Teaching Architectural Approach to Quality Software Development through Problem-Based Learning

Kam Hou Vat
InSITE 2002  •  Volume 2  •  2002
This paper describes the initiative to incorporate the practice of quality software development (QSD) into our undergraduate curriculum concerning the engineering of software. We discuss how the constructivist’s method of problem-based learning (PBL) helps develop this QSD practice into our students’ daily learning. This paper expounds the idea of an architectural approach to building software solutions, which is supported by the industry’s emerging consensus that architectural components provide the kind of building blocks we need for developing today’s complex systems. Particularly, the technology of component-based development asks of us the required portions of productivity, quality, and rapid construction of software artifacts. Consequently, our pedagogic approach to QSD focuses on designing and building a sensible architecture characterized by objects of different services, which represent the cohesive collections of related functionality, accessed through some consistent interfaces that encapsulate the implementation. The paper outlines an QSD approach in terms of state-of-the-practice development processes modified for educational scenarios, through which our students could learn to acquire their collaborative software engineering experience in the current practice of architected application development. The paper concludes by discussing the criteria used to evaluate the working of the learning scenario and some lessons learned involved in incorporating PBL learning scenarios suitable for QSD.
Quality Software Development, Component-Based Development, Problem-Based Learning
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