Teaching Information System Technology in Partnership with IT Companies
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We describe an example of partnership between a university and some major IT companies - IBM and Microsoft - to teach a course on information systems technology. The course is taught in the fifth (final) year of the university undergraduate program when students have already mastered the basic theoretical knowledge of information system development. For this reason, the course content was restructured to pay more attention to practical experience and the learning opportunities available within the environment of professional industry. During the course, students get acquainted with IBM and Microsoft products and the tools that support the development of online information systems. Special attention is devoted to group project work, which is not just intended for the improvement of technical skills, but also for the aqusition of transferrable skills such as teamwork, management/leadership, planning and organizing, presentation and documentation, searching for information, etc. We describe our experience from teaching the course in the academic years 2005/06 and 2006/07. A description of the course content is given and the results of a survey among the students are presented. Students responded favourably to the new approach and found the course very useful and interesting.
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