Course: MIS 120, Section 5    Title of Course: Fundamentals of Information Systems

Instructor: Edward Williams Term: Fall 2007

Office Hours: 8:30am-9:30am Tuesdays and Thursdays and 2:30pm – 3:30pm Mondays and Wednesdays in B-14 Fairlane Center South

Office: B-14 FCS                   Class Times & Location:  Tuesday & Thursday 9:55am-11:10am, 192 Fairlane Center South


Departmental Office: 313-593-5336  Department Fax: 313-271-9836

Instructor’s day phone 313-441-4460 extension 1031                       Instructor’s B-14 cubicle phone (during office hours) 313-583-6553

E-Mail Addresses:, 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 Excel® or Access®) should be posted on the Blackboard site).  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.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities:
The University will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities.  Students need to register with Disability Resource Services (DRS) every semester they are enrolled for classes.  DRS is located in Counseling & Support Services, 2157 UC.  To be assured of having services when they are needed, students should register no later than the end of the add/drop deadline of each term.

The University of Michigan-Dearborn maintains an "Inclement Weather Campus Closure Information Line" at 313-436-9157.  You may wish to call this number in case of severe storms, power outages, insurrection, epidemic, or other unpleasant (understatement!) events to see if the campus is open.

Course Description:

This course introduces the fundamental concepts of computer and information systems, and provides exposure to basic microcomputer application software.  Topics include: the function and architecture of computer hardware and software technologies, business application of computer and information technologies, and their organizational implications.  Microcomputer applications include basics of operating systems, spreadsheet packages, graphics packages, and database management systems.  Credit cannot be given for MIS 120 and any of CIS 112, 121, 122, 123.

Familiarity with Excel® and Access® will be required in, and highly valuable in, many upper-level classes, including courses in marketing, accounting, finance, and quantitative analysis methods and statistics.  You will practice and develop teamwork skills (homework assignments are to be done in teams).

Prerequisite: None.

Course Objectives and Relationship to BBA Core Course Objectives/Desired Student Outcomes:

1.      Describe how organizations use spreadsheets and databases.

2.      Describe the basic theories, concepts, methods, and terminology used in information systems (e.g., absence of redundancy and inconsistency in databases).

3.      Describe the importance of Excel® workbooks and relational databases in organizations.

4.      Describe how Excel®, databases, and Access® are used strategically and tactically in business.

5.      Conduct an ethical analysis of an information systems issue and take responsible action.

6.      Demonstrate your knowledge of the basics of Excel® and Access® as you solve common business problems.

MIS 120 contributes to the following BBA Desired Student Outcomes:

Have a basic knowledge of economics, accounting finance, marketing, workforce management and organizational behavior, operations management, information systems, statistics and decision analysis, strategy development and implementation and the legal environment of business.  (Learn use of Excel® and Access®.)

Communicate effectively verbally and in writing.  (Writing a required term paper.)

Develop effective interpersonal skills that will enable them to work with other individuals and within teams as either leaders or participants.  (Homework assignments in Excel® and Access®, plus the term paper, will be done in teams.)

Know how to gather, use, and critically evaluate electronic and other information.  (Design of an Excel® workbook or Access® database to use and analyze business data.  Preparing the term paper will require interviewing businesspeople on their data-processing needs within an overall business context.)

Use critical thinking skills to solve real or hypothetical business problems.  (Design of an Excel® workbook or Access® database to analyze business data.)

Develop a knowledge and appreciation of ethical principles as applied to business.  (Students conduct an ethical analysis of an information systems issue and take responsible action.)


Required Texts:

Shelly, Gary B., Thomas J. Cashman, and Jodi Groen.  2006.  Essential Introduction to Computers.  Cambridge, Massachusetts: International Thomson Publishing.
Shelly, Gary B., Thomas J. Cashman, and James S. Quasney. 2004. Microsoft® Excel 2003 Complete Concepts and Techniques. Cambridge, Massachusetts: International Thomson Publishing.
Shelly, Gary B., Thomas J. Cashman, and Philip J. Pratt. 2004. Microsoft® Access 2003 Complete Concepts and Techniques. Cambridge, Massachusetts: International Thomson Publishing.

Recommended References:

Brightman, Harvey J. 1999. Data Analysis in Plain English with Microsoft Excel®. Pacific Grove, California: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company.
Courter, Gini, and Annette Marquis.  1999.   Mastering Microsoft® Office 2000, Professional EditionSan Francisco, California:  SYBEX.
Blattner, Patrick, Laurie Ulrich, Ken Cook, and Timothy Dyck. 1999. Using Microsoft® Excel 2000. Indianapolis, Indiana: Que Corporation.
Jennings, Roger. 1999. Using Microsoft® Access 2000. Indianapolis, Indiana: Que Corporation.

Student Evaluation:

Midterm examination (25 October) 25%

Final Examination (13 December at 8am) 25%.  The final examination date is set by the University and published in the Schedule of Classes.  Travel arrangements (e.g., purchase of airline tickets and/or making hotel reservations) are invalid excuses to miss the final examination.

