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Recommended Citation: Marquis, G P.  What is the Fate of the Computer Literacy Course?  In The Proceedings of the Information Systems Education Conference 2002, v 19 (San Antonio): §243c. ISSN: 1542-7382.

What is the Fate of the Computer Literacy Course?

Gerald P. Marquis    [a1] [a2]
Department of Business Information Systems, College of Business
Tennessee State University    [u1] [u2]
Nashville, Tennessee, USA    [c1] [c2]

It is generally agreed that graduates from a college of business curriculum should be proficient in the use three productivity tools: word-processing software, spreadsheet software, and database software. In a prior study the consensus among both faculty and students in all disciplines was that application knowledge of productivity packages was the most important topic to be included in the business school computer literacy course. Two curriculum models are reviewed as to their views on the need to have a full course in the business school curriculum that includes instruction in the productivity tools of word-processing, spreadsheet, and database. The results of two student surveys, separated by two years, taken at a major mid-south university's college of business are presented and discussed. It was found that a majority of students enrolled in the computer literacy course reported having prior experience with word-processing and spreadsheet software packages and more than one half has prior experience with a microcomputer database package. It is also evident that the high schools that prepare our students for college are offering courses in all three of these productivity software systems. This raises two questions that need to be addressed. First, should a computer literacy course covering these three software packages still be a part of a student's for-credit program for graduation? And if not, how does the university ensure that its graduates are competent in these skills that their future employers expect them to have? Finally four alternatives are presented and discussed.

Keywords: CIS curriculum, computer literacy, word processing, spreadsheet

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