Now we have kicked off this year’s IT in Society Class. There will be a series of blog post about this course this fall.
Some of the things that make this course very special are:
- Region Uppsala act as a real client to the student project
- We get a topic for the course from the client very year
- It is a global distributed project.
- The students come from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and from Uppsala University.
- It is based on a pedagigical concept called Open Ended Group Projects
The IT in Society unit was introduced into the IT engineering degree program as a response to industry feedback collected using questionnaires and meetings prior to commencement of the degree program in 1995. This input emphasized that scaffolding the development of teamwork and communication skills were high priority areas for our industry stakeholders.
Running this course unit has been a challenge every year since 1998, and it has been a quite inspiring challenge. The open-ended group project idea suited this course unit well. But the (for the students, who had experienced a highly technical preparation in most of their other degree course units) unusual content (e.g. societal aspects) added complexity to setting up a productive learning environment. Much effort over the years has been put into devising appropriate scaffolding to support the students, without compromising the underlying ideas behind the open-ended group project concept. There will be more info about this concept later on.
There is a whole series of research publications based on this course. The most prominent one is Mats Daniel’s PhD thesis found here