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

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

Keywords

Realworld project, Software engineering education, Un dergraduate

Abstract

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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