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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

Introductory Information System (IS) courses commonly focus too heavily on teaching application features, as opposed to teaching unstructured problem-solving skills. In response to this pedagogical gap, professors at Brigham Young University have developed integrated cases that improve the instruction for their introductory IS course. In this paper, we overview a case that provides a realistic and compelling problem-solving experience for teaching Microsoft Excel measurement capabilities. This case describes the customer service issues and installation problems faced by an Internet service provider, along with pertinent cost and service data. The case requires the student to play the role of a management consultant who is asked to make business recommendations using Excel. To effectively work with this case, students need exposure to Excel lookups, date/time capabilities, and countif / sumif functions, as well as other basic Excel features. To help the instructor implement this case, we have provided teaching notes that overview the history of the case, teaching suggestions, and a highly detailed grading and discussion template.

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