PPIG 2022 - 33rd Annual Workshop
POGIL-like learning and student’s impressions of software engineering topics: A qualitative study
Bhuvana Gopal, Ryan Bockmon, Stephen Cooper
Abstract: In this study, we analyze students’ impressions and perceptions of professional software engineering topics and practices. We explore student thoughts on the interconnections between various industry relevant software engineering topics such as requirements analysis, UI/UX, work patterns, agile communication, documentation, and business value. We studied student voices in a semester long undergraduate software engineering course, after they underwent instruction using POGIL-like, a guided inquiry based pedagogy. At the end of the course, we collected student responses to open ended questions regarding their perceptions of professional, end user software engineering topics. We combined student responses to these questions with researcher memos as well as reflective researcher journals. We analyzed these written responses using content analysis and identified the themes that the data yielded. The main themes that emerged from our qualitative analysis were: 1) Software is more than just a tool to solve business problems. 2) The need for documentation varies based on the process model adopted. 3) Timely and frequent communication between team members and stakeholders is essential. 4) Downtime during work is best used to further the sprint goals of the team or improve one’s technical acumen. We attempt to understand if POGIL-like helped students develop a professionally sound understanding of basic software engineering topics and how they work to get a software product developed, from requirements to release.