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Effective Active Learning Approaches to Teaching Software Verification

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Software Engineering Topics

Tagged Division

Software Engineering Constituent Committee

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.500.1 - 25.500.19



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Paper Authors


Sushil Acharya Robert Morris University

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Sushil Acharya, D.Eng., Associate Professor of software engineering, joined Robert Morris University in the spring of 2005 after serving 15 years in the Software Industry. With U.S. Airways, Acharya was responsible for creating a data warehouse and using advance data mining tools for performance improvement. With i2 Technologies, he worked on i2’s Data Mining product “Knowledge Discover Framework” and at CEERD (Thailand), he was the Product Manager of three energy software products (MEDEE-S/ENV, EFOM/ENV and DBA-VOID), which are in use in 26 Asian and seven European countries by both governmental and non-governmental organizations. Acharya has a M.Eng. in computer technology and a D.Eng. in computer science and information management with a concentration in knowledge discovery, both from the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand. His teaching involvement and research interests are in the areas of software engineering and development (verification and validation) and enterprise resource planning. He also has interest in learning objectives-based education material design and development. Acharya is a co-author of “Discrete Mathematics Applications for Information Systems Professionals," 2nd Ed., Prentice Hall. He is a life member of Nepal Engineering Association and is also a member of ASEE and ACM. Acharya is a recipient of the “Mahendra Vidya Bhusak” a prestigious medal awarded by the Government of Nepal for academic excellence. He is a member of the Program Committee of WMSCI, MEI, CCCT, EEET, ISAS, AG, KGMC, and IMCIC and is also a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics, and Informatics of the International Institute of Informatics and Systemics.

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Walter W. Schilling Jr. Milwaukee School of Engineering

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Walter Schilling is an Assistant Professor in the Software Engineering program at the Milwaukee School of Engineering in Milwaukee, Wis. He received his B.S.E.E. from Ohio Northern University and M.S.E.S.
and Ph.D. from the University of Toledo. He worked for Ford Motor Company and Visteon as an embedded software engineer for several years prior to returning for doctoral work. He has spent time at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, and consulted for multiple embedded systems companies in the Midwest. In addition to one U.S. Patent, Schilling has numerous publications in refereed international conferences and other journals. He received the Ohio Space Grant Consortium Doctoral Fellowship, and has received awards from the IEEE Southeastern Michigan and IEEE Toledo Sections. He is a member of IEEE,
IEEE Computer Society, and ASEE. At MSOE, he coordinates courses in Software Quality Assurance, Software Verification, Software Engineering Practices, Real Time Systems, and Operating Systems, as
well as teaching Embedded Systems Software.

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Effective Active Learning Approaches to Teaching Software VerificationCourse based exercises that map theory to practice with active learning lead to increasedunderstanding and knowledge retention. This is vital within the field of software engineering, assoftware engineering is an applied discipline. Software Verification is a software engineeringprocess that ensures the software product is being built correctly and is considered an industrybest practice. Teaching verification to undergraduate students requires additional coursematerial development and preparation in terms of the verification theory to be covered, thedomain to be used, and the exercises to be performed, as certain verification topics are timeconsuming and certain codes are not suitable for verification exercises. This paper looks intothe approaches taken by two institutions to teach verification using the active learningapproach. An overview of the existing literature is provided, including the pros and cons of theapproaches. This is followed by an overview of the active learning approaches to softwareverification from two different universities, and an analysis of the pros and cons of eachapproach. Also included is an assessment of student learning at each institution.

Acharya, S., & Schilling, W. W. (2012, June), Effective Active Learning Approaches to Teaching Software Verification Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21258

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