Business 710-Introduction to Information Systems

Course Syllabus



William Wresch, Ph.D.

College of Business Administration

Clow Faculty 231

800 Algoma Blvd

Oshkosh, WI 54901

(920) 424 – 4151 (office)

(920) 231 – 2789 (home)




Gordon and Gordon, Information Systems: A Management Approach. 3rd Edition, Wiley



The purpose of this course is to give you a general overview of information systems with special attention to hardware, system development processes, and business applications.  By the end of the course you should be able to

  1. Understand the role of information systems in all levels of business management
  2. Understand basic IS hardware concepts and terms at both the computer and network level.
  3.  Understand IS project development methodology
  4. Understand basic telecommunications and networking concepts including the internet
  5. Understand the business implications of the internet, including e-commerce.
  6. Be ready for additional IS concepts in MBA courses.


Weekly Discussions

1.      Chapter 1&2 – Management perspectives on Information Systems.  What are the impacts they have on business?  Which management models do information systems fully support, and which ones do they leave unsupported?

2.      Chapters 3 – Computer hardware and software basics.  Why binary representation matters and how software moved from punched cards to Excel spreadsheets

3.      Chapter 4 – Database Management, data mining.  What can businesses do with the information they collect?

4.      Chapter 5 – Telecommunications, network topologies – a fairly technical look at how we connect to each other

5.      Chapter 6 – E-Commerce.  Business models and technical infrastructures

6.      Chapter 7 – Common information systems with a special emphasis on ERP systems like the one being installed at K-C.

7.      Chapter 9 – Information Systems Development.  Why most information systems fail to deliver the business value promised and what managers can do to improve the current state of the art.


Note: while our text is both current and comprehensive, not all our discussion topics are contained in the text.  Check the course web site each week for additional information.


Your responsibilities

Week 3-7

Beginning week 3 you will come to class each week with a two-paged, single-spaced paper (or email the assignment to me).  The first page will be your summary of the assigned chapter.  The second page will be examples you add to the reading, either through business magazines you read or examples from your work place.  For example, in the week on database systems, you might summarize articles about data mining or describe your company’s data storage strategies.  Always completely cite your sources.


Week 7

We will spend the last hour of class taking a test on the main points of the course. 



50% - weekly papers (5).  What I will be looking for is the quality of your summary (did you identify the most important points?  Describe them clearly?).  I will also look for the instructive value of your example or article (Is it pertinent?  Fully described?  Does your summary demonstrate a deep understanding of technology and its implications?)  Note:  Since this is a graduate class, I assume I will never see a grammar, spelling, or punctuation error in your writing.


50% - the final exam.  The questions will be largely short-answer.  Example: 1) Name three common network topologies and describe each in a sentence or two.  2) How is the Internet structured?


Grades:  A=93-100, A/B=88-92, B=83-87,B/C=78-82, C=72-77



Family emergencies and business responsibilities are part of life.  But since this is just a seven-week class, if it appears you will need to miss more than a class or two, I will probably ask you to drop the class. 


Contacting me

Use email.  I have an answering machine at home and at work, so feel free to try me by phone, but it is usually easier to leave an email message.  I check my e-mail once or twice an hour.