New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Pre-College Engineering Education Division
Teaching software development in environments that mimic industry practices is essential for teaching applicable real-word development skills. In addition, these delivery-based projects engage students in meaningful design work that encourages clear, sustainable code. The Software Factory has provided such projects and environment to students at Montana State University (MSU) since the 2014 academic year. This project aimed to explore the effectiveness of such instruction for high school students with limited programming experience. Students from Bozeman High School, Bozeman, Montana, were selected to work in a team with two MSU undergraduate students with the goal of creating an Android application over the course of a summer semester. In the process, these high school students were exposed to Java, sorting algorithms, version control, and software development practices in an industry setting. This experiential report describes the experiences of the team, the challenges and rewards of using this teaching method – the Software Factory – and how the program provided a real-world experience for high school students in the early stages of their computing education. In addition, after concluding two projects, the latter of which is described in this manuscript, the Software Factory staff plans to continue to reach out to high school students, and has been approached by four private high tech companies, and two startup efforts. The Software Factory complements the demand generation strategies program in the Computer Science Department by providing a unique approach to outreach. The goal of demand generation strategies is to promote and increase enrollment in computing-related career fields at higher education institutions in Montana. Although this is a work in progress, the outcomes of the Software Factory approach as it relates to K-12 students are demonstrable and have surpassed expectations. The high school students were excited about programming in the context of a real world setting, presented and were the subject of a Q&A session at a graduate level seminar, produced a working prototype of an Android application, and one of the participating students is now enrolled in computer science at Montana State University. The participating high school will select new students to participate in the summer of 2016.
Izurieta, C., & Trenk, M., & O'Bleness, M., & Gunderson-Izurieta, S. (2016, June), The Effectiveness of Software Development Instruction Through the Software Factory Method for High School Students (Work In Progress) Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26141
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