In November 2016 the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) has granted the NTNU a new Center for Excellence in IT education, ExcITEd. The center is a cooperation between NTNU and Nord University and is led by Prof. Guttorm Sindre, NTNU.
The status of a center for excellence was awarded after a very selective three-stage evaluation process among academic communities that have already demonstrated excellent quality and innovative practices in education and that have plans in place for further development and innovation.
The NTNU UMI-Sci-Ed team plays a key role in the center with Dr. Giannakos appointed into the role of the scientific coordinator and Prof. Divitini taking the role of the leader of a project towards schools.
ExcITEd aims to enhance tertiary IT education in Norway. The aim is to increase the students’ learning and thus graduate more and better candidates through higher student engagement. Approaches include increased focus on project based education, earlier involvement of students in research and development activities, increased focus on self- and peer-assessment and reflection, both among students and teachers. The center will also have a strong effort on trying out and partly developing various IT tools for learning, since IT teachers and students have special competence for making advanced contributions in this area. There will be a strong dedication towards dissemination for action, developing open learning resources and experiences to be usable also for IT programs, teachers, and students outside the center.
ExcITEd will not only work with university students, but it also aims to make IT an increasingly more attractive study choice for young people. One of the center’s goals is to attract diverse talent into IT studies and profession by improving the knowledge of IT and its possible career paths among pre-university youths.
To meet this goal, one of the projects hosted by the center focuses on increasing the knowledge of IT and the IT profession for pre-university students to help them consider an IT career on a more informed basis. This project opens an excellent space of co-operation with UMI-Sci-Ed around a common vision and objectives. We expect that ExcITEd and UMI-Sci-Ed will strengthen each other through common research activities, events, and network of schools and research institutions. UMI-Sci-Ed is an excellent opportunity for ExcITEd to bring an international perspective into the center, comparing different national contexts and solutions. For UMI-Sci-Ed the cooperation with the center provides an opportunity to increase its impact in the national context in Norway.