The College of Information Sciences and Technology practices an applied approach to learning. This approach entails hands-on activities supported by a solid practitioner knowledge base. In addition, the curriculum presents a strong business orientation to the practice of information technology. The need for IT consulting education at the undergraduate level became increasingly apparent after numerous discussions with many corporate partners. Approximately one-third are of the graduates from the College of IST are exclusively placed with consulting firms and more than 50% are working in a consulting capacity after graduation. All graduates, regardless of where they choose to work, will function in a consultative role as part of their jobs. The feedback received from corporate partners indicated that most IT curriculums do a good job with technology and business topics but rarely touch consulting-related issues, skills, and methodologies.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Consulting: An ongoing process of two-way communication between client and consultant(s). This process includes identifying and analyzing the client’s needs and problems.
Project Management: The application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to a broad range of activities in order to meet the requirements of the particular project.
Problem-Centered Learning: A derivative of problem-based learning that is more explicit and structured.
Problem-Based Learning: A pedagogical strategy of active learning often used in higher education. The defining characteristics of PBL are: Learning is driven by challenging, open-ended problems. Students work in small collaborative groups. Teachers take on the role as “facilitators” of learning
Experience-Based Learning: A key element of experience-based learning is that learners analyze their experience by reflecting, evaluating, and reconstructing it (sometimes individually, sometimes collectively, sometimes both) in order to draw meaning from it in the light of prior experience.
Case-Based Learning: A derivative of problem-based learning that engages students in discussion of specific situations, typically real-world examples. This method is learner-centered and involves intense interaction between the participants. Case-based learning focuses on the building of knowledge and the group works together to examine the case.