One of the missions of University education is to provide all students with a competence in Information Technology, which prepares them for a fruitful usage of IT in their future jobs. This has to go beyond providing the skills to use specific productivity tools by means of a menu-driven approach (which are deemed to be short-lived and dependant on specific products). In fact, what is important is acquiring the capability to use IT in solving their problems. This corresponds to what has been called Fluency in Information Technology o FITness (http://depts.washington.edu/itlit/). FITness is defined as a combination of concepts (theory), practical skills and the capabilities to abstract, elaborate and reuse solutions. Under the sponsorship of AICA (the Italian professional informatics society responsible for ECDL – the well-known European Computer Driving License) and CRUI (the Italian Universities Rector’s Conference) we are running a pilot project for the introduction in the Italian universities of the ECDL Advanced Certifications with a contextualized and problem oriented approach: students will learn how to use spreadsheets and databases systems to solve typical problems in their field and will gain enough competence in the use of the tools to be able to receive an advanced certification. The three subject areas we have chosen for this pilot project are: Economics, Medicine and Statistics for social sciences. As a result of a close cooperation between experts of the subject areas and computer scientists, project teams plan to produce course material for 6 different courses and exam tests validated by AICA as compliant to the syllabus of the AM4 and AM5 Advanced Certifications. We will then go through an experimental phase with real students and volunteering lecturers, at the end of which we will produce a set of textbooks to extend the training to all interested universities in Italy. The project is now half way: we have prepared course material to solve problems with spreadsheets and databases in the three subject areas and we will have the results of the first round of experimentation, covering 10 university courses, at the end of the spring semester. Starting from the problems that are perceived as important by the field experts rather than looking for the best examples to convey a specific IT concepts or skills, is already producing interesting outcomes. As an example, the Statistics team proposed a somewhat innovative and convincing use of the database tool as a mean to integrate data coming from different sources and extract meaningful data sets to be used in further statistical processes. Another outcome of the project is the development of a self-learning tool which supports the student in solving problems with a problem decomposition approach and the guidance of partial solutions provided by the teacher. This result is proposed for presentation in a related poster.
|Titolo:||IT4PS: Information Technology for Problem Solving|
SCARABOTTOLO, NELLO (Secondo)
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore INF/01 - Informatica|
|Data di pubblicazione:||giu-2004|
|Tipologia:||Book Part (author)|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||03 - Contributo in volume|