A Multiple-Projects-Multiple-Winners Approach for Teaching Software Engineering

A. Rusu, R. Webb, D. Shanline, C. Santiago, C. Luna, and M. Kulak (USA)


Real-world project, Software engineering education, Un dergraduate


The majority of undergraduate software engineering courses are taught by presenting theoretical background, reinforced by group or individual work on in-class projects. However, exposure to real-world projects would greatly improve a student’s performance in industry. Attempts at involving students in real-world projects have been focused on large software products. This approach almost never succeeds in producing a final workable product because of the short period of time and provides little satisfaction to the customer or to the students. In this paper we present a novel approach for teaching a one-semester undergraduate software engineering course. In our approach each student works in a team on a project for a real-world customer, exercises every software engineering phase, and develops a software product which can be used, as is, by his/her team’s customer. In addition, our approach has a strong focus on incentives for students, by giving each team the chance of receiving recognition from their customer, and places a limited load on the real-world customers and on the instructor, by shifting most of the project management responsibilities to the students.

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