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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

The inherently interdisciplinary nature of electronic commerce makes it an ideal basis for an integrative course in information systems. This paper describes the initial design and implementation of a project-based "pre-capstone" course for undergraduate MIS majors, and assesses the impact of the course on student perceptions of their MIS skills. As defined here, a pre-capstone course integrates the major technologies and operational issues underlying electronic commerce for a class of students of varying skills and classroom experiences, with the intention of providing the students with a more meaningful experience earlier in the MIS program. We discuss the specific issues and lessons learned from our initial implementation of this type of course, which provided the students with a creative learning experience that allowed them to discover deficiencies in their knowledge and address those deficiencies through communicating and learning within student teams. We also present survey results indicating how the more realistic context of the course impacted students' perceptions of their knowledge and abilities compared to the perceptions of students who learn MIS concepts and skills in isolation. We found that through the use of student teams containing a variety of students with somewhat different backgrounds, the learning experience can become more meaningful. This allowed students to become more aware of gaps in their knowledge, and should make them better realize the significance of their future courses.

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