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Experiential Learning Approach for Software Engineering Courses at Higher Education Level

by   Javier Gonzalez-Huerta, et al.

Background: Software project management activities help to introduce software process models in Software Engineering courses. However, these activities should be adequately aligned with the learning outcomes and support student's progression. Objective: Present and evaluate an approach to help students acquire theoretical and practical knowledge and experience real-world software projects' challenges. The approach combines a serious game and a design-implement task in which students develop a controlled-scale software system. Method: To evaluate our approach, we analyzed the students' perceptions collected through an online survey, their project plans, and their final reports using thematic analysis. Results: Results suggest that the approach promotes knowledge acquisition, enables students' progression, reinforces theoretical concepts, and is properly aligned with the course's learning outcomes. Conclusion: The approach seems to help to introduce software process models in Software Engineering courses. Our experience can also be inspiring for educators willing to apply our approach in similar courses.


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