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Course Syllabus – Spring  2012


Prepared by Dr. V.T. Raja

Oregon State University



Instructor Contact Information:

Name:                         V.T. Raja, Ph.D.

Phone:                         541-737-6058


Office:             Bexell 429

Office Hours: 

For Week 1 and Final Exam Week: By appointment only 

For Weeks 2 – 10:

                        Tuesday:          2:15 PM  3:15 PM

                        Wednesday:    5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

                        Thursday:         2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

                         and by appointment. 



Class Time/Place/Credits:    

Section 001: CRN #: 54771    TR 12 noon – 1:50 PM           BXL 323

This course combines approximately 110 hours of instruction, online activities and assignments for 4 credits. 



Course Materials:


Textbook:  The course text is a custom print available only at the OSU Bookstore. It includes chapters from two text books, one by Laudon and Laudon (Essentials of Management Information Systems), and another by Kay and Oliva (Accounting Information Systems).  This book is used by BA370 and ACTG 378 instructors at OSU’s College of Business.    

Title: Information Systems – Oregon State University 

ISBN 10: 1-256-18931-6; ISBN 13: 978-1-256-18931-2 

The textbook alone will not be adequate to meet all the learning objectives of this course. Lecture notes and electronic supplemental readings are also required.  These will be posted in Blackboard as some materials have copyright restrictions.  You are likely to use software such as Microsoft (MS) SharePoint, MS Access, MS Word, and MS Visio in this course. These programs are/will be available on COB computers.  Some software may be available for free through Microsoft Academic Alliance Network (MSDNAA). Please contact the COB IT Help Desk Office (located in basement of Bexell) for additional information about downloading software from MSDNAA.  You can also learn about MSDNAA at:     



Course Description

Information technology (IT) has been transforming business operations for decades.  To be successful in the "information age," organizations will need people who are knowledgeable about both the opportunities and the pitfalls associated with IT.  The BA370 course has been designed with the objective of helping Oregon State University business students better understand IT, its potential benefits and risks in organizational contexts.  The BA370 course helps students from different options understand that IT plays a major role in supporting all organizational personnel, (regardless of their functional areas), so that they can perform their jobs effectively and efficiently.  The course helps students understand that IT provides the tools that enable all organizational personnel to solve complex problems and to capitalize on opportunities that contribute to the success of an organization.  


The lectures, readings, class exercises, and assignments will introduce BA370 students to a number of key concepts and timely issues related to IT applications in organizations.  Some major topics expected to be addressed include: effect of IS/IT on competition, strategic role of IT, computer hardware, software, telecommunication/computer networks, database, IT controls and governance, IT security, ethics and privacy in the information age, web technologies, and the application of technologies to support decision making and collaboration. 


Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, you should be able to:

·         Align information technology with operational and strategic goals of an organization.

·         Demonstrate understanding of information systems’ core technologies: i.e., hardware, software, database, networks and some web technologies. 

·         Design a relational database system of common complexity and distinguish between good and bad designs. 

·         Collaborate virtually and communicate in a professional manner about information technology practices, principles and capabilities necessary to meet common business needs. 

·         Describe the values and challenges of IT governance methodologies (such as COBIT) in an organizational context.  (if time permits)

·         Recognize security, ethical and privacy issues associated with controlling information and sharing data.   (if time permits)



Required: BA302 and junior standing. 


Highly desirable: Interest in learning how technology may be used to support people and organizations.  



The course will use a variety of means to address the course objectives.  The lectures, readings, class/lab exercises, and assignments will introduce you to a number of key concepts and timely issues related to IT applications in organizations.   Lecture handouts will be available on Blackboard. 


Please note that the instructor will use your ONID e-mail address to communicate with you electronically.  If you do not use ONID e-mail on a regular basis, then please ensure that you make necessary arrangements to forward your ONID e-mails to the e-mail account that you check and use on a regular basis.  Also, ensure that your ONID e-mail account has sufficient space to receive e-mails from your BA370 instructor until end of finals week. 



Reading chapter contents from textbook is expected, unless otherwise mentioned in class.  There may be additional online readings.  For each topic, reading assignments will be announced in class.   




Tentatively, individual grades will be based on a weighted average as follows.  Instructor will announce in class, any changes to the weighted averages given below.

Assignments                                                                25%

Exam 1                                                                        30%

Exam 2                                                                        30%

Miscellaneous                                                              15%


Total                                                                            100%


Expect individual grades to be assigned as follows:


A:        student's overall score >= 93%                                   C+:      77% <= score < 80%

A-:       90% <= score < 93%                                                   C:        73% <= score < 77%

B+:      87% <= score < 90%                                                   C-:       70% <= score < 73%

B:        83% <= score < 87%                                                   D+:      67% <= score < 70%

B-:       80% <= score < 83%                                                  D:        63% <= score < 67%  

F:         Below 63%



GRADING – Some additional comments


MISCELLANEOUS category may include attendance, punctuality, professional behavior, student conduct (as per OSU and College of Business regulations), quizzes, in-class/computer lab exercises, etc.  Most miscellaneous exercises will be administered as pop-quizzes or unannounced exercises based on material covered in the lectures and assigned readings.  It is important that you attend classes regularly, completely and are punctual so as to not miss any activities in the miscellaneous category. 


