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Introduction to Management Information Systems (MIS): A Survival Guide (19/20) (T2)

Enrollment in this course is by invitation only

About this course

The curriculum of the Master in Industrial Engineering at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) encompasses a course on Management and Information Systems. Through the EVE (European Virtual Exchange) program, participating students can take this course from their home universities. EVE students main learning platform is the online course (SPOC - Small Private Online Course) Introduction to Management Information Systems (MIS): A Survival Guide; including learning materials and activities.

The SPOC format is self-paced, even though it is organized in six “modules” or “weeks”. This means that the SPOC’s videos, self-assessment quizzes, recommended readings, etc. will be available from the start of the course. Graded activities, however (end-of-week tests and assignments) will be made available progressively, according to the schedule shown in the SPOC. Students must complete these graded activities within the time window assigned to each of them.

Management Information Systems (MIS) are all around us. A well-grounded familiarity with MISs enables better understanding of the how’s and why’s of our professional life – it can also be quite helpful in actually starting a professional life, since potential employers consider it a valuable skill. It can also allow us to make better sense out of an increasingly connected and systems-enabled personal and social life.

The goal of the course Introduction to Management Information Systems (MIS): A Survival Guide is to help learners become familiar with MISs in the business world by focusing on the fundamentals of information systems, what they are, how they are built and how they affect organizations and consequently how do they influence our current or prospective jobs. Understanding these concepts will help you to acquire necessary skills to survive in a MIS dominated world/ jungle; course graduates will also be able to use that knowledge to their advantage in recruitment or promotion processes.

Grasping the key concepts in MIS does not need to be a daunting endeavor. We will use several analogies to illustrate key concepts, use frequent examples to illuminate the explanations and strive to strike a proper balance between clarity / amenity and conceptual soundness. Programming knowledge is not required.

Practical information

  • Language: English
  • Level: Master
  • ECTS: 3
  • Assessment: exam (60% of the final grade) + continuous evaluation (40% of the final grade). Please note that no remote exam review is available.
  • Start date: 4 February 2020
  • Exam date: 29 May 2020 (10:00-14:00) / Exam resit: 28 June 2020 (16:00-20:00)

Additional information about the residential course available here.

Learning objectives

The main objectives of this course are:

  • Understanding Management Information Systems (MIS) and their role in today’s organizations.
  • Identifying how MIS shapes and controls current (or prospective) jobs and how to use this insight to improve your own job performance and satisfaction and enhance your career prospects.
  • Becoming familiar with the major trends in MISs and MIS infrastructures (Cloud, Big Data, ERPs, outsourcing) and how these evolutions might affect workplaces and business strategies.
  • Bridging the MIS-related second “digital gap” that exists, after basic computer literacy, in most professional jobs.

Course structure

Week 1. MISs. Importance. Procurement

Week 2 The Communications revolution – Distributed Information Systems

Week 3. Data, Databases, Big Data

Week 4. Integrated Information Systems (ERP) and Integrated Business Processes

Week 5. Implementing and customizing ERPs and other major MISs. Who adapts to whom?

Week 6. MISs in decision-making


Basic user-level computer literacy. Business awareness is recommended.


Alfonso Durán Heras

He is the coordinator of this MOOC and full professor of Engineering Management at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M). At UC3M he has taught Management Information Systems (MIS), Operations Management and Business Administration at undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels since 1995. He has previously held positions in other Spanish universities, and cooperated as visiting fellow with foreign institutions in US, India and Brazil. He is the author of over 100 scientific papers (journal articles, conference papers and books) and has led numerous national and international research and technology transfer projects. From 1981 to 1994, he held MIS management positions in the US multinational Digital Equipment. His Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering in both Electrical Engineering and in Engineering Management obtained the first Spanish national graduation award; he earned an MBA at Indiana University with a Fulbright grant as no. 1 in graduating class and his PhD in Industrial Engineering received the extraordinary award.