Re-Designing a Curriculum That Values a Work-Integrated Approach to Student Learning

Chester K.M. To, Karen Ka-Leung Moon, Paulene Hsia, Sek-foo Chan, Ka-fai Choi, Lai-kuen Chan, Priscilla Chan, Roberta Kwan, Alice Chu, Jimmy Chang


Technology-based business and management programs have long been challenged in the aspects of teaching and equipping students with analytical thinking skills to handling real life problems. These problems are not simply because of fast-paced technology changes, but also stemmed from today’s complex globalizing business activities that concern multi-disciplinary knowledge of engineering, innovation and business. In view of these intractable complexities, most university undergraduate programs cannot help but expanding tremendously the scopes of theories, knowledge and skills. However, the teaching and learning methods are still characterized by what is so-called surface learning skill that students are simply required to recall pieces of theory or even surface understanding to handle assessment requirements. Students feel much difficult and abstract to applying concepts from a variety of management and technology disciplines into real life practices. This paper discusses the issues in the pedagogy and program design in technology-based management programs and posits that an effective learning and re-use of knowledge in dynamic contexts can be enhanced using a work-integrated curriculum design approach. The authors illustrate a case of the use of work-integrated pedagogical method and present a framework guiding the process of the pedagogy development. At last, the authors conclude with a discussion of the validity of the approach and the effectiveness.

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