DESIGNING A MASTER'S DEGREE PROGRAM IN COMPUTER SUPPORTED COOPERATIVE WORK
Sør-Trøndelag University College (NORWAY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:Development of new master’s degree programs are generally a demanding task that requires the involvement of different stakeholders such as management, academic staff, administration, technical staff and potential students. Within the field of ICT this can be particularly challenging since ICT solutions and the utilization of these are incredibly dynamic and constantly changing. In this paper, we discuss several issues an higher educational institution should refer to and take into account when designing a new master's degree program and we exemplify this with the development of a new interdisciplinary master's degree program in Computer Supported Cooperative Work. The research is based on experience from the development of a master's degree program at a university college in Norway, and we present the collaborative project we went through when a new master's degree program was developed. Further, we emphasize that today's knowledge workers increasingly should collaborate in interdisciplinary problem solving processes, and since modern ICT solutions provides a platform for this we argue there is a need for establishing a master’s degree program who cultivates CSCW. The main contribution from this study is a 6-element framework that shares discussions concerning topics that should be considered when designing a new master's degree program within ICT. The first element of the framework deals with general requirements and constraints and this is considered the most important things to analyze and fully understand in the startup phase of the project. The second element is about the curriculum, and we believe it is important to develop and define the program's academic profile in an early phase of the project, so that the participants can agree on the core of the curriculum before the work continues. The third element deals with motivational questions, which should help answer why this master's degree program should be established, and why the applicant institution should stand behind. Then, the fourth element discusses project approaches and how the work should be carried out, while the fifth element treats basic assumptions that must be present before a master‘s degree program can be established. Finally, the sixth element of the framework provides a brief discussion about add-ons and attachments that typically must be prepared in connection with the development of a master’s degree program. The article ends with a conclusion and proposals for future work section, in which the main lessons learned are summarized and some proposals for further work are presented.
Keywords: Curriculum Design, Master’s Degree Program, Computer Supported Cooperative Work.