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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

Enterprise systems and business process management are the two key information technologies to integrate the functions of a modern business into a coherent and efficient system. While the benefits of these systems are easy to describe, students, especially those without business experience, have difficulty appreciating how these systems are used to improve the efficiency of business operations. This paper reports on a project to provide experiential learning to beginning business students. We focus on open-source enterprise and process management systems to investigate whether the benefits can be provided even by small institutions and without a large investment into commercial systems. The results of experimental studies are provided and suggest that hands-on learning on open-source systems can lead to improved learning outcomes. The main contribution is the demonstration that educators need not shy away from experiential learning when faced with the obstacles that large-scale commercial enterprise systems may present, but can instead choose a “bottom-up” approach of easily integrating enterprise systems into the curriculum to benefit student learning.

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