Joint traditional and company-based organization of information systems and product development courses


The fast pace of change in high technology product development requires high flexibility and adaptation in product design and technology management. Within this context, appropriate learning environments are planned to shape future Information and Communication Technology staff in such a way they could get able to keep up with new trends and innovations. A constructivist educational model based on Active Learning represents a step towards this vision for staff training. This paper deals with a new organization of a 13 weeks course based on the inverted class model, where students are introduced to the problem-posing domain by a direct involvement of enterprises, which participate specifically to the problem definition and assessment phases. In the case study shown, students simulate a production business unit in all the phases that characterize the product/service development life cycle. A mixed traditional and company-based organization of the course is supposed to improve students competences by proposing solutions leveraging on appropriate tools taken from traditional experiences and also gaining benefits from a learning-by-doing approach that encourages the use of state-of-the-art solutions. A preliminary study is performed to see how expected professional competences are met during the course, with the additional goal of collecting indications that could help to improve the learning framework for future editions of the course.