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Using Software Engineering Concepts And Techniques To Leverage Learning: A Novel Approach

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.1114.1 - 6.1114.12

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Paper Authors

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Zhong Gu

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Sheela Ramanna

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James Peters

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Hal Berghel

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Daniel Berleant

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Steve Russell

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

Session 2632

Using Software Engineering Concepts and Techniques to Leverage Learning: A Novel Approach

Daniel Berleant1, Zhong Gu1, Steve Russell1, James F. Peters2, Sheela Ramanna3, and Hal Berghel4 1 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011 / 2 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 5V6, Canada / 3 Department of Business Computing, University of Winnipeg Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2E9, Canada / 4 Department of Computer Science, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154

This paper describes an approach to integrating software engineering concepts and principles into the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and Computer Science (CS) curricula. Our philosophy is to apply software engineering techniques throughout the ECE/CS curricula to leverage learning in non-software engineering courses. Our technique is to seek out faculty interested in innovative teaching techniques, consult with them to identify some way that they and we feel a course they are teaching could benefit pedagogically from some application of software engineering, and work with them to make that happen. The chief intended result is to leverage learning in diverse courses, thereby benefiting pedagogy of non-software engineering topics. An auxiliary important result is to increase awareness among both students and faculty of the software engineering body of knowledge.

Many software engineering approaches to understanding and solving problems in the software life cycle can also address a variety of learning needs across disciplines in ECE and CS. For example, there are software engineering techniques that can emphasize visualization (benefiting students who respond to the visual modality), logical sequences (benefiting sequential learners), summarizations (benefiting global learners), and others. Additionally, general issues of teamwork and the engineering life cycle can be addressed.

We have applied our approach to a diverse set of electrical engineering and computing courses at four universities in the US and Canada, and based on those experiences we believe we have identified a win-win paradigm that can be a model for integration of software engineering concepts into electrical engineering and computing curricula.

Introduction Software engineering has rapidly become a major topic in computing education. Departments of software engineering and degree programs in software engineering are increasing in number, and guidelines for software engineering education are receiving increasing attention (Barnes 19983; Bagert et al. 19992; Joint Task Force on Computing Curricula 200010). As part of this

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Gu, Z., & Ramanna, S., & Peters, J., & Berghel, H., & Berleant, D., & Russell, S. (2001, June), Using Software Engineering Concepts And Techniques To Leverage Learning: A Novel Approach Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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