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iPhone and windows development courses offer interdisciplinary class environment

In a cooperative agreement with Apple Inc., Dale Musser, director of the Information Technology program, is teaching two courses next fall that will allow students from different disciplines to receive the same applicable credit — a first for the University of Missouri.

Inspired by the Reynolds Journalism Institute iPhone student competition in which interdisciplinary teams are challenged to design an application and include product research, a projected budget and a marketing plan, the courses will be modeled to formalize the educational benefits of cross-discipline cooperation. The courses that students can currently enroll in are iPhone Collaborative Software Development and C#.NET Collaborative Software Development.

“The two classes will follow the same format, but one will be tailored toward the iPhone and the other to Windows mobile devices,” Musser said.

Students from journalism and engineering disciplines will focus on curriculum of their specific area, but also interact with each other to accomplish goals.

“The journalism students will largely focus on design, while the computer science and IT students will develop the actual technology,” Musser said.

Mizzou is the third location in the United States and eleventh in the world to welcome an apple seminar, prompting progression for the creation of these courses. Apple Inc. will be providing the phones for the iPhone course — a benefit of the community’s interest in iPhone development.

“They target places where iPhone development is of interest to the community and our students are active participants in the iPhone contest,” Musser said.

Musser believes the courses are beneficial in a number of ways.

“We want to promote multi-disciplinary, cross-program education. In the real world teams of people from different backgrounds work together. We need to allow students the opportunity to think and work in circumstances where they are not all alike so they learn from each other.”

“Students will be better prepared for the workplace. It also creates more interesting, authentic and engaging classes,” Musser said.



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