Students from the University of Nebraska Omaha’s College of Information Science and Technology gave their final group presentation at ISC yesterday, demonstrating the software they built to help ISC seniors study for the citizenship exam. The undergraduates in the IT Innovation program used Agile Development, a process that listens to users’ needs and creates a solution customized to meet those needs, to create the software.
Part of the process of becoming a citizen is passing a written exam. This new software helps students practice for the exam, covering 100 multiple-choice questions on American history, geography, and political structure.
After looking at other study tools, the UNO students took into account the needs of ISC seniors. In a colorful game format, the program is easy to start even for those who are not comfortable with computers, and the graphics and text are large and easy to see. The language is simpler than other study guides, without losing any necessary content. This software program also makes it easier for instructors to track student progress, both individually and as a class.
Andrea Hernandez, instructor for the citizenship classes, believes in the value of this program’s fun. “The students can try to beat their own scores and can try to beat each other. It’s going to keep process of studying more interesting because they can also interact with each other and compete.” Working with the UNO students was also a learning experience for seniors, who appreciated the opportunity to give feedback on the game design.
Carolina Padilla, executive director, sees benefits beyond passing the exam. “The students from UNO have really demonstrated that they learned about the needs of seniors and how stressful the citizenship process can be,” she said. “This kind of intergenerational relationship-building helps ISC fulfill its mission and brings a new generation into understanding how we as a community can care for seniors.”
ISC has classes and resources for people going through the citizenship process. Please call ISC at 402-444-6529 for current class offerings.