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ERIC Number: EJ1097800
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1927-5250
Case Studies for Enhancing Student Engagement and Active Learning in Software V&V Education
Manohar, Priyadarshan A.; Acharya, Sushil; Wu, Peter; Hansen, Mary; Ansari, Ali; Schilling, Walter
Journal of Education and Learning, v4 n4 p39-52 2015
Two critical problems facing the software (S/W) industry today are the lack of appreciation of the full benefits that can be derived from Software Verification and Validation (V&V) and an associated problem of shortage of adequately trained V&V practitioners. To address this situation, the software V&V course curriculum at the author's institution is being improved via a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded project. The basic objectives of this project are to enhance the quality of software education via increased student engagement and by bridging the gap between the basic principles discussed in the classroom and the complexity of real world problems. The teaching method utilized promotes higher levels of student engagement and learning through interactive, hands-on exercises, case studies and discussions. In addition, the instructional materials were purposefully designed not only for university classroom settings, but to also be deployed for on-the-job professional training in S/W industry settings, thereby helping to increase the pool of professionals with contemporary V&V knowledge and skills. The new course curriculum enhancement described in this paper is guided by academic research and industry best practices that focus on four specific V&V focus areas: "requirements engineering, reviews, configuration management", and "testing". Among many educational tools that are being developed to achieve the project objectives, the work related specifically to the development of one central component, case studies, is described here. Historically, case studies have been educational tools utilized in business, law, and medicine, but are not as prominent in software engineering. The hypothesis is that case studies would be effective educational tools to introduce real-world professional practices into the classroom, which would help the students in both identifying and solving problems, and developing a perspective on applying knowledge. In this paper we describe a set of V&V related case-studies that we have drawn from industry experiences and developed as pedagogical tools. These case-studies cover several important topics in the S/W V&V domain such as software testing, legal issues in software, software consumer protection, and requirements from the customers' perspectives. We also report on the results of initial implementation of the case studies related to software testing in the classroom and show their effectiveness both in terms of satisfying Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) outcomes assessment and student satisfaction.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: TUES124036