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The perception of knowledge as consumer goods
appeared with the development of private education and reflects a marketing or
consumer needs approach. The consumer-needs approach sees advantages in
adapting higher education to the needs of the consumer. This article examines
whether the behavioral science curriculum (scope, and content) in the private
college is based on the approach of knowledge as consumer goods. In addition,
what is the level of satisfaction expressed by the alumni of the course, i.e.
those who completed the curriculum? The study used a
multi-method approach, combining textual analysis of archived documents and an
online questionnaire survey of 250 alumni. The results: the scope
and contents of the curriculum were only partially affected by this approach.
Nonetheless, the graduates were very satisfied with the curriculum’s
contribution to their personal and professional skills and occupations.
Preparing college students for a knowledge-based economy is a challenge that requires curriculum design that puts more emphasis on learning skills than on content to be taught. Cognitive skills should be practiced in a context of some content, but the choice of content, the choice of the learning environment, and the choice of the assessment procedures can enhance the development of such skills. In this paper we present these choices for a course that was specially designed to provide a motivating and engaging context that requires the use of higher order cognitive skills. The title of the course is “Design of computer-based games and interactive stories” and it is provided to students with no prior exposure to computer programming. At the end of the course students are required to submit an interactive artifact (a game or a story) implemented in Scratch, which is a visual programming environment. In this qualitative study we present the results from a thematic analysis of students’ post-course reflection reports.