Case Study Report 20%  (Specifications) – valuable practice for longer papers required in upper-level courses and in the workplace!  In this case study, your team will choose a business enterprise, interview managers there on the corporate use of Excel® and/or Access®, describe the interfaces between these Microsoft Office® products and the company’s business needs and processes, and assess the company’s use of these software tools relative to the concepts and principles you learn in this course.  (Extensive further detailed instructions are available from the “Specifications” link above.)  Therefore, this assignment will hone your skills in teamwork (particularly teamwork over a period of time), in questioning people diplomatically and adroitly to obtain needed information, listening to and synthesizing the answers obtained, and writing a coherent document obtained from multiple sources of information.

Homework Assignments 25%  Each Excel® assignment will require the construction of an Excel® workbook by the student team.  The five Excel® assignments will be taken from chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 of the Excel® text and will each represent the chapter “theme” such as basic worksheet and chart construction, use of formulas, more advanced formatting and charting methods, building of Excel® templates, and undertaking computations across worksheets.  The first Access® assignment will entail the design and loading of an Access® database; in subsequent assignments, students will query the database, maintain the database, build and enhance forms, reports, and combo boxes, and write macros and construct a switchboard.

Class Participation 5% -- regular class attendance and participation is highly important to your mastering the course material.

Attendance policy:

Regular class attendance is expected and is essential to mastering the course material.  As indicated above, class participation is a factor considered in course grading.  You cannot participate if you are not in class, and I cannot teach an empty chair.  Cellular telephones are to be silent during class.  If you receive an emergency incoming call via vibration, please leave the classroom quietly and unobtrusively to answer it, and return to the classroom likewise.

The midterm examination will cover only Excel®.  The final examination will cover Access® but not Excel® (it may also cover a bit of PowerPoint -- see below).

Notes and Comments:

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.

Late work will be penalized proportionate to the length of delay (documented extenuating circumstances excepted).

If the midterm examination is canceled for any reason, assume the examination will be given the following week.  The university maintains a standard policy for cancellation of the final examination (e.g., due to snowstorm).

Course Schedule:

We will cover the tutorials in the textbooks approximately one per week in general.  Of necessity, they must be covered in order; they are strongly cumulative both contextually and conceptually.  The schedule below presumes the class section meets twice weekly, as most sections do.  Homework assignments on that chapter will be set when class coverage of the chapter is completed.




1, 1

Introduction to computers; basics of Excel® to create a simple worksheet and embedded chart

Essential Introduction to Computers
Excel® text, chapter 1

1, 2

Continuation of chapter 1 topics from Excel® text

Excel® text, chapter 1

2, 1

Basics of formulas, introduction to Excel® functions

Excel® text, chapter 2

2, 2

Continuation of chapter 2 topics from Excel® text

Excel® text, chapter 2

3, 1

“What-if” analysis, additional charting techniques, tips for working with large worksheets

Excel® text, chapter 3

3, 2

Continuation of chapter 3 topics from Excel® text

Excel® text, chapter 3

4, 1

Financial functions, data tables, amortization schedules; a little macro

Excel® text, chapter 4

4, 2

Continuation of chapter 4 topics from Excel® text

Excel® text, chapter 4

5, 1

The =VLOOKUP and =HLOOKUP functions; the =SUMIF and =COUNTIF functions

Excel® text, chapter 5

5, 2

Continuation of chapter 5 topics from Excel® text; Excel® pivot tables

Excel® text, chapter 5

6, 1

Creating and using Excel® templates; working with multiple-worksheet workbooks

Excel® text, chapter 6

6, 2

Continuation of chapter 6 topics from Excel® text

Excel® text, chapter 6

7, 1

Review for midterm examination

Review materials

7, 2

Midterm examination


8, 1

Basics of Access®, fundamental advantages of relational databases versus flat files

Access® text, chapter 1

8, 2

Continuation of chapter 1 topics from Access® text

Access® text, chapter 1

9, 1

Creating and running queries

Access® text, chapter 2

9, 2

Continuation of chapter 2 topics from Access® text

Access® text, chapter 2

10, 1

Database maintenance (addition of, deletion of, and modification of records)

Access® text, chapter 3

10, 2

Continuation of chapter 3 topics from Access® text

Access® text, chapter 3

11, 1

Creation of and use of reports, forms, and combo boxes

Access® text, chapter 4

11, 2

Continuation of chapter 4 topics from Access® text

Access® text, chapter 4

12, 1

Enhancement of forms with OLE fields, hyperlinks, and subforms; date & memo fields

Access® text, chapter 5

12, 2

Continuation of chapter 5 topics from Access® text; putting a button on a form

Access® text, chapter 5

13, 1

Creation and use of macros; creation and use of a switchboard using macros

Access® text, chapter 6

13, 2

Continuation of chapter 6 topics from Access® text; Access® pivot tables

Access® text, chapter 6

14, 1

Review for final examination; introduction to PowerPoint® if time permits

Review materials

14, 2

Additional review for final examination

Review materials

Tutorial in Microsoft Excel®.

Tutorial in Microsoft Access®.

If time permits, an introduction to Microsoft PowerPoint® will be provided at the conclusion of the course.