Projects of Becoming
We acknowledge that our arriving freshmen have really embarked on two challenging projects: in the short term to become a student, in the longer term (3-5 years) to become an IT professional. The project supports first year students in becoming successful managers of these two projects.
Many freshmen are still searching for what to study and what to become, this is of particular importance in IT. Hence, they need to see purpose and role models, not just introductory courses with focus on theory. Many students struggle with the transition from high school to university and “first year experience” is identified as crucial in the success of higher education (cf. first year experience conferences).
The centre includes study programs that have different approaches to handle first year experience, adapted to the size and profile of the program as well as the campus facilities. NTNU has a two-week startup program for new students called Teknostart / Realstart and study programs at IDI follows up with projects in some of the courses
of the first and second semesters.
Study programs at IDI Kalvskinnet, Gjøvik, Ålesund all share a focus on project work in first year of study, and the centre in total represents rich experience in motivating and engaging students in the first year including support from industry partners on motivating for a career and support from student organizations on social aspects.
The centre will work systematically towards implement in all IT study programs an introductory year that creates engagement for IT, help students develop good working habits and motivates for further studies. Due to the large number of study programs in the scope of our centre, we will learn from each other and initiate different parallel sub projects, based on needs, contexts and suggestions of the students and teachers in each program.
This will include adapting course content and creating innovative learning activities for first year students, adapting and developing physical and digital learning environments that encourages social and active learning. We will also focus on identifying and developing support for students that have a high chance of dropping out.
We will contribute to an optimal first year experience and give insights of how IT studies should be organized to engage students and help them develop good working habits. Empirically-refined approaches and best practices for introduction to IT studies will be openly documented.