MIS 575

Information Management

Winter 2007




Edward Williams



Office Phone


Department Phone


Day Phone

(313)-441-4460 x1031





Web Site


Course Schedule

6:10-9:00 Tuesday

Office Hours

3:00pm-6:00pm Tuesdays; 5pm-6pm Thursdays


E-Mail Address:  williame@umich.edu, the preferred method of contact, and checked daily except when I am attending a conference.  Questions explicitly pertinent to the course material and hence of likely interest to the entire class (e.g., how to undertake a certain task in Access®) should be posted on the VLT web site Question Board).  More individual questions or issues (e.g., notifying me of a problem such as illness, business travel, or bereavement) should be handled via electronic mail or a message to my daytime telephone number.


Course Description


This course examines the basic concepts of information management for business organizations.  Database systems are examined as a key tool for managing information.  The goal of this course is to provide adequate technical detail while emphasizing the organizational and implementation issues relevant to the management of computerized information in an organizational environment.  Topics include data modeling, database design, data definition and manipulation languages, database administration, data standards and policies, data quality, data integration, data warehousing, and data mining.


Prerequisite:  MIS 525


Course Goals and Objectives


Students in this course will learn about the design, implementation, use, and management of database management systems.  The course material is divided into three related components.  During the first part of the course we will focus on concepts of database management and conceptual database design. At the end of this part of the course, you will understand the advantages and disadvantages of the database approach to data management, the components of a database system, the evolution of database systems, and the constructs of the entity-relationship model.  You will also be able to draw an entity-relationship model showing the structure and meaning of the data used in a business organization.


In the second component of the course, we will discuss logical and physical database design.  This component of the course will emphasize relational databases.  After completing this part of the course, you will understand the constructs of the relational data model, the principles of normalization, and techniques for enhancing the retrieval of data from relational databases such as denormalization and indexes.  You will also be able to design a relational database.


The third component of the course addresses database creation and data retrieval.  After completing this part of the course, you will understand how to write SQL to create databases and retrieve data from relational databases.


Communication skills will be emphasized in this course.  You will verbally present and defend your ideas during each class session.  A group project will encourage you to practice your written and oral communication skills, to seek feedback about your communication skills from other people, and to provide feedback about written reports and oral presentations to other people.


Skills needed to work effectively in small teams will also be emphasized in this course.  In addition to the group project, you will work in ad-hoc groups to complete in-class exercises.



Required Course Materials


1.                  Hoffer, J.A., Prescott, M.B, & McFadden, F.R.  2007.  Modern Database Management, 8th Edition.  Upper Saddle River, New Jersey:  Prentice Hall.

2.                  Adamski, Joseph J., & Kathleen T. Finnegan.  2006).  New Perspectives Microsoft Office Access 2003.  (Introductory edition).  Cambridge, Massachusetts:  Course Technology.


Be sure to purchase both books during the first week of the semester.  The bookstore will return books that they do not sell early in the term.


Recommended reference:

            Elmasri, Ramez, and Shamkant B. Navathe.  2007.  Fundamentals of Database Systems, 5th ed.  Boston, Massachusetts:  Addison-Wesley.


Course Web Site


Lecture slides and other course materials are available on the course web site under VLT (Virtual Learning Technology).


Course Format


The class is designed to provide a forum where issues related to the design, use, and management of database systems are discussed.  Such a forum requires that each student be prepared to be an active participant in the discussion. 


The course material will be discussed in both large and small groups.  A variety of small group exercises will occur during class sessions to provide the opportunity for all participants to actively assimilate the course material.  Instruction related to the development of team building skills will be provided to ensure that small group exercises provide an opportunity for all students to learn the course material.


Students will demonstrate their understanding of the course material in four ways:  class participation, homework exercises, two examinations, and a group project.


1.  Class Participation.  Some of the factors that will be considered in the evaluation of class participation include presence in class, preparation for class, enthusiastic and thoughtful participation in class activities, and persistence while working on class activities.  Participation that helps other people learn the class material is especially valued and rewarded.  The general description of what constitutes A, B, C, D, and E work in the class will be applied to the evaluation of class participation.  (Please see the section of the syllabus titled “Grading” for more information.)


Helpful comments and questions are always welcome.  However, please do not feel that you need to frequently interrupt the lecture portion of the class sessions in order to receive a good mark for class participation.  If you must miss part or all of a class, it is important to avoid asking questions about material that has already been covered once you return to class.  


