Information Technology Team Projects in Higher Education: An International Viewpoint

Kathy Lynch, Aleksej Heinze, Elsje Scott
InSITE 2007  •  Volume 7  •  2007
It is common to find final or near final year undergraduate Information Technology students undertaking a substantial development project; a project where the students have the opportunity to be fully involved in the analysis, design, and development of an information technology service or product. This involvement has been catalyzed and prepared for during their previous studies where the students have been told and shown how to develop similar systems. It is the belief that only through this ‘real’ project do they get the chance to experience something similar to what is expected of them when they embark on their chosen profession; that is, as an information technology professional. The high value of ‘near real life’ educational experience is recognized by many universities across the globe. The aim of this paper is to present examples from three countries - Australia, United Kingdom and South Africa, of the delivery of these team, capstone or industrial experience projects; their curricula and management processes. Academics from institutions in each of the countries share experiences, challenges and pitfalls encountered during the delivery of these information technology projects within their institutions. An overview of each institution’s strategies is provided and highlights specific issues such as the selection of projects, allocation of teams to projects, legal requirements, assessment methods, challenges and benefits.
capstone projects, team projects, Information Technology, education, information systems
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