Auckland University students studying for a new Bachelor of Business and Information degree are among the first in the world to get a course on Microsoft’s .Net technology.
Auckland University developed the course content using the Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance, an annual membership programme for educational institutions. As a member, a department receives a subscription for Microsoft platform, servers and developer tools software. The software can be installed on any number of departmental lab machines but must be used for instructional or research purposes and not to run the infrastructure of the department.
The programme has two main goals: to make it easier and less expensive to obtain Microsoft developer tools, platforms and servers for instructional and research purposes and to build a community of instructors who can share curriculum and other learning resources to support the use of the technologies.
The technology will be taught in the Information Management 291 course, by lecturer James Dong. It is a core component of the new Bachelor of Business and Information degree (BBIM), which is in its second year. It will produce its first graduates next year.
The university's business school information manager, Andrew Eberhard, says the degree was designed for students who want to study accounting, human resource management or marketing combined with information management.
He says feedback from the 150 students taking the course has been “amazingly positive”. The university is now looking at introducing .Net into its stage three courses.
The development toolkit Microsoft Visual Studio.Net was launched in February and was part of the BBIM core curriculum by March 1, says Eberhard.
“This is the first paper they’ve done on web services. They started off with Visual Basic 6. It’s pretty much only been a Microsoft affair so far but next we’re hoping to get them involved in some other platforms such as Oracle for database development. “ Eberhard says there are no plans to teach Java tools.
Other tertiary institutions working on offering .Net courses are Otago University, Victoria University, Auckland University of Technology, Manukau Institute of Technology, Nelson Institute of Technology and Unitec.