2.  Team Homeworks.  Homework will be assigned approximately weekly and is to be done in teams of your choice.


3.  Group Project.  The group project allows you to demonstrate that you have synthesized the materials covered in the course.  The group project is an opportunity for you to design, build, implement, and document a working database system using Microsoft Access.  The database system you develop in the course should support a subset of the activities of an actual organization.  Your system could provide support to a department within a large business organization, a student organization on campus, a recreational organization, a home-based business, etc. You are encouraged to create a database system that might actually be used by someone (or perhaps enhanced and then used) after you have completed the course.  The members of your group may or may not be members of the target organization.  Be sure to assess the likely cooperation and participation of any critical players in your target organization.  Additional details on the project requirements, the scope of the project, and suggestions for getting started will be distributed.


We will use a philosophy called “student-managed groups” in this course.  This means that you have the freedom to select your group members and to determine your group size.  Additionally, you have the freedom to determine and implement strategies for managing problems that may develop while working on the project. 


Occasionally a student may be “fired” from a group for a reason such a freeloading.  Any student in this predicament may complete the group project individually for a maximum of eighty percent of the usual credit.


Groups will present their systems in a written paper and in a presentation to the class.  The class presentation should highlight those aspects of the system likely to be of greatest interest to the class. The class presentation should probably not summarize the entire written report.  Additional guidelines for the presentation will be discussed a few weeks before the presentations are scheduled.


An individual’s grade on the group project will be a function of the quality of the project, a set of peer reviews, and an individual project journal.  Each project will be assigned a grade based on the quality of the work.  This grade will be the maximum grade that group members may receive on the project.  A set of peer reviews and an individual project journal will be used to evaluate each individual’s contribution to the group project.  An individual’s grade on the group project may be lowered if these materials indicate problems with the quantity or quality of the individual’s work on the project.


Peer Reviews.  Each member of the group will write a peer review paper in which he or she describes and evaluates the contribution of each member of the project group.


Individual Project Journals.  Each member of the group will keep an individual project journal throughout the course.  The following are guidelines for the project journal.


1.      Make a journal entry whenever you work on the project individually or in the group.  What was accomplished?  What did you do?  What did your teammates do?

2.      At least once a week, make an entry reflecting on your experience working on the project.  What is going well?  What is not going well?  What do you like about the project?  What do you dislike?  How might you participate more effectively as a member of the group?

3.      At least once a week, make an entry about a technical problem that your group faced.  What was the nature of the problem?  What process was used to solve the problem?  What was the solution?  These entries will probably address design problems in the early stages of the project and system problems in the later stages of the project?  Your objective in these entries is to demonstrate that you have an excellent understanding of the technical details of your group’s project work. 

4.      Please be sure to date each journal entry.

5.      The individual journal may be typed or handwritten (if your handwriting is easy to read).


4.  Examinations.  There will be two examinations, a midterm and a final.  The examinations will consist of short-answer essay questions and problems.  I will announce examination coverage before each examination and post a review-sheet guideline on VLT.




Your performance will be evaluated in four areas:  class participation, homeworks, a group project, and examinations.  Each of these will be weighted as follows:


Class Participation




Group Project


Midterm Examination


Final Examination



The letter grading system (A, B, C, D, E) used in the School of Management will be used in this course.  The following interpretation of this grading scale will be used. 


            A = Excellent work.  (Assigned work is clearly-presented, thoughtful, insightful, and creative.  The student has demonstrated that the course material has been thoroughly learned.  The student has demonstrated the creative application of the course material to novel situations.)


            B = Good work.  (Assigned work is clearly-presented and thoughtful.  The student has clearly demonstrated that the course material has been learned.)


            C = Acceptable work.  (Assigned work is completed and course standards are met.  The student has clearly demonstrated that much of the course material has been learned.)


            D = Marginally acceptable work.  (Most of the assigned work is completed in a way that meets the course standards or all of the assigned work is completed in a way that almost meets the course standards.  The student has clearly demonstrated that some of the course material has been learned.)


            E = Unacceptable work.  (The student has not clearly demonstrated that the course material has been learned.)


Grades of + and - may be used to recognize performance slightly different than these interpretations.  


All of your work in this course will be compared against an absolute standard.  Your work will in no way be compared to that of your peers when grades are assigned.  The objective of this approach is to encourage all students to concentrate on both their individual learning and the learning of their classmates.

Course Administration


Accommodations for Students with Disabilities.  The University will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities.  Students need to register with Disability Resource Services every semester they are taking classes.  DRS is located in Counseling and Support Services, 2157 University Center (593-5430).  To be assured of having services when they are needed, students should register no later than three weeks after the first day of classes. 


Course Attendance.  An underlying assumption of this course is that students will attend and actively participate in all classes.  Please plan to arrive on time and remain in class until the end of the class session.


Late Assignments.  A ten percent penalty will be imposed for every day that the group project is late.  Group projects turned in more than a week late will receive no credit.  I retain the right to make ad-hoc adjustments to these rules in the face of circumstances I deem sufficiently extenuating.


