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 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281806496_Practicing_and_Evaluating_Soft_Skills_in_IT_Capstone_Projects

Visit our IT 4983 capstone course website for more information.

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Engaging Students as Co-Lecturers in Information Systems and Technology Courses

Engaging students in the learning process is critical to their learning experience. One common practice is to have student do the work and report it back in classroom as presentations. However, many of these presentations are solely presented by students and are crowded into specific presentation class sessions. This is suboptimal in achieving a teaching (learning) environment with balanced information exchange. This paper presents a collaborative lecturing methodology, which engages students in the complete process of learning design, topic research, and collaborative lecturing in classrooms. Key activities and features of the method are presented in a four-stage life cycle. The method has been employed by the author in multiple IT and IS courses of different subjects and levels. Past experiences and lessons learned will be discussed.

The paper has been presented at EDSIGCon 2015 and will be published at ISEDJ. The manuscript can be visited here https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282861715_Engaging_Students_as_Co-Lecturers_in_Information_Systems_and_Technology_Courses

Social Learning through a Blog Network

I have tried and developed a team blogging method designed for a graduate class which surveyed the concepts and practices of system integration. To facilitate student participation and knowledge sharing, a project based on a network of team blog websites was designed. I summarized the experience in a conference paper (http://aisel.aisnet.org/sais2013/42/) and a presentation.

Example course sites: