Activity Oriented Teaching Strategy for Software Engineering Course: An Experience Report

Jeevamol Joy Kochumarangolil, Renumol V G
Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice  •  Volume 17  •  2018  •  pp. 181-200

This paper presents the findings of an Activity-Oriented Teaching Strategy (AOTS) conducted for a postgraduate level Software Engineering (SE) course with the aim of imparting meaningful software development experience for the students. The research question is framed as whether the activity-oriented teaching strategy helps students to acquire practical knowledge of Software Engineering and thus bridge the gap between academia and software industry.

Software Engineering Education (SEE) in India is mainly focused on teaching theoretical concepts rather than emphasizing on practical knowledge in software development process. It has been noticed that many students of CS/IT background are struggling when they start their career in the software industry due to inadequate familiarity with the software development process. In the current context of SE education, there is a knowledge gap between the theory learned in the classroom and the actual requirement demanded by the software industry.

The methodology opted for in this study was action research since the teachers are trying to solve the practical problems and deficiencies encountered while teaching SE. There are four pedagogies in AOTS for fulfilling the requirements of the desired teaching strategy. They are flipped classroom, project role-play for developing project artifacts, teaching by example, and student seminars. The study was conducted among a set of Postgraduate students of the Software Engineering programme at Cochin University of Science and Technology, India.

AOTS can fulfil both academic and industrial requirements by actively engaging the students in the learning process and thus helping them develop their professional skills.

AOTS can be molded as a promising teaching strategy for learning Software Engineering. It focuses on the essential skill sets demanded by the software industry such as communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and understanding of the software development processes.

Activity-oriented teaching strategies can fulfil both academic and industrial requirements by actively engaging the students in the SE learning process and thus helping them in developing their professional skills.

AOTS can be refined by adding/modifying pedagogies and including different features like an online evaluation system, virtual classroom etc.

software engineering education, activity oriented teaching, learning environ-ment, flipped classroom
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