A new learning environment, called Design-Based Learning (DBL), was incorporated in a Computing Science curriculum, as part of a university-wide process. The aim was to design and implement a series of group projects for the first and second year. The question which design elements could play a role in an early phase of the curriculum was to be examined, and the previously independently offered skills training courses were to be embedded more coherently. In this paper the central topic is the position of skills training in the curriculum. DBL provided the opportunity to practise discipline-related design skills as well as more general skills such as project skills, group skills and communication skills. We will focus upon the general skills. Looking back at the developments in our skills training program, we identify three different stages: isolation, integration and selection. It proved to be important to integrate skills in such a way that students perceive them as useful and to identify core skills. We conclude that in a Computing Science program, the core skill is reporting. Also, skills can have various roles: they can be an end or a means or even both and sometimes this role can change. Finally, we point out that the process of curriculum development has some partly irrational aspects too.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings International Conference on Engineering Education (ICEE 2003, Valencia, Spain, July 22-26, 2003)|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|