Information Systems Management (6 Days)

This blog post is part of a series where I chronicle my advancement through WGU’s Bachelor of Science, Business – Information Technology Management degree. It includes detailed reports on my study methods and strategies as well as occasional tips and tricks. To see all entries in this series, click the “WGU” link under “Categories” on the left sidebar (bottom of the page if viewing on mobile).

Maybe it’s because I work in IT and intend to continue working in IT, but I found this class very interesting. The units on Systems Analysis, Data Management, and Business Intelligence were especially interesting. When studying those units I felt like I was really learning for fun, rather than studying to pass a class.

I do have to say that my experience in IT gave me an advantage (though not as much as I thought it would have). The Hardware and Software, IS Fundamentals, and e-Commerce units were a breeze for me. I’ve read that other students in this course, who don’t have an IT background, and aren’t going into IT, had a really difficult time. There are complaints that the PA and OA don’t match what’s in the book (partly true), and that the PA’s don’t adequately represent what’s on the OA (not true in my experience), but I thought the course was laid out okay, and found the assessments to be relevant.

My primary advice for studying for this course: Use the in-chapter quizzes to help evaluate your understanding, and target your studying appropriately.

Day 1:

  1. Downloaded the Competency Overview Video
  2. Converted it to audio with VLC
  3. I did a few things in Audacity: (1) I removed the background white noise, (2) increased the bass (the poor audio quality was giving me a headache), and – most importantly – (3) split the single audio file into separate files; one per unit.
    1. What I didn’t know at this point (I found out after taking my second pre assessment) was that there are actually downloadable cohort videos for each individual unit. I felt pretty foolish when I made that discovery.
  4. Uploaded the files to Overcast
  5. Listened to the tracks throughout the day
  6. Took the Pre-Assessment

After Pre-assessment #1 (Competent):

This pre-assessment was rough. I passed, but not by much. It wasn’t as bad as my first Business Law pre-assessment, but it was no walk in the park either. There were parts where I really considered cancelling the attempt and trying again after studying up a bit more.

I was really disappointed and had to eat a bit of humble pie. I work in IT and have for most of my working life. Scoring so low on the pre-assessment was a blow to the ego for sure.

As is my way, I loaded my test data into my excel sheet, and sorted it to determine what  I needed to focus on. An interesting thing about this course is that all the competencies are so closely rated. In Business Law (I think it was) there were some competencies that were rated at 18% and some at 10%. That’s not the case with Information Systems Management. As a result, my sorting and prioritizing reflected more of where I needed work rather than what the grading rubric was looking for.

For this class, I had three units I needed to study for.

Day 2: (1) Read and took notes on Unit X. I should note that the readings for the Units in this class are fairly hefty. In fact I think there’s more reading in this class than in Business Law.

Day 3: (1) Made flashcards based on Unit X. (2) Read and took notes on Unit Y

Day 4:

  1. Made flashcards based on Unit Y
  2. Read and took notes on Unit Z
  3. Made some audio out of some online lectures on topics relevant to Unit Y
  4. Listened to Lectures
  5. Studied all flashcards up to this point

Day 5: (1) Reviewed topics X, Y, and Z, (2) Studied Flashcards, (3) Took Pre-Assessment, (4) Scheduled Objective Assessment

After Pre-assessment #2 (Competent):

My scores in Units X, Y, and Z went up as did my overall score. Now, I didn’t know this the first time I took the assessment since I hadn’t actually referred to the reading yet, but the pre-assessments ask questions that are not addressed in the book. I delved into the course chatter a bit, and it’s evident that this is a known issue. My advice is just to study your weak areas as best you can, and when you inevitably reach a question that is never addressed in the text, just make your best guess.

Day 6: As I mentioned in a note back on Day 1, I discovered that there were cohorts for each individual unit after taking the second pre-assessment. So on day six, before the Objective Assessment (which I usually schedule around noon) I (1) watched the cohort videos for my weakest topics, then I (2) Took the Objective Assessment

After Objective Assessment (Competent):

Well, I was pretty nervous going into this OA. However, I scored higher on the OA than I did on either of the pre-assessments. Here’s my advice: If you come across questions that aren’t covered in the book, make your best guess. If you come across answers that aren’t in the book, choose an the best answer that is in the book.

2 thoughts on “Information Systems Management (6 Days)”

  1. I literally just clicked start on this class, then did a search for chatter on this course from outside the WGU portal. Great break down of the course of study. I too am an IT guy of 30 years now. My plan it to take the PA today or tomorrow and see where my study points need to be. Thanks for posting this. Do you have more course objective outlines I can refer to during my studies? I will be following. So far, I have been lucky with passing most classes within days of starting them then taking breaks between to allow the swelling in my brain to go back down. LOL

    Reply
    • Hi JW – yep that’s about how I did it to. I have outlines for all the classes I took (as posted) for my bachelors. I did not continue the blogging for my MBA however as it was much more difficult and time-consuming. I needed to just keep my nose to the grindstone for that.

      Reply

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