University of Baltimore
Merrick School of Business

INSS 610 - MIS Techniques - Fall 2002

Tuesdays 5:30 - 8:00 PM - BC 223

Professor Al Bento

office BC 473 v-mail 837-5272
e-mail URL

Office hours: Tuesdays 3:30 - 5:00 PM and Thursdays 3:30 - 5:00 PM

[assignments][projects][cases][outline] [Forum]


The course is centered in providing a conceptual and applied foundation of management information systems (MIS). The various MIS concepts are discussed, and managerial, behavioral and technical conceptual foundations are reviewed and integrated into these various MIS concepts. This is followed by an introduction to the main MIS themes: networking, systems development, data bases, end-user computing, decision support and expert systems. Finally, an overview of the issues to manage MIS in a global and professional perspective is provided. The readings, assignments, cases and projects are instruments to enable each student to:

  1. Have the ability to describe:

    1. fundamental characteristics of information and systems and their applications to MIS.
    2. models of organizational decision making and their implications for MIS.
    3. the major functional areas of MIS from a managerial, technical, and end-user perspective.
    4. the critical issues related to information resource management, including strategic impact, planning and control of information resources.
    5. the Internet, its main services and applications, as well as its present and future importance for business and society.

  2. Have the ability to develop and implement:

    1. a simple World Wide Web site, using a HTML editor and other tools.
    2. a simple transaction processing system, using graphical tools and an end-user data base language.
    3. a simple decision support system, using graphical tools and an end-user decision support system generator.

  3. Be aware of :

    1. the responsibilities of being a professional, including ethical standards and relevant professional organizations, and how to join them.
    2. the evolution and major dynamics of MIS related industries, and the impact of MIS and the information age on business and society.
    3. the social and International issues related to the information age and MIS.

Prerequisites: Computer Literacy. This translates into a working knowledge of computer concepts, spreadsheets, data base languages, e-mail and Windows. Also awareness of basic information systems concepts. This course will briefly review Access and Excel for Windows. It will also introduce a simple CASE tool for drawing graphical representations of the systems. A Web Board and e-mail will be our main way of communications outside class meetings and office hours.

Each class meeting will be divided in two parts:

  1. lecture and discussions, related to in-depth study of main types of information systems and technologies: system concepts, decision making, business processes, systems development, data base, networking, information architecture, artificial intelligence, planning information systems, ethical and human issues and strategic use of information technology.

  2. activities, related to applications of tools for development of information systems and use of information technology: skills and hands-on experience with basic Internet, business graphics presentation tools, creating information systems logical design, and participating in computer mediated meetings. Also, first-hand experience in developing and delivering business presentations using state-of-the art information technology multimedia resources.


Assignments (4)10%
Projects (3)40%
Cases (2)20%
Final exam30%


The assignments are to be done individually and will be graded done (A) or not done (F). You will need, in most cases, to use an Internet tool to have them done and/or sent to me. You will use Windows 9x or NT 4.0/2K for this purpose. Use as subject of your e-mail messages: 610ax, where x is the assignment number

  1. E-mail your resume (610a1).
  2. E-mail the results of a Web search on an assigned topic(610a2).
  3. E-mail the DOS and Windows 2000 assignment(610a3).
  4. E-mail the Linux assignment(610a4).


Your grade in the projects will depend upon the content and structure of the final system and written documentation. The projects are to be made in groups of two to three students, but one -- create your own home page in the World Wide Web (individual).

  1. World Wide Web (10%): the objective is to create your own home page, in your UBMail account, like an one-page resume. You will use an HTML editor in order to do so. After the course is over you can keep this page and use it for recruiting purposes.
  2. Mail Order System (20%): the objective is to do the analysis, design and implementation of a mail order system for VOICE. The final report should include: (a) management summary, (b) narrative, (c) system diagrams, (d) data base design, (e) data base structure and data printouts, and (f) examples of inputs and outputs. The implementation should be done in Access or equivalent.
  3. Financial Planning (10%): the objective is to do the analysis, design and implementation of a Financial Planning system. The final report should include: (a) management summary, (b) system diagram (Influence Diagram), (c) spreadsheet formulas, and (d) printout of outputs.


The cases are to be prepared prior to class and discussed in class. Student will be asked questions about the case in class, and will send me an e-mail with their own answers to the questions I will post in the course Web Forum (one week after the case is discussed). Please feel free to save your answers as an HTML page, upload it to UBMAIL and just send me an URL, if you prefer to do so. The cases are:

  1. U S West Global Village -- e-mail subject: 610C1.
  2. SAP R/3 Implementation at Geneva Pharmaceuticals -- e-mail subject: 610C2.

Final Exam

The final exam is a in-class exam, covering both conceptual and applied materials. There will be questions asking you to explain a concept, to apply a concept to a small case, and to use an information technology tool studied in this course. At least two questions will come from the cases discussed in class.


Lucas, Jr., Henry C. Information Technology for Management, 7th edition, McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2000.


All overheads (class handouts) are linked to the course syllabus at the following address:

It is a good practice to print the overheads (use the Business Center PCs or any PC connected to the Net) before coming to class, so that you can add your observations and comments to the overheads in class. This saves you the time of taking notes when I am lecturing, or demonstrating something. Please note that no printed class notes will be distributed.

Day 5:30 - 6:45 7:00 - 8:00 Assignments
09/03 Course overview, information and systems concepts [1,2] Lab acquaintance and UB network accounts.  
09/10 Internet overview [12], E-mail and setup. E-mail, Web introduction and browsing
Windows 2000 and UBmail accounts required
a1. Mail me your resume
09/17 IT hardware [7,8] IT Software [9] : DOS and Windows 2000 a2. Mail Web query assignment
09/24 Decision-making and Information systems concept [3] IT Software: Linux and Linux at the comand prompt a3. mail the DOS/Windows 2000 assignment
10/01 Telecommunications, networking [11] and Introduction to Electronic Commerce [12] Your home page a4. mail the Linux assignment
10/08 TPS and MIS [3] Review of using PowerPoint Home page project due
10/15 Systems Development [14,15] U S West Global Village: case discussion  
10/22 Systems Analysis and DFDs [16, App. A], National Merchandising Case DFDs and System Flowchart using PowerPoint C1 - US West case analysis due
10/29 Files & Data Base concepts, DB design [10] Continuation.  
11/05 Access Review VOICE: question & answers  
11/12 DSS and Expert Systems [20,21,22] Voice: mini-presentations Voice project due
11/19 DSS Design (Bento) Porter: question & answers  
11/26 project group work (no class meeting) project group work  
12/03 Strategic Impact of IS/IT [4,5] and Information Resource Management [23,24] SAP R/3 at Geneva: case discussion Porter project due
12/10 Social and Ethical issues [25] Final exam review and course wrap-up C2 - Geneva case analysis due
12/17 Final exam    

This page is maintained by Al Bento who can be reached at This page was last updated on August 10, 2002. Although we will attempt to keep this information accurate, we can not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided.