Evaluating groupware support for software engineering students

Drummond, Sarah and Boldyreff, Cornelia and Ramage, Magnus (2001) Evaluating groupware support for software engineering students. Computer Science Education, 11 (1). pp. 33-54. ISSN 1744-5175

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Full text URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1076/csed.11.1.33.3843

Abstract

Software engineering tasks, during both development and maintenance, typically involve teamwork using computers. Team members rarely work on isolated computers. An underlying assumption of our research is that software engineering teams will work more effectively if adequately supported by network-based groupware technology. Experience of working with groupware and evaluating groupware systems will also give software engineering students a direct appreciation of the requirements of engineering such systems.

This research is investigating the provision of such network-based support for software engineering students and the impact these tools have on their groupwork. We will first describe our experiences gained through the introduction of an asynchronous virtual environment ­ SEGWorld to support groupwork during the Software Engineering Group (SEG) project undertaken by all second year undergraduates within the Department of Computer Science. Secondly we will describe our Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) module which has been introduced into the students' final year of study as a direct
result of our experience with SEG, and in particular its role within Software Engineering. Within this CSCW module the students have had the opportunity to evaluate various
groupware tools. This has enabled them to take a retrospective view of their experience of SEGWorld and its underlying system, BSCW, one year on. We report our findings for SEG in the form of a discussion of the hypotheses we formulated on how the SEGs would use SEGWorld, and present an initial qualitative assessment of student feedback from the CSCW module.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Software engineering tasks, during both development and maintenance, typically involve teamwork using computers. Team members rarely work on isolated computers. An underlying assumption of our research is that software engineering teams will work more effectively if adequately supported by network-based groupware technology. Experience of working with groupware and evaluating groupware systems will also give software engineering students a direct appreciation of the requirements of engineering such systems. This research is investigating the provision of such network-based support for software engineering students and the impact these tools have on their groupwork. We will first describe our experiences gained through the introduction of an asynchronous virtual environment ­ SEGWorld to support groupwork during the Software Engineering Group (SEG) project undertaken by all second year undergraduates within the Department of Computer Science. Secondly we will describe our Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) module which has been introduced into the students' final year of study as a direct result of our experience with SEG, and in particular its role within Software Engineering. Within this CSCW module the students have had the opportunity to evaluate various groupware tools. This has enabled them to take a retrospective view of their experience of SEGWorld and its underlying system, BSCW, one year on. We report our findings for SEG in the form of a discussion of the hypotheses we formulated on how the SEGs would use SEGWorld, and present an initial qualitative assessment of student feedback from the CSCW module.
Keywords:Software engineering
Subjects:G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G600 Software Engineering
Divisions:College of Science > School of Computer Science
ID Code:13
Deposited By: Bev Jones
Deposited On:29 Oct 2004
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:21

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