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Workplace Simulated Courses - Course Technology Computing Conference


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Workplace Simulated Courses - Course Technology Computing Conference

Presenter: Angie Rudd & Kelly Hinson, Gaston College

What do our students need to learn to be productive in the workplace, to get a job, what skills do they need? The workplace has changed, leadership has changed, and the future is collaboration. This presentation will discuss the methods and tools used in two online project classes. We will show you how we take our learning outcomes and design online classes to simulate a workplace environment. These courses are designed to give students the most realistic workplace environment that we can in an academic setting. One course teaches Emerging Technologies by using teamwork and collaboration environments. The other course uses the System Development Lifecycle as a guide for students to complete an individual project with feedback and brainstorming from other students. The goals for the session are: demonstrating and discussing collaboration, showing how to include useful teamwork in an online environment, working as a collective team, sharing information and knowledge, encouraging suggestions and ideas, brainstorming, building in frustration on purpose, using peer feedback in projects, enabling team resources, and embracing roles and responsibilities. Attendees will walk away with a template of how to design a course for a workplace environment while meeting the learning objectives of the course.

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Workplace Simulated Courses - Course Technology Computing Conference

  1. 1. Workplace Simulated Courses Angie Rudd and Kelly Hinson
  2. 2. Who Are We? • We are Information Technology Instructors from Gaston College in Dallas, NC.
  3. 3. Why Are We Here? • The need to teach a course that demands a student learn to work collaborative. • The need to make our students work place ready. • These courses cement knowledge into the minds of students in a practical way.
  4. 4. We wish we could tell you that our students embrace this approach and love us with their whole hearts. At first they are excited. Then they are confused. Then they are frustrated. The love comes later.
  5. 5. So before we can get started building a course we have to determine…. • What do our students need …. • to build skills? • to get a job? • to be productive in the workplace?
  6. 6. How do we deliver??? • Before beginning the course development some questions need to be answered…
  7. 7. The workplace has changed….. Forbes listed the 10 skills that will get you hired 2013. • Critical Thinking • Complex Problem Solving • Judgment and Decision-Making • Active Listening • Computers and Electronics • Mathematics • Operations and Systems Analysis • Monitoring • Programming • Sales and Marketing
  8. 8. Our Example Classes Are… 1. Emerging Technology – uses teamwork and collaborative environments. 2. System Support Project – A Capstone Course – uses the System Development Lifecycle as a guide for students to complete an individual project with feedback and brainstorming from other students.
  9. 9. Before getting started…. we need to think about the purpose • What are the institutions goals/vision? • What are your division/department goals? • What are the course goals/outcomes/learning objectives? Institution Division/Department Course
  10. 10. At Gaston College “Opportunities for Success” Evaluate existing programs ….to meet the needs of the changing workforce
  11. 11. Commonalities Between Our Courses • No textbooks research online • No tests project benchmark and deadlines • Class is online provide simulated environments (boss, employees, and co-workers) • Aggravated and frustrated just like at work
  12. 12. Talking Points – demonstrating and discussing collaboration – showing how to include useful teamwork in an online environment – working as a collective team – sharing information and knowledge – encouraging suggestions and ideas – brainstorming – building in frustration on purpose – using peer feedback in projects – enabling team resources – embracing roles and responsibilities.
  13. 13. Emerging Technology Course Goals 1. Demonstrate the proper use of terminology in relation to information technology. 2. Identify current technologies in use in information technology. 3. Research advanced/emerging technologies in information technology. 4. Discuss advantages/disadvantages of various technologies
  14. 14. The Emerging Technology Course • This Emerging Tech (ET) class is setup from the viewpoint of gaining knowledge and skills required as if you were an Information Technology (IT) manager. • As a Manager you will be responsible for participating in group projects, doing research, keep up with what the latest technologies are, and presenting proposals if it is determined change is necessary for the company.
  15. 15. Course Approach • to know how to research • to know what research is important • to function as a team member who may or may not be in the same location or country • to be able to present research based on data.
  16. 16. • The course is built around the Gartner Methodology of identifying emerging technologies. • Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. • Every year Gartner publishes their top 10 emerging technologies and are interpreted in terms of the hype cycle.
  17. 17. • First part of course deals with individual research so that student become comfortable with understanding Gartner. • Then we do team projects where students are given what is to be included (expectations) and assigned team roles.
  18. 18. Step 1: The Individual Work • Goal: Student to understand the Gartner methodology
  19. 19. Step 2: The Team Work • Goal: Collaboration in an online environment
