June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
One of the five core courses of the Professional Masters of Technology (PMT) program is Informatics and Technology Management. The course aims to provide tools in areas of statistics, research methods and data mining to develop solutions tailored to business problems. The course along with the program underwent significant transformations in year 4 and 5 of the program, Spring 2015/2016 based on advisory board suggestions and changing landscape of industry needs, in format and content/instruction. A traditional 16 week face to face evolved to 8 week hybrid synchronous and asynchronous format and the content of the course modified from a stand-alone subject area to modules taught by a team of multi-disciplinary instructors. The lack of course pre-requisites posed the challenge of preparing students from a variety of backgrounds and work status to be proficient in the course objectives in a short time span. The skill sets developed in the course were assessed through case studies, term papers and presentations and were expected to fully prepare students for their capstone project. The purpose of this pedagogical research study is to assess whether or not a team-taught 8 week hybrid format accomplishes the objectives of providing the flexibility in format and skillsets through multi-disciplinary course content effectively. How does the course without pre-requisites, maintain the rigor and expected outcomes without compromising quality in 8 weeks? Will an integration of modules such as identifying aspects of research methods and statistics required for successfully understanding and being proficient in data mining work better as opposed to offering a stand-alone menu of topics in research methods, statistics and data mining? Currently the goal is to develop the required skill-sets but leave it to the students to make the connection and identify potential inter-disciplinary applications. Data collection methods include analyzing responses from a survey of PMT alumni before and after the transition from 16 week to 8 week format, including effective applications of skill-sets developed in the course. Teaching evaluations and student gradebooks are other sources of data analyzed to understand the effectiveness of the course, and highlight the difference/similarities in outcomes from a 16 week and 8 week format. Statistical analysis was conducted to assess the effectiveness of the course for format changes and other factors identified within the course. This study will present challenges and benefits to both instructors and students in courses which evolves in format and content. Examples such as a term paper assignment will be used to describe a pathway of potential integration of multiple modules. The research team hopes to present preliminary data as a segway into a larger discussion about future possibilities for developing such hybrid courses which maximize skill-sets effectively for students with a variety of backgrounds and how it can be adapted by instructors in their courses as well.
Joseph, S., & Oh, J., & Dandu, R. S. (2019, June), Adapting Graduate Courses to Meet Industry Needs Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32034
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