1 Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (CHINA)
2 University of Aizu (JAPAN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 3278-3287
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
The linear process model has been widely used, both in education and industry, because it makes planning and delivery easy. The linear model has been criticized as inadequate because human learning and problem solving follows patterns that do not map easily onto this model. The more recent software process models promote incremental and iterative development. Instead of one large project, companies use smaller teams and projects for easier risk management, with more customer involvement, and multiple releases. Agile methods, in particular, rely on experienced engineers who are motivated and benevolent towards rework.

Students should benefit from strong action-reaction relationships and feedback loops in a team oriented environment. Product development is a design problem, and when units are coherent and interfaces between them are simple and well defined it becomes easier to acquire and apply knowledge, resolve conflicting ideas, interests, and needs. However, students lack the knowledge and experience that professionals have and the process models may not necessarily be ideal for university environment. Therefore, the question remains how to apply effectively these new models in the education so that students can get hands on experience accompanied with a better learning outcome.

This paper presents a theoretical model that helps in deciding the key variables that characterize and constrain student projects.
complexity, learning, organization.