Since the announcement of the Career Readiness Modules in February 2019, the ITCoE has worked closely with five faculty members to pilot the Modules in their winter 2019 courses. Overall the Modules have been well-received by both faculty and students, suggesting a great start to the overall Career Readiness program.
The five faculty who each deployed a Module in their courses were:
- Janet Johnson, IT / Cybersecurity Faculty, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Wadena
- Halbana Tarmiza, PhD, Associate Professor of Business Administration, Bemidji State University
- Vickie McLain, CIS Instructor and Cyber Defense Coach, Lake Superior College
- Jonathan Hardwick, PhD, Assistant Professor of Computer Information Science, Minnesota State University Mankato
- Lisa Borys Jensen, English Instructor, Saint Paul College
When asked about their experience, a few of the faculty members provided good feedback. For example, Vickie McLain from Lake Superior College offered the following:
"While IT students are not always enthusiastic about writing technical documentation or presenting projects in front of their classmates, after they have joined the workforce, many of them have said they appreciated having a solid technical communications background.
I feel the Oral and Written Communication Module (that I used this winter) would be an easy way to introduce communications skills into any class, and can be directly imported into a D2L shell. Watching my students respond to simulated work situations in the communications videos they recorded allowed me to get to know them better and to be able to offer communication tips that would not have been possible previously."
Another good set of comments came from Janet Johnson at Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Wadena, who said:
"It was seamless to incorporate the Collaboration and Teamwork Module into my course. Once the Module was imported, it took little effort to customize to my course layout. The students seemed to genuinely enjoy reviewing the articles, working through the activities, and felt comfortable teaming up to create their videos.
Also, after completing the modules, the students seemed to have a greater level of empathy and respect for each other. The assignments enabled them to comprehend the importance of these skills, and to apply a level of expectation to their ability to communicate and collaborate when problem solving and building a strong team."
Besides Janet's own comments, Janet conducted a short survey of her students, to find out how they liked the experience with the Module. While there was a small percentage of students who provided constructive criticism, the majority gave the Module scores of "satisfied" or "very satisfied" across nine different questions.
Now that the winter pilot is completed, a new version of the Modules have been released for faculty to leverage in the fall of 2019. Instructions and demonstrations will be made available to faculty, and ITCoE will provide ongoing support and encouragement to grow overall usage of the Modules.
To learn more about the Modules and request a copy of the Modules, visit www.mnstateitcoe.org/career-readiness-curriculum.