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ERIC Number: EJ830141
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Mar
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-0899-3408
Implementing Large Projects in Software Engineering Courses
Coppit, David
Computer Science Education, v16 n1 p53-73 Mar 2006
In software engineering education, large projects are widely recognized as a useful way of exposing students to the real-world difficulties of team software development. But large projects are difficult to put into practice. First, educators rarely have additional time to manage software projects. Second, classrooms have inherent limitations that threaten the realism of large projects. Third, quantitative evaluation of individuals who work in groups is notoriously difficult. As a result, many software engineering courses compromise the project experience by reducing the team sizes, project scope, and risk. In this paper, we present an approach to teaching a one-semester software engineering course in which 20 to 30 students work together to construct a moderately sized (15 KLOC) software system. The approach combines carefully coordinated lectures and homeworks, a hierarchical project management structure, modern communication technologies, and a web-based project tracking and individual assessment system. Our approach provides a more realistic project experience for the students, without incurring significant additional overhead for the instructor. We present our experiences using the approach the last 2 years for the software engineering course at The College of William and Mary. Although the approach has some weaknesses, we believe that they are strongly outweighed by the pedagogical benefits. (Contains 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A