Having a modern, state-of-the-art course curriculum is only the start. It also needs to be delivered in a manner that makes learning productive. Providing mentoring and community support are key elements that help IBM Innovation Center for Education students get connected to the industry. The following elements of the proposed course delivery are noteworthy:
IBM ICE programs will focus on projects from the very first semester. Theory courses are augmented by project work, which will help students apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom. Much of the project work will be hosted on an industry-academia collaborative platform for community support.
Collaboration is a key to success in today’s world. Teamwork and partnerships make good business sense, and learning is enhanced when students work in teams. With this in view, ICE programs will provide platform support for students to form teams within their class and across other colleges. Teams can choose their members and faculty support for guidance and mentorship.
Students and teams can also seek mentor support on the industry-academia collaborative platform. Mentors are available from the industry on a best-effort basis, and mentorship continues semester to semester, so that the bonds established with industry specialists will benefit students throughout their program.
Work product repository
All students’ work products, such as presentations, posters, technical papers, white papers and so forth, can be kept in a centralized work product repository on the platform. This will help students not only to showcase their work products but to see and learn from others’ work. Moreover, work products can then be reviewed by teachers and mentors in the platform.
Student monitoring and tracking
The industry-academia collaborative platform also tracks the work that each student puts into the ecosystem. This includes project completion, the support that they provide to other team members, the support that they receive and the comments they receive from their mentors and guides. Monitoring helps students to hone their skills and communication systematically and to earn recognition for a job well done.
Currency of courseware
Innovation Center for Education courses will be reviewed and adjusted every year to ensure they are current. This is one of the key advantages of IBM’s participation. Support comes from IBM subject matter experts and other leading technology groups. Since the pace of technological change is breathtaking, keeping courseware up to date is a key to the success of the program.
Discussion forums moderated by industry experts
Students’ learning will be further enhanced by providing structured discussion forums around relevant topics. These forums may be moderated by IBM and industry experts to maintain the focus and decorum of conversations.
Consolidated industry news dissemination
To keep students connected with the latest developments in technology, the program will integrate technology news into the platform, enabling students to access relevant industry information when they need it.
SME visits and interaction
Visits to each participating campus will be planned by IBM and partner subject matter experts (SMEs) so that students can learn from their experiences and skills and interact with them as part of the learning experience.
The programs will also include one- to two-hour webinars conducted by IBM and partner SMEs. In these webinars, SMEs will share the latest in technology with the students and invite students to ask questions. Interaction with IBM specialists, in addition to the learning they receive from skilled faculty and high-quality courseware, enhances students’ learning experience.
Students will be able to raise questions on the industry-academia collaborative platform and get answers from the community. In addition, they will be community members who can provide support to others. This community-based learning approach will also help them hone their skills further and prepare them for the challenges of industry work.