIS Concept and Computer Concept Access modules, you may submit all of the following. (1) The Microsoft Word Resume indicated above (2) An Excel spreadsheet to list the courses you have taken here at Penn State (and that you will be taking to graduate) that calculates your Grade Point Average. It should also include a chart, and as many of the fundamental elements of the Excel Computer Access modules as possible. (3) An Access Database that records the courses you have taken here at Penn State (and that you will be taking to graduate). In addition, it should also have a Report that calculates and displays your Grade Point Average. It should also include as many of the fundamental elements of the Access Computer Access modules as possible. Those students who choose the MISource 2007 Alternative will be required to open the Excel and Access applications either on their laptop or in one of the Computer labs after class in order to receive a grade.

Students with 
Penn State encourages academically qualified students with disabilities to take advantage of its educational programs. Students with disabilities who may need accommodations for this class should contact the disability liaison, Anne Prior, 315 Sutherland, Tel. 215-881-7537


Learning Center:

Free peer and professional tutoring and study skill coaching are available at the Learning Center (Room 315 Sutherland, 215-881-7538).  Students striving for an “A” and students struggling for a “C” agree that they benefit from tutoring sessions.  To find out how the Learning Center can help you, call or visit Mondays through Thursdays from 9:00 to 5:30 PM and Fridays from 9:00 to 4:00 PM 


According to the University Advising Handbook:  "Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at the Pennsylvania State University, and all members of the University community are expected to act in accordance with this principle. Consistent with this expectation, the University's Code of conduct states that all students should act with personal integrity, respect other student's dignity, rights and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts. Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others.

Bottom line: If you cheat, I will catch you, and you won't like the consequences. 


Attendance: Superior performance requires superior attendance. There is a direct correlation between poor performance on test and examinations and irregular attendance at class. Past results indicate that it's NEARLY impossible to get an A in this course without PERFECT attendance.

There is NO need to notify me prior to missing a class.


Component Material Held/Due Date Percentage
Midterm Examination Chapters 1-6 March 15 30%
Final Examination Chapters 7-12 May 3 30%
Attendance/Class Participation Various Various 10%
MISource Lessons See below Various 10%
Case Study 1 written Case Study Various 10%
Wall Street Journal Assignment Index Cards
1 Presentation
Various 10%


Letter Grade Final Numeric Grade
A-  90.00-94.99
B+  87.70-89.99
B-  80.00-83.29
C+  75.00-79.99



Class Schedule



January 11
Week #1

Complete your bio
Course Overview
Course Requirements
Syllabus discussion

January 18
Week #2
No Class---Martin Luther King Day. Volunteer your time off.
January 25
Week #3

Foundations of Information Systems in Business

Read: Chapter 1
Read: Chapter 1 Margin Notes
Case Studies:   eCourier, Cablecom, and Bryan Cave (Gloria Ahn---Got it)
                       JetBlue and the Veterans Administration (
Lyle Boden---Got it Late)
                       Sew What? (Andrew Cilio---Got it)

February 1
Week #4

Competing with Information Technology

Read: Chapter 2
Read: Chapter 2 Margin Notes
Case Studies: IT Leaders (Michael Corrigan---Got it)
                     For Companies both Big and Small (Kaitlyn Deering---Got it)
                     Wachovia and Others (Cameron Dix---Got it)

February 8
Week #5

No class--I'm out of town. Do Chapter 3 on your own.

Computer Hardware

Read: Chapter 3
Checkout this Case study on Wal-Mart
Checkout this Info on the Mars Rover
Read: Chapter 3 Margin Notes
Case Studies:  IBM, Wachovia, and Paypal (Robert Forrest---Got it)
                     Apple, Microsoft, IBM and Others ()

                     Kimberly-Clark and Daisy Brands (
Wendell Georges---Got it late, incomplete)

February 15
Week #6

Computer Software

Read: Chapters 4
Read: Chapter 4 Margin Notes

Case Studies: GE, H.B. Fuller Co., and Others (Joseph Green---Got it Late)
                     Power Distribution and Law Enforcement (Courtney Greenberg---Got it)
                     Wolf Peak International (Chelsie Hahn---Got it)

February 22
Week #7

Data Resource Management

Read: Chapter 5
Read: Chapter 5 Margin Notes
Case Studies:  Cogent Communications, Intel, and Others (Stephen Haldis---Late)
                      Applebee's, Travelocity, and Others (Jacqueline Hall---Got it)
                      Amazon, eBay, and Google (Lauren Hall---Got it)

March 1
Week #7

Telecommunications and Networks

Read: Chapter 6
Read: Chapter 6 Margin Notes
Midterm Review 7:30....

