Message from the Dean

The faculty of Information Technology (FIT) at Petra University considers student's senior projects as an excellent opportunity to redirect itself from traditional learning approaches to the more recent ones such as e-learning, networked learning, project based learning, competition-based learning, and more importantly Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 

 

Therefore, FIT considers the senior project course as an essential learning process, and as an outcome or output that reflects the readiness of students to the real world.  Senior projects must reflect professional aspects about the student, at the same time students must prove that they have learned from the project the intended learning outcomes specified in the curriculum.  Students and their projects go through an intensive two-tier assessment and evaluation phases.  These two phases are followed by a third phase for projects that have the potential of being converted to a startup business or have the potential of  being registered as a trade mark.   

 

In the assessment phase special emphasis are placed on what we refer to as "Collective Learning Outcomes". The learning outcomes of each student are examined and assessed separately based on how much she/he learned, amount of active participation, presentation skills, role played, efforts exerted, quality of documentations, correctness of solutions, and whether the submitted project meets the requirements and standards of the faculty.  The result of the assessment phase is a final grade to each student in the team.

 

In the project evaluation phase which we refer to by the Competition Phase, the evaluation is applied on the project itself rather than on the students or on the learning process or learning outcomes.  The project is evaluated based on strict criteria that may include the theme, quality of product, completeness of the project, packaging, and so on.  The outcome of this phase is a list of projects ranked according to a competition criteria. 

We adhere and apply the following rules to our projects:

In order for our students to benefit the most from their experience with senior projects, strict rules are followed which includes the following:

 

1-     Projects must be done in Groups (Teams).  Individual students are not permitted to work on the senior project except in extreme cases.

2-     Constructivism and Autonomy:  Team members are the active players.  No immediate interference from the supervisor or mentor.

3-     Curriculum based problems:  It is very important that project requirements and objectives are drawn directly from the curriculum.

4-     New knowledge must be relevant to the curriculum:  The main objective of the project is that student learn and acquire new knowledge relevant to the curriculum.  

5-     Problems to be implemented in the project must be multi-disciplinary, challenging, authentic, and resemble real-life problems. 

6-     Collective learning outcomes: it is important for both team members, as well as supervisor to know that there would be an assessment for each individual in the team.  Therefore, the intended learning outcomes should be determined by the supervisor and must present to the students ahead of time.

7-     Control and Monitor: to ensure learning to take place and to avoid negative aspects such as stress, team members must work under controlled environment, and must be monitored from a distance at all times.  Students' autonomy is to be respected as long as they work within the controlled boundaries.

 

From Project-Based to Competition-Based to Innovation-Based Learning:

The Faculty of IT at Petra University has realized from experience the importance of senior projects to complete the cycle of learning at the undergraduate level.  The faculty was capable of, as we may put it, of tying the knots all together.  The proper application of project-based learning, then moving to competition-based learning, and finally arriving at utilizing the innovation process, have given senior projects a great momentum and have put all the senior students on alert.  Senior students know very well that there projects success may open up all kinds of future employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. 

 

Specifying Themes and Directions for upcoming Projects:

At the beginning of every academic year, the Graduation-Project Committee headed by the dean of the Faculty sets the direction and specifies the themes for the upcoming projects.  This direction or list of themes is announced to prospective graduation project students.  Mostly, the themes relates to the local community including issues to be solved for the faculty of IT, University, and the external community.  Important themes include Application of IT to Renewable Energy generation, e-learning issues, assisting people with disabilities, learning difficulties, women empowerment, health care, and child protection.

 

This year for example, the direction has been to integrate software and hardware devices for the implementation of applications in the specified themes.  The direction was simply to go beyond the computer screen by allowing the computer to control external devices in the surrounding environment.

Research Oriented Senior Projects:

FIT encourages faculty member, Master degree students, and undergraduate students to collaborate in research.  Undergraduate students can play a very helpful role in the implementation of projects related to research ideas and research topics presented by faculty members and Master degree students.  For such a reason a special award has been established and is usually presented to students with best research project.

 

Environment and facilities

The Faculty of Information Technology contains more than 15 Computer and networking labs that are available to all students.  Senior students working on their projects have an additional access to the Innovation Center Lab which contains computers, printers, hardware devices such as sensors, microprocessors, microcontrollers, communication and Mobile devices, robotic devices, soldering irons, and breadboards. 

 

Students also have access to a meeting room to discuss their projects and to perform the necessary brain storming.   A Special room is also available for students to use at anytime.  This is a working and a relaxing room at the same time.  Students can use the workstations available to do their work, yet they can eat and drink and feel home.

 

Help desks for the technical and Business mentors are located at the innovation center and are available during work hours to assist students with their needs.

Last modified: Monday, 8 October 2012, 09:55 AM