If you miss class: If a student is unable to attend a class session, it is the student's responsibility to acquire the class notes, assignments, announcements, etc. from a classmate.  The instructor will be unable to give private lectures for those that miss class.  If a student misses more than five lectures or exercises in the miscellaneous category, then they could receive a severe penalty in their overall grade and may end up receiving an “F” grade in the miscellaneous category.  Since students may have circumstances that may make it difficult to attend all lectures in full length (e.g., illness, family emergency etc.), it is expected that one or two lowest scores pertaining to the miscellaneous category will be dropped for each student.  Each class lecture can contribute up to a maximum of five points towards the miscellaneous category.  If a student received max possible scores in all miscellaneous category exercises throughout the term, then he or she may be eligible for five bonus points in this category. 


EXAMS: There will be one mid-term exam and one final exam. All students are expected to be present for the exams at the announced date, time and venue.  It is the student’s responsibility to check with the instructor in a timely manner regarding the date, time and venue of the exams.  A student who expects that he/she would be unable to take the exams on scheduled dates and times, must notify the instructor by the end of the third week of the term via e-mail and in person. Typically, no makeup exams will be given without the instructor’s prior approval.  Make-up exams for genuine reasons (such as medical emergency when supported with appropriate documentation), will typically be given only after the regularly scheduled exams.  It is expected that students make their travel plans after the final exam mentioned in the schedule of lectures later in this handout.  The final exam is not comprehensive.  Both exams are closed book/closed notes. 


ASSIGNMENTS will be posted on Blackboard and announced in class.  To receive full credit, assignments must be of a professional quality (e.g., typed, spell check, grammar, use of non-sexist language wherever appropriate).  If assignment is considered to be a team assignment, then late assignments will not be accepted.  It is the student’s responsibility to check with the instructor ahead of time if an assignment is considered to be a team assignment or not.  If assignment is of an individual nature and does not involve team work, late submission of assignments will result in a severe penalty (up to 50%) for each day the homework is late.  A computer/printer crash or software problems is not an acceptable excuse for late submissions.  Individual assignments will not be accepted any later than the first class session following the due date.  If you have a legitimate personal emergency (e.g., health problem) that may impair your ability to turn in an assignment on time, you will have to take the initiative to contact the instructor at least 72 hours before the due date/time (or as soon after your emergency as possible) to communicate the situation.  An emergency may be taken into account when dealing with situations of this type.  Be prepared to document your emergency.  If the instructor approves any late assignments, even then you may suffer a penalty of 20% of the assignment grade, for each day the assignment is late.  Assignments may involve use of recent versions of Internet Explorer, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Share Point and Microsoft Access and Microsoft Visio.  A Windows PC with these software programs are expected to be used to complete the assignments.  If you don’t have a Windows PC with the appropriate software, then you must expect to use the COB computer labs.  OSU’s Umbrella software/service may be helpful especially if you try it out with plenty of lead time. 


GRADE APPEALS: If you are not satisfied with a grade you have received for an exam, assignment, exercise, or quiz, the instructor will be willing to review the situation.  If you wish to appeal a grade, you may do so with a verbal request initially.  The instructor may ask you to submit a brief written summary of the situation to the instructor (e.g., an E-mail message), along with a justification of why you believe a better score is warranted.  After reviewing the situation, the instructor will provide you a feedback.  Two key ground rules apply: 1) you must appeal for a grade correction within one week of the time the score (for your exam, homework, quiz, or participation) is made available to you, and 2) class time will not be used to discuss grade appeals.


INCOMPLETE GRADES: Incomplete grades are very rarely given.  Students will not be given an incomplete grade in the course unless there is a documented reason (e.g., medical reason) approved by the instructor and the conditions of the case warrant an incomplete grade.  Substandard performance does not warrant an incomplete grade.  OSU guidelines will be followed even when an incomplete grade is approved by the instructor.   


PERSPECTIVES OF ISSUES: Ethical, political, social, global, legal, regulatory and technological issues are integrated into BA370. 


DISABILITY ACCESS SERVICES: OSU is committed to providing equal opportunity to higher education for academically qualified students without regard to a disability. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact Disability Access Services ( to learn more about their rights and responsibilities.  Students with documented disabilities who may need accommodations, who have any emergency medical information the instructor should be aware of, or who need special arrangements in the event of evacuation, should make an appointment with the instructor as early as possible, and no later than the first week of the term. 


OSU 'No Show Drop' rule: If the class enrollment is at full capacity and waitlisted, the OSU 'No Show Drop' rule could be strictly enforced for this course. This rule: Academic regulations AR 9§b reads as follows:  "If it is anticipated that the demand for enrollment in a given course will exceed the maximum number that can be accommodated, the department offering the course may designate it in the Schedule of Classes with the code "NSHD" (no-show-drop). A student who is registered for such a course who attends no meetings of the course during the first five school days of the term will be dropped from the course by the instructor, unless the student has obtained prior permission for absence. If such action is taken, the instructor will send written notice through the department to the Registrar’s Office, which in turn will notify the student that the course has been dropped from his or her schedule. Students should not assume they have been dropped unless they receive notification from the Registrar’s Office. No fee will be charged."