Case Studies:  Starbucks and Others (Brett Haskin---Got it)
                      Brain Saving Technologies, Inc. and the T-Health Institute (Janice Huang---Got it)
                      Metric & Multistandard Components Corp.
(Jared Jasinski---Got it Late)

March 8
Week #9

Spring Break

March 15
Week #10

Electronic Business Systems

Read: Chapter 7
Read: Chapter 7 Margin Notes
Checkout: http://www.solectron.com/

Case Studies: NetSuite Inc., Berlin Packaging, Churchill Downs, and Others (Maryam John---Late)
                     OHSU, Sony, Novartis, and Others (Ryan Johnson---Got it )
                     Perdue Farms and Others (Tuan Le---Got it)

March 22
Week #11

Midterm Examination (Chapters 1 through 6)

March 29
Week #12

Electronic Commerce Systems

Read: Chapter 8
Read: Chapter 8 Margin Notes
Case Studies: KitchenAid and the Royal Bank of Canada (Jason Lee---Got it)
                     LinkedIn, Umbria, Mattel, and Others (Martin Lee---Got it)

                     Entellium, Digg, Peerflix, Zappos, and Jigsaw (Samet Lomidze---Got it Late)

April 5
Week #13

Decision Support Systems

Read: Chapter 9
Read: Chapter 9 Margin Notes

Case Studies: Hillman Group, Avnet, and Quaker Chemical (Catarina Moreira---Got it)

                     Goodyear, JEA, OSUMC, and Monsanto (Jonathan Morris---Got it)
                     Harrah's Entertainment, Lending Tree and Others (
Ibn Pickens---Got it Late)

April 12
Week #14

Developing Business/IT Solutions

Read: Chapter 10
Read: Chapter 10 Margin Notes

Case Studies: PayPal (Gritild Rafaeli---Got it)
                     Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Others ()
                     Infosys Technologies (Christopher Rodriguez---Got it)

April 19
Week #17

Security and Ethical Challenges

Read: Chapter 11
Read: Chapter 11 Margin Notes

Case Studies: Ethics, Moral Dilemmas and Tough Decisions (Jacob Synder---Got it Late)
                     Raymond James Financial and Others (
Justin Valerio---Got it)
                     Cyber Scams: Four Top Cyber Criminals
(Kalena Wheeler---Got it)

April 26
Week #16

Enterprise and Global Management of Information Technology

Read: Chapter 12
Read: Chapter 12 Margin Notes
Case Studies: Toyota, Proctor and Gamble and Others (Stephanie Yager---Late)
     Reinsurance Group of America and Fonterra (Adam Zeiger---Got it)
                     IBM Corporation

May 3
Week #17
Final Examination (Chapters 7-12)




Module Lesson Topics Lesson
1 Jan 25 MIS Concepts

Computer Concepts
Computer Concepts
Introduction to MIS Concepts
The Systems Development Life Cycle

Application Software
Secondary Storage
All (7)
All (6)

All (7)
All (3)
2 Feb 1 Computer Concepts The Internet and the World Wide Web All (11)
2 Feb 1 Computer Concepts Networks
Developing Systems
All (5)
All (1)
4 Feb 15 Excel Introduction to Excel
Managing Workbooks
All (6)
All (7)
5 Feb 22 Excel Working with Cells and Cell Data All (16)
6 Mar 1 Excel Formatting Worksheets All (10)
7 Mar 8 Excel
Resume due: Mar 15
Printing Worksheets
Working with Charts and Graphics
All (6)
All (6)
Print and email file to: 
8 Mar 15 Excel Analyzing Data All (13)
9 Mar 22 Excel
Workgroup Collaboration
Introduction to Access
All (5)
All (12)
10 Mar 29 Access Creating and Modifying Tables All (10)
11 Apr 5 Access Creating and Modifying Queries All (13)
12 Apr 12 Access Creating and Modifying Forms
Viewing and Organizing Information
All (7)
All (9)
13 Apr 19 Access Defining Relationships
Producing Reports
All (2)
All (7)
14 Apr 26 Access Integrating with Other Apps
Managing Databases
All (5)
All (4)