Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Edward F. Watson


This research investigates the effectiveness of using a commercial Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERP) as a supplement tool to teach Enterprise Information Systems concepts in Business Schools. A state-of-the-art ERP System is an integrated enterprise software system that has a windows-based interface, a client-server architecture, and a modular and expandable structure. This complex computer environment provides a rich content domain where students can get exposure to key business, computer science, data communication, and information systems concepts. A significant challenge facing business school educators is to identify how best to deploy a commercial ERP System in their academic environment. Furthermore, an issue that must be addressed, before implementing any new educational innovation, is whether the costs of changing the curriculum and then maintaining the new program will be justified in terms of learning effectiveness and efficiency. To date, the educational benefits of the instructional uses of commercial ERP systems such as the SAP R/3 System have been established on the basis of anecdotal statements from faculty and students rather than on empirical and objectively measured data secured by sound research methods. Thus, the main objectives of this study are to determine whether or not student's performance, self-efficacy, and satisfaction are enhanced by the use of an ERP System as a support tool in learning business processes. This study compares three delivery instructional methods. A traditional instruction method (lecture format plus reading/exercises) acts as the control. The second and third instructional methods are computer-based methods. In the second method, students receive traditional lecture format with full access to hands-on SAP R/3 system transaction exercises. In the third method, students receive traditional lecture format, but also have full access to simulated hands-on SAP R/3 system via Web transaction exercises (i.e., ScreenCam movies). A statistically significant difference between-instructional methods effect, F (2, 269) = 5.62, p < 0.05, is found. Post hoc analysis showed that the simulated hands-on instruction group's performance score was significantly higher (p > 0.05) than that of the control group. There were no other statistically significant differences found.