S2-COMP9-4 - Progression of tool usage in project-based IT courses

3. Research Full Paper
Justyna Szynkiewicz , Line Kolås1, Robin Isfold Munkvold1
1 Nord university

Full paper
3. Research

The study examines what kind of IT tools (software and hardware) are used in project-based IT courses, where students create digital artifacts like games, apps, audio, VR worlds, web sites etc. The analysis is based on data from 46 IT courses collected during the spring and fall semesters of 2017 at two Norwegian universities.

The analysis of these data has led to the creation of a system for classifying the tools used by students, and guidelines for ensuring progression of tool usage in LtC course design and LtC study program design. The IT tools were classified into the following categories: Collaboration, Communication, Developer Platforms, Physical Tools, Project Management, Information Processing. The study discusses ways in which tools may be used to enhance learning in the Creating level of Bloom’s revised taxonomy. The data was further analyzed through a “lens of progression”, resulting in guidelines for teachers and course designers, with the goal of quality assuring the tool implementation and usage in project-based IT courses. The guidelines systematically structures the tool categories with the study program design, and also recommend an increasing student autonomy throughout the progression of the studies.   

The analysis is done with reference to the existing body of literature on active learning, e.g. constructivism and constructionism, and taxonomies for learning, e.g. Bloom’s revised taxonomy and the SOLO taxonomy. We also discuss the importance of adopting tools used in industry, as well as the restrictions that course designers and teachers experience when it comes to university policies regarding software licensing issues.

The goal of the study is to quality assure the usage of digital tools in project-based courses, where it is important to define pre-requisites and to ensure that students learn to use different digital tools in the right order and that students know the necessary tools for their discipline.