e-Commerce (ECOM) 420

Project in e-Commerce (Revision 2)


Permanently closed, effective June 4, 2018.

View previous syllabus

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

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

Prerequisite: Permission of the professor. Complete all courses in Bachelor of Commerce (e-Commerce major)

Centre: Faculty of Business

ECOM 420 is not available for challenge.


ECOM 420 is an independent study course that serves as the capstone course in the Bachelor of Commerce, e-Commerce Major. ECOM 420 stresses the real-world practice of knowledge and skills acquired and developed in previous e-commerce courses, requiring students to apply strategies, applications, models, frameworks, and related issues in the disruptive economy.

Possible projects include an applied project investigating an opportunity to perform a strategic analysis, planning and development of an enterprise solution that could help solve a business problem or deliver future business benefits to the identified business. Examples of strategic solutions to support business needs and objectives include the use of new digital applications, new telecommunication technologies, improved/integrated IT systems, and other innovative solutions.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, students will have

  • performed strategic analysis of a company and its market position, examining the client's industry, target markets, partners, organization profile and structure, financial performance, etc.
  • identified and justified the rationale for performing the proposed business opportunity or solving the strategic business problem.
  • strategically analyzed the current information systems supporting the company activities and processes (analysis of the current IT systems and its alignment with business objectives and strategies; identification of the strengths and weaknesses).
  • determined the business requirements for the proposed new system/solution.
  • defined possible strategic options and recommended the most appropriate choice through cost-benefit analysis.
  • developed and implemented the plan.

Steps You Need to Take

To take this course, you must submit an independent study proposal of approximately two pages to the course coordinator, Houda Trabelsi (houdat@athabascau.ca). Ms. Trabelsi will assess the merit of your basic proposal and ensure that adequate faculty resources are available to support your study. If these requirements are met, you will be registered in the course and matched with an appropriate faculty member. An independent study proposal may be rejected for one of the following reasons:

  • No one is available to supervise your study.
  • Your proposal is not deemed to be equivalent to a 400-level course of study.
  • Your proposal is inadequate in terms of scope, depth, or focus.
  • Your assignment structure does not assess knowledge and skills.

If your proposal is rejected, you may resubmit to address the deficiencies, and if you are still unsuccessful, you may appeal this decision to the Director, Faculty of Business.

Tutorial arrangements are not automatically made for you. An independent study course requires you to take responsibility for designing your own learning and ensuring that your own learning objectives are met, in collaboration with a faculty member. You are responsible for negotiating your own support arrangements with the assigned faculty member on an as-needed basis.


This course includes two assignments.

Assignment 1 (25%)
In this preliminary outline, you will prepare a complete independent study proposal, containing a succinct description of the motivation, objectives, research topic, work plan, supports, and assessments. This assignment outlines your learning agenda and builds a contract for learning between you and the supervising professor.

Assignment 2 (75%)
This will be a major research project set and agreed-upon between you and the professor.

This assessment structure can be varied by the professor with the agreement of the course coordinator and the student. Details of the assignment, along with the proposed guidelines are available at the course website.

There are no formal examinations for this course. You complete the course by submitting all the agreed-upon assignments and obtaining an overall grade of “C-” (60 percent) or higher.
To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials

There are no formal course materials for this course. You, the student, are responsible for negotiating a program of study valued at three credits with the supervising faculty member. Course materials are your responsibility, though you have full access to the University Library. The course professor will also be available for consultation to support students in the selection of appropriate resources.

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.

View previous syllabus

Opened in Revision 2, March 27, 2017.

Updated April 03 2019 by Student & Academic Services