The development of a computer science curriculum for the higher technical and vocational institutions in Libya
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The aim of the study was to develop a framework to align the Computer Science curricula of higher technical and vocational institutions in Libya with the curriculum as proposed by the Association for Computing Machinery, but in keeping with the realities of Africa. The graduate attributes, as suggested by the Association for Computing Machinery, were also considered and compared to the work experience of graduates of higher technical and vocational institutions in Libya. Design Science Research was used as the research methodology and both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to collect data. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with graduates from Libyan institutions and questionnaires were administered to employees from different companies and industries in Libya. The results of the investigation were used in the design of the artefact. The study found that in many cases graduates felt that they were not sufficiently prepared for the workplace as they did not possess the necessary graduate attributes. Skills such as abstract reasoning, team work and communication skills seemed to have been overlooked in the Computer Science curricula at tertiary institutions in Libya. It was also observed that the theoretical aspect of Computer Science was emphasised at the institutions and the acquisition of practical skills was neglected. A framework was developed to assist Computer Science educators to track their compliance to the 2013 curriculum of the Association for Computing Machinery in terms of the acquisition of technical skills as well as the development of the necessary graduate attributes. The framework is an important contribution to the development of an internationally competitive Computer Science curriculum for Libya. It will allow Libyan institutions to focus on preparing students for a rapidly changing world.