June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Cooperative & Experiential Education
26.1563.1 - 26.1563.10
The Perceived Impact of Information Technology Experiential Learning on Career Success Employers in the Information Technology field place significant value on the amount of real-‐world experience prospective employees possess. Recent IT graduates face a competitive job market against seasoned professionals with years of experience. Students must build a solid experience base from which they can advance professionally. This cannot be done without first holding an IT position. The key to solving the experience paradox is experiential learning – the process of learning by doing. The Living Lab at is a non-‐traditional undergraduate course based on the concept of experiential learning in the field of Information Technology. The Living Lab is structured similarly to a corporate IT department, with students playing the role of IT personnel. Students learn to apply their previous course material and gain resume-‐worthy experience, while working in teams to complete IT projects for their university and local businesses. Projects are fully documented and reported on throughout the course with a final presentation at semester end. This study investigates what, if any, benefit graduates gain from the Living Lab experience. Graduates who were involved in the Living Lab were electronically surveyed about their professional careers after college. Questions focused on how the student felt their time in Living Lab helped them gain employment and enhance their ability to perform as an employee. Results will be used to gauge the validity of the Living Lab program and experiential learning as an effective tool in terms of IT education. Data from this study can be used to improve the program, and help prospective students to make an informed decision when considering the Living Lab. Ultimately, other institutions may be encouraged to consider implementing a Living Lab or similar IT experiential learning environment of their own.
Bishop, D., & Justice, C., & Fernandez, E. (2015, June), The Perceived Impact of Information Technology Experiential Learning on Career Success: A Pilot Study Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24900
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