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A Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Approach to Bring Closer a Curriculum to Local Employers’ Needs

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Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to present the approach used within the international Pro-Skima project to propose workplace learning situations in the curriculum of a typical Msc related to the Information Technology (IT) field. The Msc in Computing at Qatar University is taken as an example. These workplace learning moments aim at better preparing graduates for the job market, by providing them knowledge, skills, and attitudes more adapted to the needs of local employers. Our methodological approach was divided in two stages. The first consisted in a sociological analysis of the existing curriculum, in order to study its main characteristics and social modification process. The second stage was to propose some changes from two curriculum models set up in the French higher education system in order to better professionalize students. The sociological analysis highlights that the current organization of the curriculum of the Msc in Computing does not prepare students well for managing work situations in the IT field. It also shows that any official changes in the courses are long and difficult given the numerous social constraints imposed by several institutions. Nevertheless, it has been possible to propose interesting changes that do not affect the official organization of the curriculum. In this new curriculum, based on a “cooperative education model,” each student will carry out a project for a company, at the same time as he/she will follow the teaching courses of the master program. This proposal for a new curriculum requires significant changes in the pedagogical practices of the academics who will implement it. For these reasons, we recommend a gradual implementation, with a possibility to modify only the second year of the master as a first step.

Keywords

  • Industry-integrated curriculum
  • Work-integrated learning
  • Industry-university collaboration
  • Sociology of curriculum
  • Collaborative research

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Notes

  1. 1.

    http://www.mdps.gov.qa/

  2. 2.

    http://www.qu.edu.qa/engineering/academics/computer/ms

  3. 3.

    For this reason, classes are scheduled in the evening (5 pm–8 pm) to allow these professionals to attend the different courses, after their working day.

  4. 4.

    This consultation was intended solely to collect their satisfaction with the training program, not to involve them in any modification of the curriculum.

  5. 5.

    Another more social objective was to promote access to higher education for young people in the working classes.

  6. 6.

    24 types of training programs, e.g., legal career, marketing methods, administrative management of companies and organizations, chemistry, mechanical and production engineering.

  7. 7.

    This technical institute offers 2-year or 3-year training programs in different fields: administrative management of companies; logistics and transport, quality, and production management; risk, safety, and environmental management; and statistics and business intelligence.

  8. 8.

    Decomps report (1989) submitted to the National Ministry of Education.

  9. 9.

    Ideally, the facilitator of these sessions will be an experienced teacher in IT project management, with good knowledge of the needs and problems of companies in this field.

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Acknowledgments

This publication was made possible by NPRP grant # NPRP 7-1883-5-289 from the Qatar National Research Fund (a member of Qatar Foundation). The statements made herein are solely the responsibility of the authors.

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Correspondence to Laurent Veillard .

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Annex 1: Shorter Version of the Curriculum Proposal (1 Year)

Annex 1: Shorter Version of the Curriculum Proposal (1 Year)

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Veillard, L., Tralongo, S., Le Nir, M. (2019). A Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Approach to Bring Closer a Curriculum to Local Employers’ Needs. In: Abdulwahed, M., Bouras, A., Veillard, L. (eds) Industry Integrated Engineering and Computing Education. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-19139-9_10

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-19139-9_10

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