Developing Team Work in IT Education to Foster Student Engagement

Developing Team Work in IT Education to Foster Student Engagement

Nigel McKelvey (University of Ulster, UK) and Kevin Curran (University of Ulster, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7284-0.ch005
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Abstract

Teamwork is an important aspect that should be provided by both employers and employees. This chapter proposes relating this ethos to an educational environment in order to foster encouragement among students. Students demonstrating professionalism can provide important discussion points that can help the class environment run more efficiently. When issues arise in a class, students learn not to hesitate in speaking up. Many co-workers fail to work as a team because people do not voice their opinions on certain matters. Learning how to voice that opinion can aid students/employees in progressing an assignment without hindering any other processes. This chapter outlines how to incorporate teamwork into IT educational environments in order to encourage students to engage more with the process. It also gathers information based on student, staff, and industry surveys and strives to highlight the importance of teamwork as a skill essential for IT graduates.
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Background

In their paper “What is the Curriculum Development Process?” Clarke and Stow state that the term curriculum is: “a written plan which drives instruction. It delineates the skills and concepts taught and evaluated to enhance student achievement. Composed of a content area philosophy, strands with definitions, program goals, aligned scope and sequence, learner outcomes, and assessment tools, it is intentionally designed to meet district, state, and national standards.” (Clarke N & Stow S, 2006)

Often the issue with developing a curriculum for a module within an IT discipline is that technology is constantly evolving. As a result, a module can become quickly outdated and below standard. Students deserve a module that will teach them about technologies and concepts that are current and relevant to their future careers. Incorporating reflective practice as teaching professionals can greatly help with this common issue. Misguided or redundant concepts can be removed or updated incrementally. This in turn goes some way to developing a curriculum that satisfies the requirements. This review should provide some insights into how developing a curriculum for IT can be problematic and also present some thoughts on how this might be addressed.

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