Fast Track: School Based Student Software Design
Philip Duggan (The Mosslands School, UK), Claude Ghaoui (Liverpool John Moores University, UK) and Mike Simco (Liverpool John Moores University, UK)
Copyright: © 2004
Most studies involving students in designing and developing software involve research teams and other professionals outside of the normal school environment. This pilot study demonstrated that involving students in the design and development of software could take place entirely within the school environment. This methodology was called “fast tracking.” Students could, and did, play demanding and effective roles in the process of software development. Students were responsible for selecting their own roles in the design process and were assertive in selecting the teaching staff they wanted to work with. The students also proved to be adept at selecting a suitable toolkit for implementing the software. The participating students represented a cross section of the entire ability range. A quantitative analysis of “flow” as an indication of the success of the implementation indicated that middle ability students derived the most educational benefit from using software developed under the fast track approach. Relationships between students and teaching staff exhibited changes in the power structure, which were often difficult to redress outside of the pilot study.