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Embedding ABET's Outcomes in a Software Engineering Course

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Emerging Computing and Information Technologies I

Tagged Division

Computing & Information Technology

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Afrin Naz West Virginia University Inst. of Tech.

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Dr. Afrin Naz is an assistant professor at the Computer Science and Information Systems department at West Virginia University Institute of Technology. She is working with high school teachers to inspire the K-12 students to the STEM fields. In last four years Dr. Naz and her team launched six workshops for high school teachers. Currently her team is training the high school teachers to offer online materials to supplement their face-to-face classroom.

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Embedding ABET’s outcomes in a software engineering course (Research-to-Practice, Strand 4)

Since the founding of the ASEE in 1893, the engineering education collectively shifted the focus from course content to the development of students as emerging professionals. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) is recognized as the worldwide leader in assuring quality and stimulating innovation in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology education. One aspect of the enhanced ABET criteria (2000), particularly relevant to engineering and technology is “an understanding of professional responsibility”. In ABET outcomes for computing, outcomes “d – h” (communication, teamwork, impacts of computing, ethics and professional development) are identified as “professional” skills. In literature several studies are available on how to incorporate these “professional” skills in an existing engineering curriculum (Shuman et al, Wulf et al). Other studies also included assessing information literacy along with ABET outcomes in Engineering (Riley et al, Naz et al). In this paper we demonstrated how the development of a software engineering class and our ABET accreditation process went side by side. In most computing and engineering programs it is a common practice to utilize the capstone series for the data collection process for ABET accreditation. As capstone class is the last class students take before their graduation, it might be little late for some students. We recommend inclusion of an earlier class to introduce students to ABET “professional” skills and later continue the process to the capstone series. In this way the instructors in the program not only get chance to develop the skills in his/her students early, it also help them to analyze student improvement over the time. In this paper we talk about the modification of an existing software engineering class for the computer science and information systems of __________ university. This sophomore level class is required for the computer science, computer engineering and information systems majors. In addition to regular tests, the class includes a semester long group project, formal presentations, paper writing and multiple active learning exercises. In a group environment the students build their own software project over the semester by applying the software engineering process, methods and tools. The whole semester is divided into four phases “Communication and Planning”, “Modeling”, “Construction” and “Deployment”. As the semester goes through each of these phases, the students gain theoretical knowledge from lecture contents, related hands-on experience from their own projects and share their experience through formal presentations. In this paper we analyzed the data from these four phases over two year’s period to demonstrate students improvement in ABET “professional” skills. Our data showed 25% improvement in students overall presentation skills and 40% improvement in students teamwork skills. We also analyzed the improvement students made from their sophomore level course to capstone series. Along with instructor’s evaluation we will include survey data collected from the students who participated in the software engineering class and currently participating in the capstone series of the department.

Naz, A. (2016, June), Embedding ABET's Outcomes in a Software Engineering Course Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26930

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