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Competency Based Technology Education A Practical Approach

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.156.1 - 5.156.9



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Paper Authors

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S P Maj

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D Veal

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2793

Competency Based Technology Education – a practical approach

D Veal, S P Maj Computer Science. Edith Cowan University. (ECU) Perth Australia Abstract

There are ever increasing demands to provide computer and network technology curriculum directly relevant to the needs of employers. The failure of institutions to provide students with readily employable skills has been well documented and the debate continues. Typically a newly recruited graduate will be required, by employers to attend various training courses. In response to these demands new curriculum was designed and introduced at Edith Cowan University to incorporate internationally recognized, industry based certification as part of standard undergraduate education. This new curriculum provides the opportunity for students to obtain A+ Certification in computer support and Novell Certified Network Engineer (CNE) standing. This approach of incorporating commercially based education, as part of the curriculum, is now progressively being introduced by other universities within Australia. Experience to date indicates some success but significant inadequacies in standard student evaluation procedures were detected. The authors designed a new competency based approach to student evaluation that: can generate meaningful results to students, lecturers and potential employers; can be conducted as part of a standard workshop with no disruption to normal student activity and provides an assurance of a minimum level of acceptable skill. This paper presents the details of designing, implementing and evaluating competency based evaluation within computer and network technology courses, furthermore the authors make recommendations for the introduction of this type of evaluation to be an essential part of all undergraduate curriculum.

1. Introduction

Within Western Australia an exploratory market audit was conducted of a wide range of industrial and commercial companies. This was complemented by a further detailed analysis of the IT department of a statewide rail company. From this survey a set of guidelines were developed for the type of skills expected of computer science graduates entering the field of computer and network support. Using the criteria developed a random selection of ten, final year ECU computer science undergraduates were interviewed from a graduating population of approximately one hundred. According to Maj:

Maj, S. P., & Veal, D. (2000, June), Competency Based Technology Education A Practical Approach Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8222

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