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Preliminary Experience Of Using A Learning And Knowledge Management System For An Se 1 Course

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

SE Curriculum and Course Management

Tagged Division

Software Engineering Constituent Committee

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.992.1 - 13.992.18



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Paper Authors

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J. Scott Hawker Rochester Institute of Technology

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Ian Webber Rochester Institute of Technology

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Michael Starenko Rochester Institute of Technology

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Jeremiah Parry-Hill Rochester Institute of Technology

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

Preliminary Experience of Using a Learning and Knowledge Management System for an SE-1 Course


Students and instructors struggle to provide an integrated view of learning content that is spread over personal and shared file systems, course management systems, team project repositories, wikis, blogs, and other content storage and retrieval systems. Further, they struggle to organize this content when each system provides a different organizational mechanism and strategy. Course management systems fragment content by semester, course, and class session. File systems fragment content into hierarchically organized folders and files with only folder and file names to describe the content. Project repositories fragment information into versions, artifact types, and subsystems organized as folders. It is especially a challenge for a student who does not yet have the knowledge for how to organize and describe their learning content.

We have developed an initial version of a learning and knowledge management system and piloted it for an Introduction to Software Engineering course. To hold the common repository of learning content, we used digital library technology. To organize content, we tagged content using subject headings based on the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK) subject taxonomy. Instructors and students can contribute content, tag it using SWEBOK and other terms, and search through it using SWEBOK and other terms.

The results of our pilot were mixed. A digital library-based repository is insufficient for dynamically changing and evolving content. A significant amount of learning content needs to be provided (more than for just one course), and there needs to be one location of record for accessing content, rather than multiple locations. A positive result was some validation that using SWEBOK to organize, tag, and search for content is helpful in readily accessing information and helping provide students with an understanding of the organization of knowledge of their discipline. Since the main intent of this research project was to gain some operational experience and initial validation of using a domain-specific taxonomy to organize learning content, we consider the project to be a success.


In prior work1 we described the need for and design of a knowledge management system that holds learning content for Software Engineering courses, and provides students, project teams, and instructors with advanced tools to create, share, and annotate both the learning content and an organizational structure for that content. Traditional course management systems, team project repositories, wikis, etc., usually fragment information into silos (that is, into distinct information storage locations which are not integrated). We seek a system to help integrate the fragmented information into a whole across the curriculum and the student’s academic career and to improve student interaction with learning content and with each other in project teams. Further, by organizing the content and presenting it in a way that reflects the structure of knowledge in the software engineering discipline, we expect that the students will more readily

Hawker, J. S., & Webber, I., & Starenko, M., & Parry-Hill, J. (2008, June), Preliminary Experience Of Using A Learning And Knowledge Management System For An Se 1 Course Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4022

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