EXPERIENCES WITH SOFTWARE ENGINEERING TOPICS IN UNIVERSITY COURSES
Hochschule der Medien, Stuttgart (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-7 July, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:This paper describes a project that was carried out at the University of Applied Sciences in Stuttgart in order to bring students of an engineering course closer to software engineering topics: software design and development, project management and quality assurance. Since this is not purely a computer science course, emphasis was placed on practical experience and not just on teaching theory.
The aim of the course described here was to convey these topics to students who had previously only learned how to program and develop web applications in two semesters. In this paper, the most important aspects of such a project (choice of subject, preparation, monitoring of the project) are described from the supervisor's point of view and the feedback from the students involved is reflected.
Above all, the project has shown that students can tackle a more complex project with a high level of motivation if they can identify with the topic dealt with. Therefore, the choice of the topic is particularly important for the success of such a project.
It was also shown that students with basic knowledge can develop new knowledge and skills themselves as part of a development project. The prerequisite for this, however, is that the project is well prepared for this and that the students receive support in good time if they have problems and cannot get ahead alone. Students have learned a lot in the project, both professionally and in the area of soft skills.
Planning aspects were identified as a particular challenge for the supervisor of such a project: not only the entire project must be prepared in great detail, the familiarization phase during the project must not be too short to give the students a chance to deal with the goals and possible alternative solutions. In addition, there are aspects in software development projects whose meaning is not always recognized by inexperienced students. In the present case, this were the in-depth quality assurance measures that the students did not implement to the planned extent. Only at the end of the project, the students did slowly see the purpose of such measures. This example also shows that students can learn software engineering techniques very well in practice, but the task must match the existing practical experience of the students.
This and other experiences from project work are described in detail and critically examined in this paper. In addition, ideas for the organization of future projects at similar events are derived from this.
Keywords: Software engineering, student projects, practical experiences, project management, quality assurance.