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How much authenticity can be achieved in software engineering project based courses?

conference contribution
posted on 2019-01-01, 00:00 authored by Z S H Abad, Muneera Bano, D Zowghi
© 2019 IEEE. Software engineering (SE) students not only need sufficient technical knowledge and problem solving ability but also social and interpersonal skills in order to be industry ready. To prepare the students for the 'real world' the SE educators frequently use 'Authentic Assessment' and 'Project Based Learning (PBL)' approaches in their curricula. However, the level of 'authenticity' should vary within PBL courses offered in different years of a degree program. In this paper, we present and discuss the results of the data collected and analyzed from the first SE course offered to the students. The aim of our research is to explore how much authenticity can be achieved in the first SE course. Our study was conducted at the University of Calgary with 64 software development project teams, totaling 229 undergraduate students. The data is collected from three semesters (2016-2018) in order to assess and monitor students performance. The course design used seven authentic assessments that focused on students skills while covering a complete software development lifecycle. The results from data analysis show that students made progress in some areas of problem solving skills, however, they struggled in their social skills (e.g. people handling skills, negotiations skills and organizational skills), understanding software quality and adaptability.



Software Engineering: Software Engineering Education and Training. Conference (41st : 2019 : Montreal, Canada)


208 - 219




Montreal, Canada

Place of publication

Piscataway, N.J.

Start date


End date






Publication classification

E1.1 Full written paper - refereed

Title of proceedings

2019 IEEE/ACM: 41st International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering Education and Training (ICSE-SEET)