I’ve been meaning to do a course review for a while, but none of the classes I’d completed stood out. With e-Commerce (ECOM) 320: Overview of e-Commerce, that has definitely changed. ECOM320 is a foundational course which overviews the main aspects of e-Commerce. These include technology topics, business models, the virtual value chain, innovations, and marketing strategies.
One of the aspects that I really appreciated about this course was how up to date it is. With examples as recent as mid 2012 You’re studying what’s happening in e-Commerce now, not what was happening 10 or 20 years ago. Some of the examples covered include modern hard-hitters like Facebook, Groupon, and Twitter.
The course also covers foundational topics like the history of the internet, basic encryption, and logistics management. The topics covered are not all limited to ?virtual? topics. One of the most interesting lessons was Lesson 5: Supply Chain Management and e-Commerce. Supply Chain Management refers to the logistics required to actually store and ship thousands of products all over the world daily. The chapter does an analysis of Amazon.com and how they run their operations, including new innovations which have improved efficiency in recent times.
While the course has no prerequisites, I would recommend having either an interest in technology or business. My interest in both these topics made the course of a bit easier when dealing with complex concepts like public certificate encryption. I ended up doing well in the class because I found it interesting, but, in retrospect, it was a lot of work compared to other 300 level classes I’ve taken.
It was also one of the first Athabasca classes I’ve taken with a mid-term. Due to a scheduling issue and being out of the country I ended up taking the midterm and final in the same week. It’s a strange feeling studying for the mid-term and final at once, but Athabasca regulations allow for it.
The assignments are some-what simple, with three short assignments and two exams, you really need to know the material well to do well on them. What this comes down to is a lot of reading and note taking. Many of the questions are specific terms or specific cases, so be prepared to memorize a lot of acronyms.
Overall, I think ECOM320 is a quality course. If You’re looking for an easy elective to boost You’re mark than avoid it all costs. If You’re looking to learn valuable information about how e-commerce works and is evolving than this course is for you. While I took it as an elective it can also be used towards Athabasca’s University Certificate in e-Commerce.
Philip Kirkbride is an AU Student with a penchant for travelling the globe while doing his AU courses.