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Using a Team-Based Service Learning Project to Support to Community Business in a Project Management Course

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Emerging Information Technologies

Tagged Division

Computing & Information Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1605.1 - 22.1605.19



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Paper Authors


Barbara E. Brazon Penn State University

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Barbara E. Brazon is a Coordinator and Senior Instructor in the Information, Sciences and Technology program at Penn State University, Hazleton.

She holds a Master of Science Degree in Instructional Technology from Bloomsburg University. She conducts research on student-centered pedagogical approaches used in problem based learning. Her key areas of focus are working with students in a complex, multifaceted, team environment, accessing how the acquisition of new information and skill sets leads to resolution of real world problems. She concentrates her research on the role of the instructor as facilitator who provides tools to effectively assess learning in a technology based curriculum

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Mary Lynn Brannon Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Mary Lynn Brannon, Instructional Support Specialist at the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education at the Pennsylvania State University, has a Master of Arts Degree in Education and Human Development specializing in Educational Technology Leadership. Her work focuses on projects that measure and assess student perceptions of learning related to their experiences with engineering course innovations. She is a faculty development consultant with previous experience in instructional design and instructor of the Graduate Assistant Seminar for engineering teaching assistants.

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Using a Team-Based Service Learning Project to Provide Support to Local Community Business in an Information Sciences and Technology Project Management CoursePreparing students to be more competitive in the in the workforce, Information Technology (IT)Project Management was developed at a university as a junior-level course. The course wasdesigned to present Information Sciences and Technology (IST) students who have a backgroundin networking design and development, database design and development, and computerprogramming, and no prior knowledge in Information Technology (IT) project management,with management skills. Students majoring in IST were provided with a real world project thatwas solely based on applying the concepts presented in classroom lectures and presentationsfrom guest speakers. There was no interaction with a real world client incorporated. To provide amore realistic experience to students, a student team/client based service learning project wasadded to the course in the Fall semester 2003. The students were able to utilize their systemsanalysis/design skills within the constructs of applying project management concepts. Thepedagogical approach was to incorporate peer learning and service learning through teamworkthat would involve the students in a problem-based learning experience. The clients wereselected from local community businesses and non-profit organizations.The objectives of the team project were, to provide hands-on experience in project managementby the design of a small system development project for a real world client, to simulate the realworking environment in a company by having the students work together as a team within theconstraints of satisfying the client’s requirements and for the students to apply projectmanagement concepts with a primary emphasis on the development of communication andcollaboration skills among team members and their client. This is performed within the contextof the systems development model, which are critical skills in developing large and complex ITintegrated systems. Assessments of student learning perceptions were collected using surveysand performance data along with voluntary end of semester focus groups.This paper will discuss how the team based service learning project improved the learningexperiences of students and share assessment data of the student’s perceptions of working on ateam with a client from their local community. Students’ reactions to this learning environmentwere positive. Individuals who teach information systems and project management may beinterested in this paper.

Brazon, B. E., & Brannon, M. L. (2011, June), Using a Team-Based Service Learning Project to Support to Community Business in a Project Management Course Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18744

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