A study of the models and trends in information science education and their implications for Tafe curriculum planning, computing lecturers and learners.
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This chapter provides an introduction to two contrasting vocational course: the Associate Diploma in Applied Science (Computing) award, based on the content driven curriculum model and the first year Diploma of Information Technology award, based on the National Information Technology curriculum model. It develops the research questions pertaining to each model. It provides a full description of the present study and the adoption of a system approach in evaluating two contrasting curriculum models. Finally, this chapter justifies the study in terms of the significant impact the Information Technology has on society.Chapter Two reviews the literature on the theories from different disciplines and research findings in order to guide the present study. This eclectic section discusses theories related to Cognitive Science, Instructional Theories, Information Technology (IT) and Science Education, and Vocational Curriculum Models.Chapter Three describes the environment in which the content driven model has developed. It examines the historical changes and influences that have occurred in the Western Australian Technical and Further Education (WA TAFE) computing curriculum in terms of educational goals, content mix and profile, and assessments types. It investigates the relevance of the curriculum and the syllabi to meet the changing needs of industry; and assess the desirable and undesirable consequences of the content driven curriculum model.Chapter Four evaluates the effect of the content driven model. It examines the degree of satisfaction of the graduates with aspects of their Associate Diploma of Applied Science (Computing) courses in 1991/2/3 based on the NCVER study (1993), Dawe (1993) and Arrowsmith (1993/4) surveys. The results from each relevant question are provided, discussed and evaluated. This evaluation provides an in-depth view of graduates educational backgrounds prior to enrolment in the course, their satisfaction levels of teaching effectiveness and course organisation, present employment status, their preferences for further studies and their demographic profile.Chapter Five evaluates the current state of affairs under the new policy directions of the National Curriculum based on the CBT approach. Through classroom surveys, this chapter provides an evaluation of learners degree of satisfaction with aspects of their Advanced Certificate IV of the National IT Curriculum. For comparison purposes, these surveys also provide information on students educational backgrounds, level of satisfaction, their present employment status and preferences for further studies. It is most useful for curriculum planners, wanting to be cognisant in implement a CBT driven curriculum model.Chapter Six compares, evaluates and summarises the differences between the content and the CBT driven curriculum models. This chapter pays particular attention to the shifting of graduates and students satisfaction levels with their two different courses and the effects of moving from a content to a CBT driven curriculum model. It examines the changes in learners satisfaction levels and explains the reasons of patterns of changes, given that learners educational backgrounds, teachers effectiveness and other factors have remained constant over the last five years. This comparison is useful for curriculum planners, computing lecturers and employers as it makes them aware of the strength and weaknesses of these two contrasting curriculum models.Chapter Seven answers the question of the effectiveness of these two contrasting models. This has considerable implication for curriculum planners, computing lecturers and employers in terms of the ability of students to transfer skills and adapt to the rapidly changing IT environment. This study cannot predict the future, however, it makes long and short term recommendations for the sector based on historical evidence, research findings from the literature, surveys and interviews.
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