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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

This work proposes that a subtle combination of three learning methods offering ‘just in time’ project management knowledge, coupled with hands-on project management experience can be particularly effective in producing project management students with employable skills. Students were required to apply formal project management knowledge to gain real-world experience managing a 12-week client project. ‘Lessons Learned’ reports prepared by 112 students enrolled from Fall 2009 - Fall 2011 were collected and analyzed to assess the student experience. Analysis of the ‘lessons learned’ data illustrates the challenges and successes students faced as project managers of a client project in seven of the nine project management knowledge areas. Finally, a number of ‘teachable moments’, made possible by the innovative learning environment, including the difference between conceptual learning and experiential learning with respect to integration, risk, communication and HR management and the difference between ‘leading’ and ‘managing’, demonstrate the added value of integrating hands-on skills with ‘just in time’ knowledge to create an authentic project management learning environment.

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