Practicing and Evaluating Soft Skills in IT Capstone Projects

Information technology (IT) professionals have constantly stressed the importance of soft skills and used them as a key factor in hiring and career development. The soft skills are often difficult to be practiced and evaluated in IT curriculum, specifically in a subject or a skill focused course. We took on the challenge in an IT capstone course where students complete a term-long real-world team project. We re-designed the capstone course to systematically embed soft skill requirements in the capstone project, facilitate the development of soft skills, and finally evaluate students’ competences in terms of soft skills. In this paper, we present our experiences and findings on curriculum improvement and students’ soft skills development and assessment.

The paper was presented at SIGITE 2015. The manuscript can be downloaded at

Visit our IT 4983 capstone course website for more information.


Business Intelligence in Health Information Technology Curriculum

Business intelligence (BI) and healthcare analytics are the emerging technologies that provide analytical capability to help healthcare industry improve service quality, reduce cost, and manage risks. However, such component on analytical healthcare data processing is largely missed from current healthcare information technology (HIT) or health informatics (HI) curricula. In this paper, we took an initial step to fill this gap. We investigated the current HIT educational programs, BI industry, and healthcare BI job listings, and students’ perceptions of BI and how BI could be incorporated into HIT programs. The student survey results showed strong interests from students in a HIT course containing BI components or a BI course specialized in the healthcare context. Based on the student survey and investigation of BI industry and job market, as well as HIT educational programs, we developed a general curriculum framework and exemplar implementation strategies to demonstrate how BI can be incorporated into an HI or HIT program. To the best of our knowledge, this research is the first of its kind. Our approach of integrating information from students, the HIT industry and other HIT programs can also be used as a model for general HIT curriculum development and improvement.

The most recent publication appeared in the Journal of Information Systems Education, Volume 25 Number 4, 2014, and the manuscript is provided at

A Presentation on Business Intelligence Education

This is a presentation delivered during a campus visit in which I briefly discussed business intelligence education in Metro Atlanta.
View it on Office Live: Business Intelligence Education
Download: Business Intelligence Education

Questions discussed:
What is BI?
What is the job prospects of BI?
Why should higher education care about BI?
What are the ways to offer BI education?
How’s BI education in Metro Atlanta?