Student software designs at the undergraduate midpoint

Lynda Thomas, Carol Zander, Chris Loftus, Anna Eckerdal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Proceeding (Non-Journal item)

Abstract

We replicate a study and extend previous research that examined graduating students' achievement and understanding when asked to "produce a design". In this paper, we examine software designs produced by students at an earlier stage in their undergraduate studies -- the midpoint. We were looking for characteristics of the development of skill at software design as students progress through the curriculum. These students did about as well as graduating students from the same institution in terms of the quality of their software designs, although they failed to produce as many complete designs. In addition to attributes uncovered in previous research, a new design attribute was noticed -- meaningful links between static components. We raise the question of where GUI designs fit in the area of software design. We were also looking for evidence that mastering software design is a Threshold [8] that could be seen in development in this earlier cohort. There was some evidence for this, and the identified design attributes provide an indication of the sub-skills that need to be mastered. The paper concludes with some implications for the teaching of software design.

 

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationITiCSE '17
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2017 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages34-39
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781450347044
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2017
Event2017 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE 2017 - Bologna, Italy
Duration: 03 Jul 201705 Jul 2017

Publication series

NameAnnual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE
VolumePart F128680
ISSN (Print)1942-647X

Conference

Conference2017 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE 2017
Country/TerritoryItaly
CityBologna
Period03 Jul 201705 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • Replication
  • Software design
  • Software engineering
  • Threshold concepts
  • Threshold Skills
  • UML

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