June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
Software Engineering Constituent Committee
11.1137.1 - 11.1137.10
Software Engineering Practices Used For Retention?
Software engineering practices have been integrated into many computing curricula in a variety of ways. Authors have written about integrating software testing throughout their curriculum and using software development methods such as Extreme Programming2, 3, 4. Papers have been written on how some software engineering techniques, such as pair programming, can help increase retention, particularly of female students7, 8.
This paper suggests that other software engineering practices can be used to help increase the success rates in lower division courses, which should translate into increased retention rates. In particular, use of detailed work plans and periodically monitored time logs and version control check-ins is examined. The underlying assumption is that students need to be encouraged to start programs early and work steadily towards completion.
Over the past ten years, about twenty-five universities in the US have established undergraduate software engineering programs. Moreover, software engineering has worked its way into a large number of computer science and computer engineering curricula. Indeed, the Computing Curricula 2001 for Computer Science lists software engineering as one of the fourteen areas comprising the CS body of knowledge1. There are eight units in software engineering designated as core with a recommended minimum coverage of thirty-one hours.
Over the years, many software engineering and computer science educators have advocated integrating software engineering practices into the computer science curriculum. For example, authors have written about integrating software testing throughout their curriculum and using software development methods such as Extreme Programming2, 3, 4. Recently, some authors have investigated whether certain software engineering techniques, such as pair programming, can be used to increase success rates in CS1 courses and retention of women in CS-related majors7, 8.
In this paper, we investigate whether other software engineering practices can be used to increase the success rate in the introductory courses and thereby help increase retention. In particular, we look at requiring specific work plans together with periodically monitoring time logs and checks- ins to version control.
The University of Wisconsin, Platteville is a relatively small undergraduate university with about 6000 students. It has offered a BS degree in Computer Science since 1982 and a BS degree in Software Engineering since 1999. The CS1 and CS2 courses offered prior to the fall of 2001 were three-credit semester courses.
Clifton, J. (2006, June), Software Engineering Practices Used For Retention? Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--602
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