Smart Classrooms

Widener U Professor Intros International Team Collaboration in Class

An associate professor in Pennsylvania has been recognized at her university for innovative teaching in the MIS department that included simulating the experience of working on a development project as part of a virtual team. Yvonne Antonucci was awarded the Fitz Dixon Innovation in Teaching Award by Widener University in Chester, PA.

Antonucci teamed up with Peter Loos, a professor at Saarland University in Germany, to create scenario projects for their students. The scenarios simulated outsourced business and IT operations between two companies. This team activity required students to collaborate using several methods, including electronic forums, Wikis, Skype, Web sites, e-mail, and a common development server. The students used IDS Scheer's ARIS business process management software to collaborate on design of business processes. The purpose of the class was to help students better understand the issues that can surface when international companies attempt to work across borders.

"ARIS is a common industry standard for [business process management and business intelligence]," said Antonucci, who is director of the school's SAP/IDS Scheer Center of Excellent in Business Process Innovation. "Even most other popular tools have ARIS embedded in them. Therefore it's important our students learn to use them to improve their skills and marketability in the job market. Chances are the company they end up working for will need someone with experience using ARIS or ARIS-like tools."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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