Accommodating workplace needs with an on-line software engineering tutorial
Jeffrey Samuel Appel, Nova Southeastern University, United States
Nova Southeastern University . Awarded
This dissertation focused on Software Engineering (SE) principles taught in the Computer Science (CS) curriculum and the adequacy of this education element in meeting the software development industry's needs. Software developers have indicated that they are not satisfied with the SE knowledge base of recently graduated students from CS and related baccalaureate programs. This work has addressed the aforementioned problem by determining the effectiveness of using an on-line constructivist tutorial designed to teach SE to recent graduates in the workplace. The purpose was to determine if using an on-line tutorial could be an effective method to help project managers train their new employees in concepts that are required by industry but that traditional education has been either unable, or unwilling, to teach.
The approach taken by the researcher required the development of a tutorial, the Software Engineering Teaching Assistant (SETA), to evaluate the training technique. A project manager needs assessment was used to identify and prioritized the SE topics. The tutorial development was a major component of the work, but it was the information collected from the subjects who used the tutorial that provided answers regarding the effectiveness of this learning method. Findings included successful examination results, positive comments from the subjects and their project managers, and suggestions for improvement.
A potential benefit of this form of education augmentation is a substantial savings in costs related to on-the-job training. Additionally, the training technique can be tailored for other fields and disciplines. The outcomes contributed significant knowledge concerning the effectiveness of distance education for the training of industry personnel. The data collected addressed questions about the approaches that should be used to teach SE with an on-line application and the SE topics that constitute the bridge between the undergraduate CS curricula and industry's expectations for new graduates. Recommendations for future work included the addition of new topics and the expansion of this work into different industries.
Appel, J.S. Accommodating workplace needs with an on-line software engineering tutorial. Ph.D. thesis, Nova Southeastern University.
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