Skill development in business intelligence for ICT graduate programmes in ODL: A case from Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University STOU

Vipa Jaroenpuntaruk
Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University
Nonthaburi, Thailand

Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU) was the first university in Southeast Asia to use the distance learning system. Studies at STOU involve self-directed learning which is not confined to traditional classrooms. The STOU distance learning system makes quality higher education accessible to all, with the freedom to study and interact. Courses are developed by course teams and then delivered to students through distance media. Print-based media, including textbooks and study guides (graduate courses) are the main media for all study programmes. Supplementary media include radio programmes and public television programmes on the STOU Channel. Digital resources, such as satellite radio, audio CDs, video media and online e-learning, are available through the STOU website, Also, all face- to-face and online TV-based tutorial are also open for public access.

The School of Science and Technology at the University has offered a master's degree in ICT since 2011. The programme focuses on ICT bridging for business information and communication technology, and covers both theory and skills. The study system is delivers via e-learning with a printed form of in-house developed textbooks and study guides. All print-based versions are also available online in e-book format. In the learning system, especially for skill development in those technologically intensive subjects, it is mandatory for ODL student to practise skills. Skill development in the programme covers areas in modern technology such as data warehousing and business intelligence. A toolkit for self-directed learning and practice in business intelligence has been designed and developed by the course teams and invited experts from industry in the field. The toolkit is essential for the decision support systems and business intelligence applications. This paper discusses the skill development in Business Intelligence in terms of the required skills and how to develop specific skills to support decision-making. The expected outcomes of skill development cover technical skills and core competencies in analytical thinking, leadership, team-work collaboration and communication. However, there are still some challenging issues in skill development in business intelligence for graduate ICT programmes in ODL which will be explored further.