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ERIC Number: EJ895866
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
ISSN: ISSN-1547-9714
Real World Project: Integrating the Classroom, External Business Partnerships and Professional Organizations
Grant, Donna M.; Malloy, Alisha D.; Murphy, Marianne C.; Foreman, Jovanna; Robinson, Rowena A.
Journal of Information Technology Education, v9 pIIP-167-IIP-196 2010
A college degree is not what it used to be in respect to securing future employment. Constantly changing technologies in a struggling economy make it necessary for organizations to carefully balance recruitment staffing, particularly with regards to new hires. Organizations want to know that each new hire can add value immediately. In order to add value, Information Systems (IS) graduates must possess the necessary technical skills as well as "real world" work experience and soft skills. Additionally, these graduates will have more success if they have had applicable industry experience and a network of business professionals. In this paper, we describe a capstone experience model that goes beyond the reinforcement of the students' technical skills. The model extends the normal classroom to include students' putting into practice their skills and establishing professionals networks through their interaction with professional organizations and business partnerships. Our proposed capstone model integrates three learning environments: the classroom, a business organization and a professional organization. The model reinforces our students' technical, project management, team work, and communication skills through the implementation of a "real world" information system and the presentation of their system to their external client and at a professional conference. The expected benefits of this proposed model are to utilize various partnerships to prepare our students for employment Information Technology (IT) industry; allow our students to demonstrate their skills and talents; and establish networking opportunities with organizations and IT professionals. The initial pilot of our model was conducted during the 2008-2009 academic year. Our capstone model classroom environment incorporates two courses: 1) Systems Analysis and Design and 2) Systems Implementation. The "real world" experience with the external business partner was a year-long project implementation of the City's Print Services information system. The professional organization environment was achieved by the additional requirement for the team to submit their project to a national conference. Consequently, the team submitted a paper, presentation, and poster to the BDPA 2009 National Conference IT Showcase. The overall results of the initial pilot were very favorable. The students successful designed, developed and implemented the City's Print Service system. The students' paper and presentation received third place at the BDPA 2009 National Conference IT Showcase. Additionally, in order to evaluate the success of pilot from the stakeholders' perspective, two surveys were created: CIS Capstone Experience Project Team Survey and CIS Capstone Experience Customer Satisfaction Survey. The students' responses to the survey showed that they valued the capstone experience and want to see it continued, improved, and expanded. The external customers, the City employees, were very satisfied with the student's performance as demonstrated on their survey responses. The City employees answered six of the ten survey questions with an average rating of 5.0 and three received an average rating between 4.0 and 4.75 (with 5 being strongly agree on questions regarding quality, performance, communication and process). Our future research will include developing quantitative measures to test the model's overall success and establishing measures to weigh the contributions of each component of the model. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
Informing Science Institute. 131 Brookhill Court, Santa Rosa, CA 95409. Tel: 707-537-2211; Fax: 480-247-5724; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A