CDIO & Competence Based Curriculum Design Techniques: UNITEC Computer Science Program Reform

CDIO & Competence Based Curriculum Design Techniques: UNITEC Computer Science Program Reform

C. Arias, J. García (2017).  CDIO & Competence Based Curriculum Design Techniques: UNITEC Computer Science Program Reform. 10.

Considering the challenges of current times when technologies evolve at a fast rate, content based curriculum design is likely to be outdated before it can graduate the first generation. To cope with the challenge, curriculum design approach should be competence driven. In addition to this update to the vision of academic programs development and reform, scientific method should be used to design the programs to assure that they are meaningful for students and for the community that is going to receive the graduates, in a way to guarantee that professionals’ contribution is significant. The proposed methodology takes as input the industry needs as stated in interviews with officials from companies that employ graduates, the opinion of academics: professors and lecturers, current students, alumni, and a prospect study to make an effort to predict where the industry is moving in the following years. The input is then analyzed, this helps to determine the courses that the program must have, and then requisites are drawn to obtain the flowchart of the curriculum. Transversal axes need to be identified, according to the institution policy. UNITEC selected research, extension and entrepreneurship, once these axes are chosen courses are marked to reflect their relation to each axis. A competence matrix is built afterward, using all the above mentioned input. Besides objective identification of competences, a group of academic professionals, in preference an equitably distributed professors and lecturers with industry experience, mapped the competences in the matrix. Each course in the table first needs to address a specific knowledge area, determined by industry demands and national higher education authority; second, the matrix assigns to each course a level of required activities concerning the CDIO initiative. Third follows a list of identified professional and general competences, for each competence, each course addresses what cognoscitive level must be achieved, as defined by Bloom’s Taxonomy are: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis and Evaluation. The complete matrix then serves as the guide to build each of the course description. When this phase was reached, all faculty participated in a workshop that trained them to write the course description according to the identified competences level and the identified CDIO level. This way faculty was empowered to work on their own course descriptions. The challenge was to change the mindset of the professors and lecturers that believed more in the Content Based Curricula than in the Competence Based one. The Computer Science reform was approved by the Higher Education Authority in 2016, the next steps in academic administration is to follow up the changes implemented, both in contents and in educational philosophy. Training is being planned to the faculty to update the educational model, and to be able to apply competence based academic assessment. Additional discussion will be presented on the current achievements on research en entrepreneurship integration.

Proceedings of the 13th International CDIO Conference in Calgary, Canada, June 18-22 2017

Authors (New): 
Carlos Roberto Arias
Jorge García
Pages: 
10
Affiliations: 
Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana (UNITEC), Honduras
Icoms Technologies, Pasadena, USA
Keywords: 
CDIO
Competence Based Curriculum
Computer Science
Competence Matrix
CDIO Standard 1
CDIO Standard 2
CDIO Standard 3
CDIO standard 4
CDIO Standard 8
Year: 
2017-01-01 00:00:00
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