Keeping Software Engineering Students in Touch With Not Only What They Are to Learn, But With Why

Nabi, S. W. , Maguire, J. , Draper, S. and Cutts, Q. (2020) Keeping Software Engineering Students in Touch With Not Only What They Are to Learn, But With Why. In: 32nd IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering Education & Training (CSEE&T 2020), Munich, Germany, 9-12 Nov 2020, ISBN 9781728168074 (doi: 10.1109/CSEET49119.2020.9206237)

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We needed to design a module covering both discrete maths and algorithms for a Work Based Learning (WBL) Software Engineering degree programme, where students spend half their time at their employers' workplace. This entails deciding the order of topics, and explaining that to students. Sequence in the course is only one kind of relationship between topics in the module; relevance to work is another. Such explaining is a neglected educational issue. This paper addresses how to convey these relationships to learners. Because of the WBL context, it is inevitable that questions about how pieces of academic learning relate to the work context (which these students are already experiencing) arise immediately and vividly for them. This is important because it affects learner motivation, sometimes greatly, and also whether they are likely to learn in a surface or a deep mode. A given learner's grasp of these relationships is both individual and changes over time. Because of this, the general pedagogical approach discussed here is “little and often”: raising it a number of times, with an emphasis not on one exhaustive and rigid view but on how different students often see it differently, and encouraging each to gradually develop their own view. The concept map diagram in this paper illustrates only one example of how the web of connections might be represented and conveyed during the course.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cutts, Professor Quintin and Draper, Dr Steve and Maguire, Dr Joseph and Nabi, Dr Syed Waqar
Authors: Nabi, S. W., Maguire, J., Draper, S., and Cutts, Q.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 IEEE
First Published:First published in 2020 IEEE 32nd Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training (CSEE&T)
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy
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