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UnLecture: Bridging the Gap between Computing Education and Software Engineering Practice

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Software Engineering Constituent Committee Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Software Engineering Constituent Committee

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1301.1 - 24.1301.11



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Paper Authors


Vignesh Subbian University of Cincinnati Orcid 16x16

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Vignesh Subbian is an instructor/teaching assistant in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computing Systems at the University of Cincinnati. His research interests include embedded computing systems, medical device design and development, point-of-care technologies for neurological care, and engineering education.

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Carla C. Purdy University of Cincinnati

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Carla Purdy is an associate professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computing Systems, College of Engineering and Applied Science, at the University of Cincinnati and an affiliate faculty member in UC's Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She received her Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Illinois in 1975 and her PhD. in Computer Science from Texas A&M University in 1986. She is the head of UC's B.S. in Computer Engineering Program and the coordinator of the Preparing Future Faculty in Engineering Program. Her research interests include embedded systems and VLSI, intelligent embedded systems, software and systems engineering, computational biology and synthetic biology, agent based modeling and simulation, mentoring, and diversity in science and engineering.

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UnLecture: Bridging the Gap between Computing Education and Software Engineering PracticeAbstract: This paper presents a novel pedagogical strategy, called UnLecture that is based onactive learning and peer instruction. An UnLecture is a participant-driven discussion aimed atbringing real-world industry experiences into the classroom. Co-operative education (co-op) is amandatory requirement for students enrolled in engineering programs at the University of________. The primary objective of the UnLecture technique is to create a participatoryenvironment that allows students to share their experiences from co-op, internship, and otherindustry-based projects, and to reflect on the connection between classroom learning andengineering practice. Each UnLecture session is based on a theme directly related to one of the course topics.Typically, an UnLecture session on a topic is scheduled after that topic has been covered in anin-class lecture. A rubric is provided to the students a few days prior the session. The rubric isthe central element facilitating various components of this technique. It is a set of carefullydesigned questions categorized into three sections: Retrospection, Examination, and Reflection. Before the session, students retrospect their past co-op/internship assignments, recollect details that are related to the session theme, and document some fine points based on the questions in the rubric. During the session, students share their retrospective thoughts, and learn from fellow students’ cooperative education experiences. They also examine practices that were realized in various course projects and assignments, and analyze the differences and similarities between their experiences in industry and their learning experience from the course. After the session, the students combine their perspectives from both retrospection and examination to reflect on how they will perform differently in their next co-op rotation or work assignment. Five UnLecture sessions were designed and executed as a part of the course EECE 3XXX–Software Engineering. The following is the list of session themes:1. Project Management and Team Work2. Requirements Analysis, Design, and Modeling3. Software Implementation Techniques and Practices4. Testing and Code Maintenance5. Ethics and Technology/Patent Wars It can be observed that session themes are closely related to the topics in the discipline ofsoftware engineering. This paper will describe the rubric design and results related to each of thesessions and will discuss ways in which the UnLecture technique helps achieve course goals.

Subbian, V., & Purdy, C. C. (2014, June), UnLecture: Bridging the Gap between Computing Education and Software Engineering Practice Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23234

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