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A study of project-based learning in an introductory MIS course.

    • Bryan Marshall, Georgia College
    • Peter W. Cardon, University of Southern California
    • Joy Godin, Georgia College


    In the past several decades, MIS programs have suffered several periods of lower enrollments. In the most recent downturn of enrollments (following the dotcom bust of the early 2000s), many programs have attempted to reimagine their curricula and marketing to appeal to more students. One way we have attempted to revitalize our program during the past five years is with a project-based introductory MIS course that all business students take. Our primary goals for changing the course were the following: (a) create an introductory MIS course that helped business majors better understand the role of IS in business; (b) create an introductory MIS course that engaged business majors in the IS process; and (c) create an introductory MIS course that attracted non-MIS business students to MIS as a major or minor. To help us understand the students’ experiences in this course, we created a survey that addressed the following areas: (a) knowledge of IS topics; (b) enjoyment of IS topics; (c) perceived difficulty of IS topics; (d) perceived importance of IS topics to their careers; and (d) interest in MIS minors and majors. Our study spanned six semesters over four years. Altogether, we surveyed 399 non-MIS business majors during this period. Overall, we came to a number of major conclusions. First, business students are getting an excellent picture of the IS story. Second, web design is the most attractive topic. Finally, the project-based approach to foundational IS topics in an introductory course provides modest benefits in interest in MIS majors and minors.

    Keywords: project-based learning, experiential learning, enrollment, MIS introductory courses

    APA Citation: Marshall, B., Cardon, P. W., & Godin, J. (2014). A study of project-based learning in an introductory MIS course. Issues in Information Systems, 15(2), 24-30.