Advertisement

Does FLOSS in Software Engineering Education Narrow the Theory-Practice Gap? A Study Grounded on Students’ Perception

  • Debora Maria Coelho Nascimento
  • Christina von Flach Garcia ChavezEmail author
  • Roberto Almeida Bittencourt
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 556)

Abstract

Software engineering education is challenged by the need to convey practical experience in the context of a rich and large body of theoretical knowledge. This study investigates whether the use of open source projects can reduce the gap between theory and practice in undergraduate software engineering courses. Two qualitative case studies were conducted with students performing activities in an open source project, each one in a different course: software testing and software requirements. Results point out that the use of open source projects provides a concrete experience similar to industry experience, allows high cognitive engagement when performing tasks, favors understanding and content retention, and leads to the recognition of the usefulness of software engineering principles, techniques and methods.

Keywords

Education Theory-practice gap Qualitative studies 

References

  1. 1.
    Boud, D., Cohen, R., Walker, D.: Understanding learning from experience. In: Boud, D., Cohen, R., Walker, D. (eds.) Using Experience for Learning, pp. 1–18. Open University Press (1993)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Brito, M.S., Silva, F.G., Nascimento, D.M.C., Chavez, C.F.G., Bittencourt, R.A.: FLOSS in software engineering education: an update of a systematic mapping study. In: Proceedings of the 32nd Brazilian Symposium on Software Engineering, SBES, Sao Carlos, Brasil, pp. 250–259 (2018)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Budd, T.A.: A course in open source development. In: Integrating FOSS into the Undergraduate Computing Curriculum, Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Symposium, Chattanooga (2009). http://www.cs.trincoll.edu/~ram/hfoss/Budd-FOSS-Course.pdf
  4. 4.
    Chen, Y., Roytman, A., Fong, P., Hong, J., Garcia, D., Poll, D.: 200 students can’t be wrong! GamesCrafters, a computational game theory undergraduate research and development group. In: AAAI Spring Symposium, Technical report (2008)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Davis, H.A., Summers, J.J., Miller, L.M.: An Interpersonal Approach to Classroom Management: Strategies for Improving Student Engagement. Corwin, Thousand Oaks (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dewey, J.: Experience and Education. Macmillan, London (1938). http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/ndemers/colloquium/experienceducationdewey.pdf
  7. 7.
    Ellis, H.J., Morelli, R.A., de Lanerolle, T.R., Hislop, G.W.: Holistic software engineering education based on a humanitarian open source project. In: 20th Conference on Software Engineering Education & Training, CSEET 2007, pp. 327–335. IEEE, Dublin, July 2007.  https://doi.org/10.1109/CSEET.2007.26
  8. 8.
    Gentry, J.W.: What is experiential learning?, Chap. 2. In: Guide to Business Gaming and Experiential Learning, p. 370. Nichols Pub Co (1990)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hannafin, M.J.: Instructional strategies and emerging instructional technologies: psychological perspectives. Can. J. Educ. Commun. 18, 167–179 (1989)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hepting, D.H., Peng, L., Maciag, T.J., Gerhard, D., Maguire, B.: Creating synergy between usability courses and open source software projects. ACM SIGCSE Bull. 40(2), 120–123 (2008).  https://doi.org/10.1145/1383602.1383649CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hislop, G.W., Ellis, H.J., Morelli, R.A.: Evaluating student experiences in developing software for humanity. ACM SIGCSE Bull. 41(3), 263–267 (2009).  https://doi.org/10.1145/1595496.1562959CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Jarvis, P.: The Paradoxes of Learning. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco (1992)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lefrançois, G.R.: Teorias da Aprendizagem, 5th edn. Cengage Learning, São Paulo (2012)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Merriam, S.B.: Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco (2009)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Moon, J.: A Handbook of Reflective and Experiential Learning: Theory and Practice. RoutledgeFalmer, London (2004)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Morelli, R., et al.: Revitalizing computing education through free and open source software for humanity. Commun. ACM 52(8), 67–75 (2009).  https://doi.org/10.1145/1536616.1536635CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Nandigam, J., Gudivada, V.N., Hamou-Lhadj, A.: Learning software engineering principles using open source software. In: Proceedings of the 38th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), pp. 18–23. IEEE, October 2008.  https://doi.org/10.1109/FIE.2008.4720643
  18. 18.
    Nascimento, D.M.C., Chavez, C.F., Bittencourt, R.A.: The adoption of open source projects in engineering education: a real software development experience. In: Proceedings of the 48th Annual Frontiers In Education Conference (FIE), San Jose, pp. 1091–1100 (2018)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Nascimento, D.M.C., Bittencourt, R.A., Chavez, C.F.: Open source projects in software engineering education: a mapping study. Comput. Sci. Educ. 25, 67–114 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Northern Illinois University, Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center: Experiential Learning (2012). http://www.niu.edu/facdev/resources/guide
  21. 21.
    Nascimento, D.M.C., Chavez, C.F., Bittencourt, R.A.: Does FLOSS in SEE narrow the Theory-Practice Gap? Supplementary Material (2019). http://sites.google.com/site/oss2019osp/
  22. 22.
    Pinto, G., Ferreira, C., Souza, C., Steinmacher, I., Meirelles, P.: Training software engineers using open-source software: the students’ perspective. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Software Engineering, Software Engineering Education and Training (SEET), Montreal, Canada (2019)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    IEEE/ACM Joint Task Force on Computing Curricula: Software Engineering 2014: Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Degree Programs in Software Engineering (2015)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Uden, L., Beaumont, C.: Technology and Problem-Based Learning. Information Science Publishing, London (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Federal University of SergipeSão CristovãoBrazil
  2. 2.Federal University of BahiaSalvadorBrazil
  3. 3.State University of Feira de SantanaFeira de SantanaBrazil

Personalised recommendations