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K-State Today

August 26, 2016

Management information system students receive laptop computers to use in program

Submitted by Michael Chilton

Ninety-eight students enrolled in upper-level courses in the College of Business Administration's management information system program each received a Dell laptop computer for use in program's curriculum. The laptops were purchased through grants from Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips.

Senior students will return the laptops upon completion of the program. Juniors who maintain good academic standing will keep the laptops for the entire two-year sequence in the bachelor's degree program. 

Students will load and maintain the software required for courses as part of their learning experience. The software packages include Microsoft Visual Studio, Microsoft Project, IBM Rational Software Architect, IBM Rational Data Architect, IBM Data Studio, Microsoft Office 365 and its components and more.

The two-year program allows students to learn how to develop computer application systems for businesses. This includes extracting requirements from users, assessing the value added with a new application, creating software models that serve as design specifications, writing the programming code to implement the design, and designing and implementing the database to store any data required by the application. Students also test and run their software to ensure the solution matches requirements.

Students in the program learn in a studio environment in the new College of Business Administration building. The studios are outfitted with technology and equipment that allows students to collaborate in groups and devote more class time to practicing newly acquired skills.

In addition, the new building is equipped with two state-of-the-art computer labs: the data analytics lab for students to learn data mining and warehousing techniques, and a lab for fundamentals of computer networking and small application development.

The use of a studio teaching environment is extremely rare among management information system departments throughout the world. The studios will provide flexibility for faculty in the way they deliver each course. This includes the ability to create telecommunication sessions with corporate sponsors who provide projects for senior classes and enable more interaction outside the classroom. These projects usually result in a working prototype of a business computer application, including a user interface and the ability to connect to a remotely located database.

Graduates from the program are some of the most competitive in the nation, and faculty believe the new environment and laptop computers will distinguish students in the program and provide them with valuable experiences and highly desirable workplace skill sets.