Course Syllabus

Welcome to BUS303: Strategic Information Technology

Specific information about this course and its requirements can be found below. For more general information about taking Saylor Academy courses, including information about Community and Academic Codes of Conduct, please read the Saylor Student Handbook.

 

Course Description

Explore how managers determine when new information technology initiatives are necessary and how to deploy them by focusing on how to allocate IT resources across your business as part of its organizational strategy.

 

Course Introduction

BUS206 introduced you to the subject of Management Information Systems (MIS). The focus of that initial course was on the nuts and bolts of information systems: how they work, how you create them, how to secure them, and so on. This course is developed to help you understand how information technology can be used as part of an organization's overall strategy.

In this course you will focus on the allocation and use of technology resources across an entire firm as part of the larger organizational strategy. Because firms do not have an unlimited supply of capital, they must decide when and where to deploy new information technology. Firms must not only focus on when to deploy IT, but also if they should deploy IT at all! This brings up the bigger question about technology: Can the use of IT bring a sustainable competitive advantage to an organization? There are those who say, "No”; and others who say, "Of course!”  You will explore the differing opinions out there on this topic in Unit 1.

In Unit 2 you will delve into how IT might manage business processes and take a look at Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, Business Process Management (BPM) systems, and business process reengineering. You will then move on to how technology can inform decision making in Unit 3 by studying business intelligence, data warehousing, and data mining. Unit 4 introduces you to the world of e-commerce and examines such important topics as intellectual property and online marketing. In Unit 5 you will explore major trends in technology today like cloud computing, Web 2.0, and mobile technologies. Units 1 through 5 lay the groundwork for understanding how IT can be used in business strategy, which you will put to practical use in Unit 6 where you will focus on how to actually write a strategy.

This course is comprised of the following units:

  • Unit 1: Information Technology and Competitive Advantage
  • Unit 2: ERP Systems, Business Processes, and IT
  • Unit 3: Using Information for Decision Making
  • Unit 4: e-Commerce
  • Unit 5: Technology Trends
  • Unit 6: Creating a Technology Strategy

 

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
  • summarize how business organizations employ information technology to create a competitive advantage;
  • differentiate among the ways businesses use IT strategically, such as for enterprise, business-to-business, and e-commerce computing.
  • explain the roles and impact of business processes as they relate to information systems within an organization;
  • compare formal methodologies to improve system planning, analysis, and architecture design;
  • analyze the architecture of an electronic commerce system, including the system hardware, system software, database system, online transaction, and user interface;
  • summarize how each component of an e-commerce system can be used to improve a business organization and contribute to its competitive advantage; and
  • create a technology strategy for an organization.

Throughout this course, you'll also see related learning outcomes identified in each unit. You can use the learning outcomes to help organize your learning and gauge your progress.

 

Course Materials

The primary learning materials for this course are readings, lectures, video tutorials, and other resources.

All course materials are free to access, and can be found through the links provided in each unit and subunit of the course. Pay close attention to the notes that accompany these course materials, as they will instruct you as to what specifically to read or watch at a given point in the course, and help you to understand how these individual materials fit into the course as a whole. You can also access a list all of the materials used in this course by clicking on Resources in the course's "Activities" menu.

 

Evaluation and Minimum Passing Score

Only the final exam is considered when awarding you a grade for this course. In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first attempt, you may take it again as many times as needed, following a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you have successfully passed the final exam you will be awarded a free Saylor Certificate of Completion.

There are also 5 unit assessments and other types of quizzes in this course. These are intended to help you to gauge how well you are learning and do not factor into your final course grade. You may retake all of these as many times as needed to feel that you have an understanding of the concepts and material covered. You can locate a full list of these sorts of assessments by clicking on Quizzes in the course's "Activities" menu.

 

Earning College Credit

This course is eligible for college credit via Saylor Academy's Direct Credit Program. If you are seeking to earn college credit, you must opt to take and pass the Saylor Direct Credit final exam. That exam will be password protected and require the presence of a proctor. Upon passing that final exam you will receive a Proctor Verified Course Certificate, and will be eligible to earn an Official Transcript. For more information about applying for college credit review the Guide to College Credit Opportunities. Be sure to check the section on proctoring for details (fees, technical requirements, etc.)

Note: There is a 14-day waiting period between attempts of the Direct Credit final exam. There is no imposed wait period between attempting the non-credit certificate-bearing exam and the credit exam. Some credit exams have a maximum number of attempts allowed, which will be detailed on the exam's instructions page.

 

Tips for Success

BUS303: Strategic Information Technology is a self-paced course in which you the learner determines when you will start and when you will complete the course. There is no instructor or predetermined schedule to follow. While learning styles can vary considerably and any particular student will take more or less time to learn or read, we estimate that the "average" student will take 83 hours to complete this course. We recommend that you work through the course at a pace that is comfortable for you and allows you to make regular (daily, or at least weekly) progress. It's a good idea to also schedule your study time in advance and try as best as you can to stick to that schedule.

Learning new material can be challenging, so below we've compiled a few suggested study strategies to help you succeed:

  • Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories as you read. This can help you differentiate and contextualize concepts and later provide you with a refresher as you study.
  • As you progress through the materials, take time to test yourself on what you have retained and how well you understand the concepts. The process of reflection is important for creating a memory of the materials you learn; it will increase the probability that you ultimately retain the information.
  • Although you may work through this course completely independently, you may find it helpful to connect with other Saylor Academy students through the discussion forums. You may access the discussion forums at https://discourse.saylor.org.

 

Suggested Prerequisites

In order to take this course, you should:


Technical Requirements

This course is delivered fully online. You will be required to have access to a computer or web-capable mobile device and have consistent access to the internet to either view or download the necessary course resources and to attempt any auto-graded course assessments and the final exam.

  • To access the full course including assessments and the final exam, you will need to be logged into your Saylor Academy account and enrolled in the course. If you do not already have an account, you may create one, free of charge, here. Although you can access some course resources without being logged into your account, it's advised that you log in to maximize your course experience. For example, some of the accessibility and progress tracking features are only available when you are logged in.
  • If you plan to attempt the optional credit recommended final exam that accompanies this course, then you will also need access to a webcam enabled computer. A webcam is needed so that our remote proctoring service can verify your identity, which will allow Saylor Academy to issue an official transcript to schools on your behalf.

For additional technical guidance check out Saylor Academy's tech-FAQ and the Moodle LMS tutorial.

 

Fees

There is no cost to access and enroll in this course. All required course resources linked throughout the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, activities, etc are accessible for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.

This course does contain an optional final exam that will provide students an opportunity to earn college credit. Access to the exam itself is free, though it does require the use of a proctoring service for identity verification purposes. The cost for proctoring is $25 per session.

Last modified: Friday, March 29, 2019, 3:04 PM