Computers and Management Information Systems (CMIS) 351

Management Information Systems (Revision 12)


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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online with eTextbook

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies
(Business and Administrative Studies)

Prerequisite: CMIS 245. Registration into CMIS 351 assumes that you have access to Microsoft Access, Excel, PowerPoint and Word and that you are proficient in their use. Without good working knowledge of these tools (especially ACCESS), it will be challenging to complete the course assignments.

Faculty: Faculty of Business

Télé-université du Québec equivalency: ADM 2006.

CMIS 351 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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CMIS 351: Management Information Systems focuses on management information systems (MIS) in today’s organizations. This is not a technology course, although we do explore a number of core technologies used in modern enterprises; nor is it designed to teach you how to use computers effectively, although we certainly take advantage of a range of software applications in our analysis.

Instead, the focus is on how to leverage information systems to effectively operate and grow an enterprise. Whether the organization is a new entrepreneurial start-up, an established business, a non-profit, or a government enterprise, its ability to deliver on its mission and implement its strategy could be significantly impeded without knowledgeable individuals to guide the design, acquisition, effective use, and support of the information systems that provide the foundation for the organization. However, it is important to realize that a particular information technology used by one organization can lead to highly positive results, while the same technology used in another organization could be disastrous.

Because the role of MIS is critical for many organizations, it has become an exciting career choice that allows you the flexibility to apply the skills you develop through your study of management information systems to a broad range of disciplines. An organization is made up of four key components—technology, data, processes, and people. A career in MIS can offer you many options: you could take a strategic approach and become a systems or enterprise architect who is an expert in integrating across these components; or you could become a specialist in data analytics, process redesign, or technology management. What distinguishes MIS from other types of information technology is the recognition of the role and importance of people in both enabling and constraining organizations.

The guiding principle behind this course is that for an enterprise to run efficiently, its information systems need to work efficiently. Modern organizations are simply too complex, with too many people and too much data, for work to be done manually or inefficiently.

Learning Goals

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to

  • understand and articulate fundamental concepts of information technology management.
  • assess and apply IT to solve common business problems.
  • suggest and defend effective solutions to business problems, and design a database application to solve a business problem.
  • discuss the ethical aspects of information technology use in the organization and its governance issues.


CMIS 351 consists of the following twelve lessons of study:

  • Lesson 1: Information Systems and You
  • Lesson 2: Business Process and Decision Making
  • Lesson 3: Productivity, Innovation, and Strategy
  • Lesson 4: Database and Content Management
  • Lesson 5: Decision Making and Business Intelligence
  • Lesson 6: Competitive Advantage and Business Processes
  • Lesson 7: Hardware and Software
  • Lesson 8: The Cloud
  • Lesson 9: Social Networking, Ecommerce, and the Web
  • Lesson 10: Acquiring Information Systems Through Projects
  • Lesson 11: Structure, Governance, and Ethics
  • Lesson 12: Managing Information Security and Privacy


Your final grade in CMIS 351 is determined by a weighted average of the grades you receive on the following activities:

  • four assignments
  • four lesson discussion forums
  • a midterm examination
  • a final examination

Assignments are important for your learning, and you are strongly encouraged to complete them; however, you are not required to complete and submit each assignment in order to pass the course. If you do not complete an assignment, you will receive zero for that assignment.

To receive credit for this course, you must attain a grade of 50% or better on each of the examinations, and achieve an overall course grade of at least D (50%).

The following chart summarizes the evaluation activities:

Assessment Activity % of Final Grade When to complete
Assignment 1 10 After Lesson 4
Assignment 2 10 After Lesson 5
Midterm Exam 25 After Lesson 6
Assignment 3 10 After Lesson 7
Assignment 4 10 After Lesson 12
Discussion Forums 10 After Lessons 3, 5, 9,11
Final Exam 25 After Lesson 12
Total 100  

Note: The final examination for this course must be taken online at an invigilated location. It is your responsibility to ensure a computer with an Internet connection and a current web browser is available for your use at the invigilation centre.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.


Kroenke, D. M., Boyle, R. J., Gemino, A., & Tingling, P. (2019). Experiencing MIS (5th Canadian Edition). Toronto: Pearson. ISBN 9780134861593

A print version of the eText may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.

Other Resources

All other materials will be available to students online.

Software Requirements

You must have an Office suite that includes Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint (or compatible products).

As an AU student, you can purchase Office 365 at a special student price (note that it does not include Access for Mac computers). To download the software, go to:

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

The CMIS 351 Challenge for Credit evaluation process is made up of one assignment and one examination (online, three hours). To receive credit, you must achieve a grade of at least D (50 percent) on the examination on EACH of these two components.

  • Online examination (worth 75% of grade)
  • Assignment using Access database (worth 25% of grade)

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 12, March 6, 2020.

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