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Work in Progress: One Approach to Software Engineering Project Selection for Small Student Populations

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Software Engineering Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Software Engineering Division

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Paper Authors


Paul A Bender Ohio Dominican University

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Paul Bender is an Assistant Professor of Software Engineering at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus,OH. He previously taught Computer Science at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Missouri State University, Springfield, MO, an M.S. in Computational Mathematics from Ohio University, Athens, OH, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from Wright State University, Dayton, OH. These degrees were completed in 1998, 2004, and 2008, respectively. He is a member of the ACM, IEEE, and ASEE.

Dr. Bender's research interests include various topics in Operating Systems and Networking, including adhoc networks, real time systems, multimedia communications, and system security. The focus of his current research is on the application of test driven and behavior driven development to distributed real time sensor/actuator networks.

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Software Engineering is a discipline that by its nature expects students to engage in group work. Our Software Engineering program culminates with a senior project course that is intended to provide students with an opportunity to see a software project through one or more increments that can be delivered to the customer. In addition, it is desirable for students to gain real world experience working in a group on a software project for a real customer.

Ideally, groups will consist of 3 to 5 students in the senior project course, however, since our program is small, we may have fewer than 3 students enrolled in the course during any given offering. The goal of this work is to find a sustainable method of providing students with opportunities to work on group projects for outside entities, even when the enrollment in the capstone course precludes forming groups of the desired size.

Our initial investigation is evaluating the effectiveness of utilizing as a source for student projects. is a website that seeks to match volunteer developers with projects for non-profit organizations. By utilizing, we provide an opportunity for students to work in a team that includes individuals from outside the institution. Students also have an opportunity to work with a real customer and engage in a service learning project consistent with the university's mission.

This work examines two trials. The first trial had a single student participant and was quite successful. The second trial had 4 students participate, but had mixed results.

Bender, P. A. (2018, June), Work in Progress: One Approach to Software Engineering Project Selection for Small Student Populations Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31297

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