Using a Partnership in Industry to Link Theory and Practice in Undergraduate Courses

Elsje Scott , Maureen Tanner
InSITE 2015  •  2015  •  pp. 385-399
The Information Systems (IS) profession is known as one of the most dynamic fields in our current day and age. Rapid advances in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) increase the dependence of organizations on these ICTs and create a greater need for IS competence. This demand constitutes serious challenges to academia to provide graduates with the necessary skill set to fulfil their roles in industry and to cope more effectively with real life problems. In an attempt to address this skills gap, a theory of coherent practice was developed to act as a framework for creating a synthesis of theory and practice when designing curricula for undergraduate courses. This paper reports on a specific implementation that led to an industry partnership, and the construction of a Case study to support a flipped classroom approach and provide context for a real life problem. In addition, it guided the design of a set of carefully structured interventions directing student evolution through different stages of development. Although further refinement to the implementation of the theory in the design of second year courses is needed, the value of the approach in preparing students more effectively for professional practice is already apparent in student feedback and in their performance in the courses.
flipped classroom approach, coherent practice, deep approaches to learning, integrated and interactive environment, three stages of behavior
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