Information Systems Education Journal

Volume 17

V17 N4 Pages 51-69

August 2019

Toward Visualizing Computing Curricula: The Challenge of Competency

Leslie Waguespack
Bentley University
Waltham, MA 02452, USA

Jeffry Babb
West Texas A&M University
Canyon, TX 79016, USA

Abstract: Amidst academic societies and agencies that accredit computing education there is a growing enthusiasm to reexamine the efficacy of the traditional model of curricular description that fo-cused on areas of knowledge. The knowledge model informed the architecture and design of programs of teaching and learning in post-secondary, degree-granting institutions. The incipient enthusiasm for change draws on a vocational heritage focusing on job performance together with outcomes-based and task-centered learning and assessment, competency. Competency’s emergence is fueled by a waning confidence in the cost-effectiveness of college-based educa-tion, an industry perception of a persistent short-fall of technology-savvy hiring prospects, and the efforts of governments worldwide encouraging the alignment of public education with work-force and economic policy. The competency model represents the consequence of learning as a blend of knowledge, skill, and disposition – “knowing what,” “knowing how,” and “knowing why.” The knowing is task-focused both as the learning in doing and the assessment as demonstra-tion in doing. Coincidentally, ACM and IEEE have undertaken to reprise CC2005 with the goal of an online interactive curriculum modeling tool for comparing and exploring curricular guidelines and academic programs. We explore the competency-based curricular approach situated in a) the history of computing curricula standardization, b) its heritage in education originating with clinical disciplines, and c) its implications on the CC2020 project’s aspirations of designing a “tool” to facilitate current and future competency-based computing curricula development.

Keywords: Computing Competency, Curricular Guidelines, Knowledge Areas, Knowledge Units, Learning outcomes, workforce development

Download this article: ISEDJ - V17 N4 Page 51.pdf

Recommended Citation: Waguespack, L., Babb, J. (2019). Toward Visualizing Computing Curricula: The Challenge of Competency . Information Systems Education Journal, 17(4) pp 51-69. ISSN: 1545-679X. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of EDSIGCON 2018)