Type of Document Dissertation Author Subramaniam, Manimegalai M Author's Email Address email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-11112007-224407 Title The Development of Information Technology Curricula Guidelines and Skill Standards: Toward a Theory of the Emergence of Computing Degree Programs Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Information Studies, College of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Kathleen Burnett Committee Chair Gary Burnett Committee Member Kenneth Fleischmann Committee Member Stephen McDowell Committee Member Keywords
- Information technology education
- computing education
- computing degree programs
- grounded theory
Date of Defense 2007-04-20 Availability unrestricted AbstractThis study begins the endeavor to develop a middle range theory on the emergence of computing degree programs by investigating the social interaction factors that influenced the development of information technology (IT) curricula guidelines and skill standards in the United States (US). The major goal of this dissertation study is to identify and describe the social interaction factors that influenced the development of new curricula guidelines and skill standards for IT degree programs, and to determine how these factors relate to the purposes and missions of the educational institutions they serve. The two initiatives studied in this dissertation were pursued by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) / Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) – Computer Society through the Special Interest Group in IT Education (SIGITE) and the National Workforce Center for Emerging Technologies (NWCET) The SIGITE developed the IT curricula guidelines and NWCET developed the IT skill standards.
To develop the list of factors, documents produced and used during these initiatives were examined. The social interaction factors that triggered the development of IT curricula guidelines and skill standards for four-year degree programs were scrutinized. The method used to investigate this phenomenon was the grounded theory methodology (GTM) based on the work of Strauss & Corbin (1998). Interviews were conducted with representatives of the initiatives to confirm that the findings reflected their perceptions of the social interaction factors.
The four major social interaction factors that influenced the development of IT curricula guidelines by the SIGITE include: birth of a professional organization, the need to nurture IT as a discipline, student interest in IT, and cultural and technical changes taking place at that time. The four major social interaction factors that were found to influence the development of IT skill standards by NWCET are partnerships, technology worker shortage, mobility, and qualification gap.
There were six major differences between these two initiatives, including the use of alternative curriculum development strategies, the amount of funding available, the focus of their support systems, the party demanding IT education, their contribution to IT education and the focus on mobility. This study examined the differences between the products produced by these two initiatives to support the two institutional orientations that they serve: community colleges and four-year universities or colleges, thus providing useful indicators to both types.
This study also provided a checklist of social interaction factors to be considered by individuals or organizations involved in the future development of newer versions of curricula guidelines and skill standards. The checklist also may facilitate cross-organizational learning and attention to factors that were not considered by the individual organizations.
Some of the limitations of this study were addressed in the final chapter. Recommendations were provided to continue the study of the emergence of IT degree programs, the emergence of other computing degree programs, and emergence of new areas of inquiry by presenting a tentative research plan.
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