Academic journal article Journal of Information Systems Education

Lessons Learned from Migrating to an Online Electronic Business Management Course

Academic journal article Journal of Information Systems Education

Lessons Learned from Migrating to an Online Electronic Business Management Course

Article excerpt

1. INTRODUCTION

Online education seems to be here to stay and is gaining ground as an effective form of delivery (Chen, et al, 2013). However, online education may be perceived as conflicting with the "person-centered" culture of traditional universities (Haytko, 2001). This article will not debate the merits of online course delivery versus traditional face-to-face course delivery. A plethora of studies are available addressing that issue. The position that teaching success is rooted in pedagogy, more than in technology or mode of delivery has been previously defended (Redpath, 2012; Arbaugh and Benbunan-Fich, 2006). The focus of this review is on the online mode of course delivery. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to describe the pedagogy, migration, and lessons learned from a traditional face-to-face delivery format to an online delivery format of an Electronic Business Management course.

2. COURSE DESCRIPTION

The course under consideration is titled "Electronic Business Management." The catalog description reads: "Principles of managing the linkage between organizational strategy and enterprise information technologies, including e-commerce architecture, development and strategy."

Students focus on learning about and developing their own online information-based business. The course has no prerequisites. Students are not required to bring any products of their own into the business development process. An information-based business model was selected for that reason. Each student is required to produce information about a particular niche area of interest. This information is posted on a web site and a blog created by the student. All work is done individually. No group work is required or allowed.

These information-based web pages and blog posts form the basis of the online business. Traffic to these businesses is created and monitored using search engine registrations, ezine database article submissions, inbound links (links to the students web pages from other online sources), niche related outbound links (links from the students web pages to other web pages related to the same area of interest), page counters and analytics.

A student's online business is established on the Internet and accessible using normal search engine procedures. Students then attempt to make their business profitable through a monetization process. This monetization process includes: posting advertisements on their web pages, promoting physical products available through affiliate relationships, asking for donations, promoting physical products created using CafePress, and promoting the sale of ebooks created by the student.

Understanding of electronic business content, monetization and traffic generation concepts were gained in the development of the working electronic business described above. Assessment of the application of these concepts is done using a project format. The project is divided into four milestones with measurable deliverables.

The result of this project was a real working online business for each student. Some students were even able to earn money before the semester was over. No measures were available regarding any money that might have been earned after the semester was over and contact with most students was lost.

Basic concepts, theory and terminology about electronic business are gained using a suitable textbook. Assessment of the understanding of key concepts and terminology is done using multiple choice quizzes and exams.

Course level has been found to be a moderating factor in online course success (Chen, et al., 2013). Therefore, it is noted that this course is intended to be a first course for students to explore their interest in the information systems field of study. The course is positioned at the sophomore/junior level and has no prerequisites. However, due to demand, only senior students near graduation enrolled in the course each semester before reached enrollment capacity was reached. …

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