June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
October 19, 2019
Software Engineering Division
Highly structured activities in Software Engineering education are gradually abandoning current learning approaches. They are being increasingly replaced by self directed learning tasks accompanied with guidance from instructors. These activities are predominantly problem or project-based, where students are required to follow a self discovery path to achieve all the expected learning outcomes for the course. Both strategies have shown their effectiveness in involving students in their learning process. Specifically, project-based learning has proven to be particularly useful to engage students in addressing real problems and tasks . In the case of Software Engineering education, project-based approaches are frequently incorporated into curricula, focused on traditional activities of a software development workflow: analysis, design and formal development. Also, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) techniques usually are included in this workflow, but as an extra and sometimes isolated activity . This work explores the extent to which students are able to recognize the strengths and weaknesses between a traditional, teacher-centered project, and a learner-centered method. The aim of this work is to explore students’ perceptions of a project-based learning approach carried out at an advanced Software Engineering (SE) course at the Andres Bello University in Chile. The modified course is aimed at a Computer Science master students, who had to complete a list of relevant tasks to deliver a final project during a semester. The main objective of this innovation was to provide advanced knowledge of the SE (analysis, design and formal development of an interactive software, using HCI methods) through Project-Based Learning (PBL). Likewise, rubrics were defined to guide the learning objectives and, at the same time, to introduce fundamental aspects of HCI through evaluation criteria. These criteria refer to the requirement to conduct the software development process through a User-Centered Design (UCD) and formally to evaluate the usability / UX of the software developed. In this way, students had to develop an understanding of system users and to use HCI evaluation techniques for the creation of interactive software, from the start of the project and not simply as a separate topic. Formal course checkpoints were established to provide feedback to students, not only by the instructor but also by peer-assessment . Data were collected through personal interviews. The interviews, based on a survey proposed by Stewart , were aimed to provide information about some relevant factors: prior work experience, self management, desire for learning, self control, time spent on core project activities, personal evaluation of learning outcomes and utility of the course content and methodology. The outcomes of the present study indicate that a project-based approach brings along undeniable advantages to students, including self-encouragement, an interdisciplinary perspective as well as know-how within the Project-Based Learning.
 M. Marques, S. F. Ochoa, M. C. Bastarrica and F. J. Gutierrez, "Enhancing the Student Learning Experience in Software Engineering Project Courses," in IEEE Transactions on Education, vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 63-73, Feb. 2018.  L. F. Capretz, “Bringing the human factor to software engineering,” IEEE software, vol. 31, no. 2, 2014, pp. 104–104.  L. Silvestre, S. F. Ochoa, and M. Marques, “Understanding the design of software development teams for academic scenarios,” in Proc. 34th Int. Conf. Chil. Comput. Sci. Soc. (SCCC), Santiago, Chile, 2015, pp. 1–6.  R. A. Stewart,“Investigating the link between self directed learning readiness and project-based learning outcomes: the case of international Masters students in an engineering management course," European Journal of Engineering Education, 32:4, 2007, pp. 453-465.
Rojas Pino, L. A., & Truyol, M. E., & Calderón, J. F. (2019, June), Software Engineering and Human-Computer Interaction: Students' Perception of a Project-based Approach in a Postgraduate Course Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33276
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