Integrating Industrial Practices in Software Development through Scenario-Based Design of PBL Activities: A Pedagogical Re-Organization

Kam Hou VAT
InSITE 2006  •  Volume 6  •  2006
This paper investigates a pedagogic model appropriate to the integration of the industrial practices in software development into the learning activities of our undergraduate students, especially in the context of group-based project work. Specifically, we are interested in the potentialities of this model enhanced from the problem-based learning context, such that people collaborating in the peculiar scenario of project development, are empowered to be more sensitive and reflective of their learning experiences. Our discussion describes a practical framework of course enactment taking into account the suggestions of the latest curriculum guidelines stipulated in the final draft of the “Computing Curriculum - Software Engineering” created by the Joint Task Force on Computing Curricula of the IEEE Computer Society and the Association for Computing Machinery. Namely, software engineering education in the 21st century needs to move beyond the lecture format, and should consider the incorporation of a variety of teaching and learning approaches, one example of which includes the constructivist model of problem-based learning (PBL) considered as appropriate to supplement or even largely replace the lecture format in certain cases. In the paper, a pedagogical re-organization perspective is presented as a way to conduct teaching in the area of software engineering. In particular, the connotation of problem-based learning in the education of future software practitioners is explored from a teacher-researcher’s position, through the practice of action research. The paper concludes by emphasizing the contextualized learning scenarios involved in PBL, which have been observed to enable our students to experience the real-world practice of software development, and acquire valuable learning through teamwork that should remain with their future careers.
Collaboration, design scenarios, problem-based learning, software engineering education.
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