Journal of Information Systems Education


For several years, we used Intel’s flash-based game “IT Manager 3: Unseen Forces” as an experiential learning tool, where students had to act as a manager making real-time prioritization decisions about repairing computer problems, training and upgrading systems with better technologies as well as managing increasing numbers of technical staff as the game progresses. We found that this experience was useful for students to reflect upon and apply several IT management theories learned in their online Management Information Systems class. Specific reflective questions fostered thinking about the role of the CIO, principles of project management, budgeting IT initiatives, as well as the impact of IT projects on the balanced scorecard. In this paper we first outline experiential learning methods and describe the online course and the module’s objectives where we used the game based simulation of the Information Technology manager role. We examine elements of what makes a good game and relate these with key features of the IT Manager 3 Game, and describe how we used them to reinforce theoretical concepts. We then go into detail on what challenges and obstacles were faced when implementing the game in the course and highlight how these were overcome. Finally our paper concludes with a discussion of how online games can be effective in online management information systems courses.



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