Communications of the IIMA


The goal of this paper is to show how graduate students in a computer information systems (CIS) masters program can learn innovation and can complete innovative thesis or projects in information systems. Graduate MS students in the CIS program are taught how to use information systems, but not taught how to create and innovate new information systems. To be competitors in the global economy today, “Innovate or Evaporate” is the message for organizations in the United States (US). US employees must know how to innovate, but current CIS programs rarely teach innovation to their students. To foster innovation, this paper proposes an approach which systematically introduces innovation in a step wise fashion in three courses. The approach in the three courses include: (i) introducing innovative technologies in the CINS 5073 course, (ii) use of innovative technologies by organizations to remain competitive in the CINS 5013 course, and (iii) research innovative information systems in the CINS 5003 course. The approach presented in this paper fosters innovation throughout the program and the use of common systems – something that a student is very familiar with its construction and use, and converting them to intelligent systems using innovative thinking. The benefit of this approach is to create a new breed of workforce consisting of effective thinkers and innovators. It also teaches students that innovation is a never ending process and that innovation will enable them to survive long-term in the constantly changing field of information systems. The approach can be used in other CIS programs nationwide to enable them to teach innovation using cost-effective industry standard technologies and systems.