  20. 20. The Teamwork 1. Assign group members 2. Groups are given expectations (what they are creating) 3. Each member of the group is assigned a team role with individual expectations 4. Groups create there own schedule/benchmark dates to meet the given deadline
  21. 21. Step 3: Analyze • Goal: To be able to investigate a new technology based on educated research.
  22. 22. The Final Exam • You are a Gartner Analyst. Look into your Technology Crystal Ball! • Propose your Top Ten Technologies for 2015. Through-out the course we have evaluated Top Ten technologies from the 2012-2014 lists. • Format your list as the Press Releases we have been using. Give a justification as to why each technology is on your list. • You should list the technology followed by a short summary. • The list is published in October 2014. We will see how close you are.
  23. 23. Grading Scheme • Getting Started Assignments= 5% • Gartner Understanding = 40% • Teamwork Assignments = 40% • Final Exam = 15%
  24. 24. The Next Work Simulated Class • The Capstone Course for Information Technology
  25. 25. What This Course Gives Students? • Frustration • Feedback • Peer Feedback • Peer Review • Employer Feedback • Emphasis on communication skills
  26. 26. Capstone Course Directives • This course provides an opportunity to complete a significant support project with minimal instructor assistance. • Emphasis is placed on written and oral communication skills, project definition, documentation, installation, testing, presentation, and user training. • Upon completion, students should be able to complete a project from the definition phase through implementation.
  27. 27. Student Information • Students are told from the beginning that this is a “real world environment” • Projects may have to change mid-course. • Students are not to expect a lot of instructions or directions. • Students must research and guess what the employer wants. • Students do get a lot of feedback.
  28. 28. The Capstone Course • Students create a project from beginning to end. • The project is proposed by them and created by them. • I am the boss. I deliberately treat them like an employee. • I make random recommendations and changes just like happens in a real work place. • The project follows the System Development Life Cycle. We use 5 steps throughout the process.
  29. 29. Capstone Course Goals 1. Demonstrate the proper use of terminology in relation to information technology. 2. Identify legal, ethical, social, and security issues related to computer information technology. 3. Demonstrate the ability to communicate technical issues related to computer information technology. 4. Demonstrate the ability to utilize current application packages and operating systems. 5. Performing basic technical support functions. 6. Understanding of the interrelationship between hardware, application packages and systems software.
  30. 30. The Approach To This Course • The contents of this course will follow the Systems Development Life Cycle as closely as possible. As you should know, in the real world, no project will absolutely fit in these predefined areas because people and projects are fluid - always changing.
  31. 31. The Rubric • Students are provided a final project rubric from the beginning of the course. • Students are encouraged to use the rubric to keep their projects on course and to meet the required outcome. • They still don’t use it!
  32. 32. The Folders • SDLC: Step 1- Project Proposal • SDLC: Step 2 - Analysis • SDLC: Step 3 - Design • SDLC: Step 4 - Implementation and User Training and Support • SDLC: Step 5: Maintenance
  33. 33. Folder Content • Each folder requires the student to: – Keep a journal of thoughts and frustrations throughout the SDLC step – Research the current area of development – Sometimes use a WIKI to give post ideas and give peer feedback • During project proposals • During analysis – Usually requires a written assignment for the instructor • Graded harshly – not just checked off as complete
  34. 34. Grading • Doesn’t happen on a pre-determined schedule • Is discouraging during project development to make students try harder and dig deeper • Involves lots of instructor comments and feedback • Takes more time for the instructor to give the correct feedback, but is well worth the investment.
  35. 35. Final Grade • Final Project Paper and PowerPoint = 30% • Journals = 10% • Wikis = 10% • Discussion Board = 10% • Final Exam Reflection Paper = 20% • All other assignments = 20%
  36. 36. Student Comment • “This was a very challenging but enjoyable class. I will say that working full time and taking this class with a capstone and two others classes was pushing my limits. There were times when I did not think I would make it. Somehow, I always managed to get everything done. There were a lot of late nights and weekends put into this. However, I believe it was worth it and that what I have learned was well worth the effort.”
  37. 37. Student Comment • “In previous classes, we learned about the SDLC basics, but it was not until I took this course that I really understood what was going on. You can study about pretty much anything, but it is totally different when you apply the knowledge into a real world situation. “
  38. 38. Student Comment • “I am shocked at myself that I was able to pull through this class without a textbook and little instructor interface. It gives me a feeling of great accomplishment a little.”
  39. 39. Student Comment • “Throughout my final semester, the most challenging yet rewarding class was the System Support Project. I feel as though this capstone project was a great end to my college career at Gaston College. This class presented me with many challenges but also many opportunities to prove all that I have learned about technology while attending college.”
  40. 40. Summary
  41. 41. Questions