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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

Professionals working in technology fields face continuing challenges, not only to remain current with the latest technologies but also to understand the complex problems their company and IT organization faces. These challenges constantly change as technology evolves, and they are dependent on organizational factors. Lectures and discussions of case studies can help students understand the decisions made in a specific case, but students must also learn to apply what they learn from specific cases to more general situations. This paper discusses the use of debates to foster active learning in an IT strategy course. In the debate activities, students research the debate topic, identify key points supporting both sides of the topic, present their research in a debate format, and develop material to help others address the topic in other situations. These activities allow students to develop skills for discovering knowledge, thinking and acting strategically, understanding context, and speaking extemporaneously. This study shows that students found debates in an IT strategy course were a valuable way to learn about course concepts, had connections to activities they expected to engage in as IT professionals, and were enjoyable.

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