Examination Procedures.  Students should plan to remain in the classroom until they have completed their examinations.  Students who arrive late will be permitted to take the examination provided no one has completed the examination and left the examination room.  However, such a student will be given no extra time.  Students should refrain from communicating with other people during the examination.  Electronic devices (e.g., cellular phones, calculators) known to be useful for illicit collaboration during examinations must be inaccessible during examinations.  Additional procedures (e.g., seat assignments) may be added at any time in response to perceived threats to the integrity of the examinations.


Make-Up Examinations.  If a student is unable to take the midterm examination because of a severe medical problem, he or she should submit documentation of the problem.  If the medical documentation is accepted, a comprehensive make-up examination will be offered immediately following the second examination.  The comprehensive make-up examination will include items from all of the course material.  There is no guarantee that the difficulty of the make-up examination will be identical to the difficulty of the first examination.


If a student is unable to take the final examination because of a severe medical problem, he or she should submit documentation of the problem.  If the medical documentation is accepted, the student will be offered the opportunity to take an “X” in the course.  A make-up examination will be offered at a time mutually convenient to the professor and the student, subject to the University proviso that “X” grades must be resolved quickly.  There is no guarantee that the difficulty of the make-up examination will be identical to the difficulty of the final examination.


Statement of Academic Integrity.  The University of Michigan-Dearborn values academic honesty and integrity.  Each student has a responsibility to understand, accept, and comply with the University’s standards of academic conduct as set forth by the Code of Academic Conduct, as well as policies established by the schools and colleges.  Cheating, collusion, misconduct, fabrication, and plagiarism are considered serious offenses.  Violations will not be tolerated and may result in penalties up to and including expulsion from the University.  Here are links to UMD and SOM policies on academic integrity.


Grade Changes.  Once grades are submitted to the registrar, a grade change is permitted only to correct an error in computing or recording the grade.  There are no opportunities to redo work or to do extra work in order to receive a higher grade.  Also, a student’s work cannot be reevaluated after the grades for the class have been submitted.


A great deal of care is taken in calculating final grades.  Mistakes are, therefore, very rare.  However, if you believe a mistake may have been made, please request that the calculation of your final grade be rechecked.  Please do not request a grade change for any other reason.  Please also recognize that certain elements of the final grade in any course are subjective.  It is normal to believe that your course performance is better than or worse than your instructor’s evaluation of your work.    


Extra Credit.  There may be an opportunity to earn extra credit through participation in a research study.  If this is an option, more details will be discussed in class.


Cancelled Classes.  The university may occasionally close because of inclement weather.  If a class session is cancelled because of a university closure, all assignments, activities, and exams will be postponed until the next regular meeting of the class.  The University of Michigan-Dearborn maintains an “Inclement Weather Campus Closure Information Line” at 313-436-9157.


Class Schedule and Assignments


The readings listed for each class should be completed prior to the beginning of that class session.  Homeworks must be completed by the beginning of class on the due date.







Class 1

(January 9)

Introduction to the course.

H – Chapter 1

Importance of databases.

Class 2

(January 16)

Introduction to database systems.

H – Chapter 2

A – Tutorial 1

Database development:  the people and the process.

Class 3

(January 23)

Entity-relationship model.

H – Chapter 3

A – Tutorial 2

Terminology of E-R model.  Basic concepts.

Class 4

(January 30)

E-R model continued

H – Chapter 3 continued

A – Tutorial 3

Details and examples of relationships.

Class 5

(February 6)

Enhanced E-R model.

H – Chapter 4

Business rules; supertypes & subtypes

Class 6

(February 13)

Logical design and the relational model.

H – Chapter 5

A – Tutorial 4

The basics of the relational model.

Class 7

(February 20)



Review for midterm.

Class 8

(March 6)

Midterm examination.



Class 9

(March 13)

Logical design and the relational model continued.

H – Chapter 5 continued, plus Appendix B

A – Tutorial 5

Relations and normalization.

Class 10

(March 20)

Physical design.

H – Chapter 6

A - Tutorial 6

Physical design, time vs. space, denormalization.

Class 11

(March 27)

Database creation.

Data retrieval.

H – Chapter 7

A - Tutorial 7

Introduction to SQL.

Class 12

(April 3)

Database creation.

Data retrieval.

H – Chapter 7

Continuation of SQL.

Class 13

(April 10)

Project workshop.



Class 14

(April 17)

Project presentations and review for final.


Group Project due.

Peer Reviews due.

Project Journal due.

(April 24)

Final examination




H = Hoffer, Prescott, and McFadden; A = Adamski and Finnegan.