Standardisation in ICT is a complex topic that comes along with many benefits and challenges. To achieve these benefits, adequate education is needed. This has been widely acknowledged by different stakeholder groups such as researchers, policy makers and standards setting organisations. The need becomes even more apparent, when taking into account that ICT has become a subject that is highly pervasive. There is hardly one economic area that is not affected by ICT standardisation efforts. Nevertheless, “learning-by-doing” still appears to be the most frequent approach to ICT standardisation. Despite various attempts to scale up standardisation education in ICT, a sufficient integration into teaching curricula has yet to be achieved.
As a European Standardisation Organisation, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) is empowered and entrusted with linking standardisation practice, research and education. With the initiation of the Special Task Force (STF) on Design and Development of Teaching Materials for Education on ICT Standardisation, ETSI aims at advancing the situation in the ICT area. Lead and managed by the Fraunhofer IMW, a team of six experts is currently working on a comprehensive set of teaching materials, including a set of slides, an accompanying textbook and supplementary materials such as quizzes, visualisations, case studies and exercises to enhance the learning performance.
To advance education in this area, the attractiveness of the topic among lecturers and students needs to be increased. Comprehensive and up-to-date teaching materials constitute a major way to convey the value and raise awareness for standardisation. Therefore, best practices in ICT standardisation education have been identified during an interview study with over 25 experts from practice and research, encouraged by existing literature. The collected data founds a solid basis for the STF’s work and the contents of the teaching material.
The overall goal of the STF is to improve the employability of future graduates. From the perspective of lecturers, effective teaching materials enable the mitigation of barriers and ease the access to standardisation knowledge. The teaching materials, which will be developed by the STF, also support non-experts by providing “soft” entries for lecturers and researchers that are not necessarily standardisation experts, but envisage the integration of an introduction to standardisation topics in their lectures. From the students’ perspective, be they from the academic field or industrial practitioners, attractive and practical teaching materials contain required knowledge about ICT standardisation to acquire a certain level of competencies and to enable them to see additional opportunities for their careers.
ICT standardisation is not the mere development of technical documents and compliance with certain requirements. As ICT standardisation intersects with many other discipline and knowledge areas, the table of contents also comprises topics from the areas of economics, business management and law – which are of course tailored to the requirements of the ICT sector. To foster the dissemination of the teaching materials, all documents resulting from this action will be made available for free upon demand from the ETSI website. The curricula includes the following topics:
Introduction to standards
The standardization landscape: organizations, processes and standards
Standardization and innovation
Standardization and strategy
A business perspective: IPR and standardization
Economic contribution of standards
Law and standardization