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Adding Excitement To Student Projects: Try Web Based Industry Collaboration

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Multimedia Engineering Education,Distance, Service, & Internet-Based Approaches

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.164.1 - 8.164.6



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Paper Authors

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Shan Barkataki

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Bolton Tom

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3660

Adding Excitement to Student Projects: Try Web-Based Industry Collaboration

Shan Barkataki, Tom Bolton California State University, Northridge/ Northrop-Grumman Corporation, NSD


This paper describes an experiment where university students collaborated with an industrial partner in the design and development of “real-world” software in an actual production project. Students were given real tasks that appeared in the project’s Pert chart; therefore their assigned tasks had real deadlines, and late delivery of the student tasks had the potential for adversely affecting the whole project schedule. This required the students to have frequent interactions with the industry partners to resolve technical issues, report status, and participate in peer reviews. For all practical purposes, the students worked as members of the project development team, except that they worked in a laboratory at the university. However, we wanted the students to act like students, i.e., work part-time (they had other courses) and keep irregular hours (typically by starting in the afternoon and working late into the night and, of course, the weekends). Finally, we wanted to investigate the feasibility of conducting all collaboration activities through the Internet. Accordingly, all interactions with the industrial partner were done electronically, using e-mail, desktop conferencing, and the ordinary telephone. Except for a “getting-to-know-you” pizza bash at the start, there were no face-to-face meetings.

Industry-Academia Collaboration

There is a long history of collaboration between industry and academia to benefit training and education[6]. Such collaboration provides mutual benefit and serves as an excellent vehicle for closing the gap between industry and academia [14]. One dominant form of industry-academia collaboration is industry-sponsored research done at the universities. We did not pursue this avenue because our focus was on industry collaboration in the undergraduate and master’s level classes.

In 1995, a Working Group for Software Engineering Education and Training (WGSEET), within the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), began to track industry-academia collaboration activities related to training and education [17]. The group conducted surveys and interviews to determine the number of universities participating in industry-academia collaboration and the various forms in which these collaborative activities occurred. The WGSEET reports indicate worldwide interest in industry-academic collaborative work. From these reports and other published work [8, 9, 10] it would appear that the predominant form of this collaboration involves universities delivering specialized training to industrial partners [4, 5] . Another popular form of collaboration involves students doing projects given by industrial partners as part of their academic program [2, 15]. These tend to be small projects that the students can do without requiring a great deal of interaction with personnel from the industrial partners. Yet another approach involves mimicking an industrial development environment within the classroom [16].

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Barkataki, S., & Tom, B. (2003, June), Adding Excitement To Student Projects: Try Web Based Industry Collaboration Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11408

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