Comparing Two Program Contents with IT2005 Body of Knowledge

Article excerpt

Introduction

This paper builds on a previously published paper by the same authors. In the first paper Ali, Kohun, and Wood (2007) compared two program contents with Computing Curriculum 2005 (CC2005) knowledge area. The previous study concluded that both programs are retrospectively aligned with the Information Technology list of the knowledge areas in CC2005. After publication of the first paper, the authors learned of the development of a new volume of standard curriculum called "Information Technology Volume Body of Knowledge" or IT2005. Building on the conclusion that the two programs are closely aligned with IT2005, the authors decided to pursue this issue further and see how different the programs may actually be, yet still remain in compliance with the IT2005 model curriculum.

Computer technology programs are numerous. Their program names and their scope of coverage may differ vastly. The same thing can be said about computer courses; they vary, their names are different and their content could overlap from one course to another. In cases when updating computer program curriculum, designers are faced with difficult choices among course and program names as well as content. In these cases, consulting standard curriculum helps in identifying the disposition of the program and in identifying the steps needed to be in compliance with the standard program.

In this paper the content of two programs are compared with the IT2005 standard curriculum. The two programs with the compared content are the TST program at IUP and the CIS program at RMU. The intention of the paper is to find the common courses between these two programs and the IT2005 suggested body of knowledge and then determine what is missing from the programs and to determine if there is any overlap or over-coverage.

The remainder of the paper is divided into four sections. The first section offers a brief history of the computing curriculum. The second section explains in more details about the IT2005 as well as the development and the content of this standard curriculum. The third section explains the two programs--the TST program at IUP and the CIS program at RMU. Finally, the fourth section makes the comparison between IT2005 and the two programs being discussed here. At the end of the paper a conclusion and suggestion for future research is presented.

Computing Curriculum--A Brief History

The attempts to develop standard computing curriculums have been going on for a number of years. These attempts at standards development has been evolving in a number of areas of technology as well as the number of new topics included in each technology area. The ways in which the standard curriculum is evolving parallels the increase in the use of technology in education as well as in business and government.

There are a number of organizations that work to develop standards for various technology fields: The Association for Computing Machinery

(ACM), the Institute for Electronic, Engineering and Electric (IEEE), the Association of Information Systems (AIS) and the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP). These organizations have worked at many levels to develop standard curriculum for different computer disciplines. They have developed a number of documents in this regard and have indicated that they will continue to do so to develop additional documents ad the need for developing such documents arises. The initial focus of these efforts was to develop a standard curriculum for the computer science majors. This evolved into a larger number of standard curriculums to cover wider range of computer related programs.

The documents that are developed by these organizations are labeled as computing curriculum, though not officially considered "standards", they have been widely used in curriculum development and accreditation (Dark, Ekstrom, & Lunt, 2006). …