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Improving Information Technology Curriculum Learning Outcomes

Derrick L Anderson
InformingSciJ , Volume 20 , 2017
Aim/Purpose
Information Technology students’ learning outcomes improve when teaching methodology moves away from didactic behaviorist-based pedagogy toward a more heuristic constructivist-based version of andragogy.

Background
There is a distinctive difference, a notable gap, between the academic community and the business community in their views of the level of preparedness of recent information technology program graduates. Understanding how Information Technology curriculum is developed and taught along with the underpinning learning theory is needed to address the deficient attainment of learning outcomes at the heart of this matter.

Methodology
The case study research methodology has been selected to conduct the inquiry into this phenomenon. This empirical inquiry facilitates exploration of a contemporary phenomenon in depth within its real-life context using a variety of data sources. The subject of analysis will be two Information Technology classes composed of a combination of second year and third year students; both classes have six students, the same six students.

Contribution
It is the purpose of this research to show that the use of improved approaches to learning will produce more desirable learning outcomes.

Findings
The results of this inquiry clearly show that the use of the traditional behaviorist based pedagogic model to achieve college and university IT program learning outcomes is not as effective as a more constructivist based andragogic model.

Recommendations
Instruction based purely on either of these does a disservice to the typical college and university level learner. The correct approach lies somewhere in between them; the most successful outcome attainment would be the product of incorporating the best of both.

Impact on Society
Instructional strategies produce learning outcomes; learning outcomes demonstrate what knowledge has been acquired. Acquired knowledge is used by students as they pursue professional careers and other ventures in life.

Future Research
Learning and teaching approaches are not “one-size-fits-all” propositions; different strategies are appropriate for different circumstances and situations. Additional research should seek to introduce vehicles that will move learners away from one the traditional methodology that has been used throughout much of their educational careers to an approach that is better suited to equip them with the skills necessary to meet the challenges awaiting them in the professional world.
learning outcomes, pedagogy, andragogy, behaviorism, constructivism, learning theory, instructional strategy

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