Technological and social developments during the past years emphasise the importance of knowledge work competence. Additionally, funding of universities in Finland was changed to be based largely on yearly accumulated credits, therefore, improving retention is of critical importance for the institution. In order to improve first-year retention (measured by credit accumulation) and learning of knowledge work practices, Metropolia UAS changed the information technology curriculum by integrating single topic 3?5 credit courses into multidisciplinary 15 credit courses that included substantially more project work where students solve open-ended problems. This study focuses on investigating how the new curriculum influenced first-year retention, students? study experiences and self-evaluated development of knowledge work competence. Research data included study register data on course completion and student feedback collected through online questionnaires after each course. Retention rate was substantially improved compared to previous years. Furthermore, student collaboration and independence were found to increase overall satisfaction and to boost learning in project teams.
- First-year retention
- knowledge work competence
- information technology education