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RWTH Aachen
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The difficult bridge between university and industry: a case study in computer science teaching

Year 2010
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Recently, there has been increasing criticism concerning academic computer science education. This paper presents a new approach based on the principles of constructivist learning design as well as the ideas of knowledge transfer in communities of practice. The course 'High-tech Entrepreneurship and New Media' was introduced as an interdisciplinary project management lab in which students collaborate in groups to develop software solutions for authentic problems. Main goals were the tighter integration of university and local start-up companies, an intense knowledge transfer on software engineering methods, as well as the implementation of constructivist learning principles in academic teaching. This paper presents the background and structure of the course as well as the results of a formative evaluation. While being successful in introducing a course based on digital-media assisted, constructivist learning arrangements, establishing lasting communities of practice between university and industry is still an open issue. After discussing several reasons, the paper concludes with a list of general recommendations on how to improve the approach and its implementation.

Details

Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 35(4):367-380, 2010, 10.1080/02602930902795893

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Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education , issue 4 , volume 35 , p. 367-380 .

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