Software Development for Dementia Patient - A Student's Perspective [Abstract]

Madeleine V. S. Schneider, Christine Bakke
InSITE 2023  •  2023  •  pp. 023
This study aims to document the results of Student Ownership of Learning through the development of a software application to support dementia patients. The research strives to create an agile career-like experience connected to software development courses to overall improve the learning outcome for students.

Most online classes are limited to lectures, homework, and tests. However, students struggle to evolve with passive instruction as well as no hands-on experience. In addition to that the students do not gain experience directed toward their professions and are not familiar with the requirements during a software development process.
The researchers of this study believe that Student Ownership of Learning (SOL) and Scrum can be the basis of a hands-on learning experience where the student is able to take an active approach to their own learning. The study identified the increase in dementia patients and the lack of interactive software applications in health care as an area where research and development were needed. The software application was created to address dementia patients’ needs for meaningful interaction and improvement of memory. The student is able to take leadership of their own learning while working on developing their own project while having guidance from the instructor.

In this research, the student and professor worked together as a team to experience Student Ownership of Learning that incorporated Scrum-like practices. The student was able to seek guidance from the professor throughout the process and was able to receive feedback in weekly meetings. The student documented their weekly finding and set goals for each week. This helped the student to follow Scrum-like practices where a complex project can be split into multiple smaller units and tackled individually.
The Scrum sprint helped the student to set goals for each development cycle and to prioritize certain tasks. The student experiences how to successfully manage time to complete a complex project on a defined end date. Each iteration allowed the student to develop further by doing research, speaking to experts, and having weekly instructor-student meetings. The Scrum process generally allows constant review, and the student is able to access the documentation from the earlier iterations.

This study showcases the student’s successful learning outcomes connected to Student Ownership of Learning as well as Scrum by providing documentation of the processes, concerns, and successes.
Findings This study connected student learning to a professional experience that is closely tied to Student Ownership of Learning and Scrum. The student identified the importance of improving the situation of dementia patients through software development. Generally, the student noted that by working on a chosen topic of interest their motivation and programming skillset increased at a greater rate than in a normal classroom setting.

Recommendations for Practitioners.
The researchers of this study recommend practitioners consider providing an experience of Student Ownership of Learning connected to Scum. Faculty members in technical fields are welcome to share the findings presented in this research as they experience a student’s perspective throughout this process.

Recommendations for Researchers .
Researchers are invited to experience how Student Ownership of Learning and Scrum practices might change learning outcomes in technical courses. Researchers could experience increasing learner independence and motivation to further develop students’ programming skill sets.

Impact on Society.
This study showcases how Student Ownership of Learning and Scrum practices can deliver a new form of higher education with hands-on involvement with more successful outcomes. In addition, this study wants to raise awareness for dementia patients and the troubles they are facing by developing an interactive dementia-focused software application.

Future Research.
Future research could combine Student Ownership of Learning and Scrum methods in higher education settings to provide a more professional experience for students. The study of dementia-related software applications in health care can be expanded and further explored.
student ownership of learning, dementia, software development, software engineering, programming, Scrum, professional experiences, learning outcomes
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