Managing a University Course that Involves Real Projects for Real Clients in the Field of Information Systems

By Peter Metham.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Organisations undertake information systems projects on a regular basis. Such organisations value persons who can demonstrate an in-depth understanding of project management and information system concepts such as systems analysis, design and development. Universities offer courses in those subjects and the ones that involve students working on a real project contribute significantly to a deep understanding of best practice. Managing such a course, however, can be a risky affair and many kinds of problem can potentially arise to prevent project success and a satisfactory degree of learning. By adopting the method outlined in this paper, the risks can be mitigated to the benefit of all concerned. Four strategies are recommended that involve the careful selection of client and project, the proactive development of student teams, the utilisation of a robust method and, the promotion of and compliance with standards of good project management, especially quality management.

Keywords: Project Based Learning, Project Management, Quality Management, Team Work

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.542MB).

Peter Metham

Senior Teaching Fellow, School of Information Management, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand

Peter has taught project management courses at Victoria University of Wellington at both the graduate and undergraduate level since 2000. One of the most important courses involves organising and managing teams of students while they work on real projects for clients in and around the business district of Wellington. Almost every client is delighted with the process and the outcome of the project. Students are equally enthusiastic. Prior to this, Peter was a senior consultant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Synergy International and the Forum Secretariat in Fiji. Peter has also taught Physics at the University of the South Pacific.