1 Waseda University (JAPAN)
2 University of Tsukuba (JAPAN)
3 NEC Learning Ltd. (JAPAN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 698-706
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
In order to improve the training of IT professionals, practical lectures in the form of project-based learning (PBL), which teach practical skills for systems acquisition and provisioning and for project management, are being implemented in various universities. For example, a course has been offered at Waseda University since 2011 in cooperation with the Japanese governmental bodies and IT companies. This course consists of three lectures per day for five days (each lecture has 90 minutes) and the number of students attending this course is 26 in 2011, 17 in 2012 and 39 in 2013. In this course, students mainly learn the management of software intensive business systems development projects from the viewpoint of the provider such as requirements analysis and architectural design.

There is a study investigating the relationships between the variation in the personality profile of paired students and their academic performance in Pair Programming [1]. However, in practical lectures on software intensive business systems, we do not yet have an established method for determining what kind of personal characteristics and team compositions are most beneficial to obtaining the maximal educational effectiveness.

In this study, we use the Five Factors and Stress (FFS) theory [2] to quantify the personal characteristics and we ask students to answer same questionnaire before and after the lecture to measure how improved their knowledge and skills. This questionnaire consists of about 40 questions and each student answers them in six degrees. As example of the questions, there is “Can you analyze requirements?”. In many cases, the business of acquiring and providing software intensive business systems is carried out as a team-based activity. Therefore, to teach actual business concepts, we randomly compose teams regardless of personal characteristics. The number of teams formed was 6, 4 and 8 for 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively. This is an additional study of our paper [3] and as significant differences, we add the data of the lecture of 2013 in Waseda University and we analyze the data through 3 years (2011 - 2013).

We investigate the relationships between personal characteristics and educational effectiveness to reveal the common tendency. As a result, we clearly see that variations in the team members’ personal characteristics have an effect on educational effectiveness from t-test and boxplot. It is better for a team to have members with different characteristics in FFS theory for acquiring more knowledge and skills through lecture. It is expected that in similar practical lectures, we can also obtain the desirable educational effectiveness if we can compose a team with the suitable characteristics as based on our findings.

[1] Salleh, N., Mendes E., Grundy, J. (2009). An Empirical Study of Effects of Personality in Pair Programming using the Five-Factor Model. Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement, ESEM 2009.
[2] Furuno, T. (2006). Measuring Corporate Intellectual Assets: FFS Theory Organizational Audits. Available from: Accessed 1/12/2013.
[3] Inaga, S., Washizaki, H., et al. (2013). Team Characteristics for Maximizing the Educational Effectiveness of Practical Lectures on Software Intensive Systems Development. 26th IEEE-CS Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training. CSEE&T 2013.
Engineering education, team management, educational effect, information systems, personal characteristics, project-based learning.