Students are expected to uphold the OSU standard of conduct for students relating to academic honesty. Academic dishonesty is defined as an intentional act of deception in which a student seeks to claim credit for the work or effort of another person or uses unauthorized materials or fabricated information in any academic work.  Assisting in dishonesty is also considered to be academic dishonesty. 

The penalty for academic dishonesty is severe.  Any student guilty of academic dishonesty may be subject to receive a failing grade for the exam, assignment, quiz, class participation exercise or the course as deemed appropriate by the instructor.  Any student guilty of academic dishonesty could be subject to receive a failing grade for the course and can expect to be reported to the appropriate officials in COB and appropriate University Officials.  If a student is unclear about whether a particular situation may constitute academic dishonesty, the student should meet with the instructor to discuss the situation, prior to engaging in such situations.

Students assume full responsibility for the content and integrity of the academic work they submit.  The guiding principle of academic integrity is that a student's submitted work, examinations, reports, and projects must be that student's own work for individual assignments, and the group's own work for group assignments/projects.  Students are guilty of academic dishonesty if they:

·         Use or obtain unauthorized materials or assistance in any academic work; i.e., cheating.

·         Falsify or invent any information regarded as cheating by the instructor; i.e., fabrication.

·         Give unauthorized assistance to other students; i.e., assisting in dishonesty.

·         Represent the work of others as their own; i.e., plagiarism.

·         Modify, without instructor approval, an examination, paper, record or report for the purpose of obtaining additional credit; i.e., tampering.

Students are expected to uphold the OSU standard of student conduct.  Please refer to: for details on student conduct and academic dishonesty.  Ensure that you talk to the instructor if you have any questions about the above two important issues.  The instructor may also use third party services such as as a way to check for academic dishonesty. 


Making your photo available to instructors:

A request (not required, but appreciated): Please help instructors learn your names by enabling them to see the picture from your id card.   See the instructions at this link -


BA370 – Winter 2012 – Tentative Schedule of Lectures

Jan 10 – March 19, 2012



Lecture Topics

Week # 1 – Introduction – Excerpts from Chapter 1 (pages 1- 37)

April 3 (Lecture # 1)


Syllabus and Course Overview

Student Questionnaire

What’s in “IT” for you?



April 5 (Lecture # 2)


Why IS/IT?

Some terminology


Week # 2 – Excerpts from Chapter 3 (pages 81 – 118)

April 10 (Lecture # 3)


Achieving Competitive Advantage with IS/IT 


April 12 (Lecture # 4)


Achieving Competitive Advantage with IS/IT (continued)


Week # 3 – Excerpts from Chapter 4 (pages 119 – 135)

April 17 (Lecture # 5)


IT Infrastructure: Computer Hardware


April 19 (Lecture # 6)


Computer Hardware (continued)


Week # 4 – Excerpts from Chapter 4 (pages 135 – 161)

April 24 (Lecture # 7)


IT Infrastructure: Software – Part 1


April 26 (Lecture # 8)


IT Infrastructure: Software – Part 2



Week # 5 – Excerpts from Chapter 4 and Chapter 2

May 1 (Lecture # 9)


Software (continued)


May 3 (Lecture # 10)


Major eras of the IT industry and some types of BIS

BA370 – Winter 2012 – Tentative Schedule of Lectures (Continued)


Week # 6 – Excerpts from Chapter 2 (pages 40 – 58)


May 8 (Lecture # 11)


Evolution of IT (continued) and brief review for exam 1


May 10 (Lecture # 12)


Exam 1


Week # 7 – Excerpts from Chapter 5 (pages 164 - 205)

May 15 (Lecture # 13)


Telecommunications and computer networks – Part 1 – Introduction


May 17 (Lecture # 14)


Networks continued - 5-layer network model and protocol stack



Week # 8 – Excerpts from: Chapter 2 (pages 58-79) and pages 131-135, 150, 158-160

May 22 (Lecture # 15)


Data Center; MS SharePoint



May 24 (Lecture # 16)


Some recent trends (e.g., Virtual Collaboration, Data Center, Virtualization, Cloud Computing)


Week # 9 Excerpts from Chapter 7 (pages 248 – 277)

May 29 (Lecture # 17)


Networks continued - The World Wide Web



May 31 (Lecture # 18)


Databases and Information Management – Part 1


Week # 10 – Excerpts  from Chapter 7 (pages 248 – 277)

June 5 (Lecture # 19)


Databases and Information Management – Part 2



June 7 (Lecture # 20)


IT Security and Governance (Excerpts from Chapters 6 and 9) Course Wrap-Up and brief review for exam 2


Finals Week

BA370 final exam is currently scheduled  by OSU Exam Scheduling Office for:

Wednesday of finals week (June 13) at 6 PM.

The venue for the final exam will be announced after it is made available to the instructor.  Please plan your summer travel after the final exam.