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Roundtable Introduction
November 1997 (vol. 30 no. 11)
pp. 46-47

In the past, educators asked themselves if they needed to change. Today the question is not if but how education will reengineer itself. The authors asked nine contributors how to reengineer the education infrastructure.

  • In "Elements of Effective Computer Science," Peter Freeman challenges institutions to strike a balance between foundational and experimental training courses.
  • In "Rethinking the Current Formula," Gordon Stokes describes the new discipline of information systems engineers. Graduates of such programs would have a foundation in computer science, but not the depth of the computer science specialist.
  • In "Whom Are We Teaching?" Innes Jelly describes a new breed of student: one who must juggle family needs and career progression and who will demand value and relevance in the classroom.
  • In "Blend of Old and New," Lillian Cassel advocates retaining the basics of a liberal arts education but throwing out the current grading system.
  • In "Ethical Behavior in the Curriculum," Doris Lidtke challenges us to teach professional responsibility through courses like computing ethics, not just as a satellite module to technical topics, but as an equally important dimension of professionalism.
  • In "Are We Ready to Scale Up Information Technology?" Stefano Russo wonders if academia can support the use of new computer-based technologies.
  • In "New Possibilities for Distance Learning," Bernd Kr?mer addresses how to more closely capture the in-person interaction missing in current techniques and make cooperative work much more feasible.
  • In "The Case for More Relevant Computing Skills," Jimmie Haines outlines the complex issue of how to truly partner with industry to ensure that graduates have the most critical skills: analytic ability and systemic thinking.
  • In "Making the Structure More Flexible," Joe Turner points out that traditional educational structures do not support rapid change, and institutional procedures and policies may need to change radically to realize more flexible curricula.
  • What educators do now has the potential to enrich or impede the growth of the information society. The solution, as in any reengineering effort, is to thoroughly understand the goals and requirements.

    Citation:
    Hesham El-Rewini, Michael C. Mulder, "Roundtable Introduction," Computer, vol. 30, no. 11, pp. 46-47, Nov. 1997, doi:10.1109/MC.1997.634840
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