A Concepts-First Approach to Object-Oriented Modelling

V.Y. Sien (Malaysia) and D. Carrington (Australia)


Software Engineering, concept maps, analysis and design


Information technology students at universities have in general found difficulty in grasping object-oriented (OO) concepts. They have problems with abstract thinking, especially in the context of performing abstractions of real-world problems in object-oriented analysis and design (OOAD) courses. Most of these students prefer to focus on the implementation phase of a software development lifecycle and consider the preceding analysis and design phases unnecessary. We present an approach to introduce the concept map as the first domain model to be derived from functional requirements or textual use cases during the analysis phase. It can subsequently evolve into a class diagram containing information on classes, attributes, associations, generalization-specialization hierarchies, aggregation and methods. This paper contains results of a quantitative evaluation for gauging the effectiveness of concept mapping in helping students with their abstraction techniques.

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