Learning through Leading: The Power of Integrating Information Systems Courses
Richard W. Woolridge, Janet L Bailey

Industry requires employees with strong project management and leadership skills, but for students to develop and improve, they need the opportunity to practice the concepts, techniques, and skills described in the typical lecture. An exploratory case study was conducted at a metropolitan commuter campus to determine if assigning graduate MIS students as project managers for undergraduate MIS student teams working on experientiallearning projects in a systems analysis course would result in an effective learning environment. The course integration delivered a positive outcome for clients, undergraduate students, and graduate students. Clients received projects that met requirements. Undergraduates received higher-quality grade assessments when compared to prior semesters. Graduate students received a hands-on project management experience within the course and were observed to improve in the areas of leadership, communication, relationship development, and team building; as well as the more traditional “hard” technical skills. Recommendations to improve future course integration were developed.

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