Using the Social Web for Collaboration in Software Engineering Education

Using the Social Web for Collaboration in Software Engineering Education

Pankaj Kamthan (Concordia University, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-368-5.ch048


Recent innovations in the computer and software industry have placed new demands on academic programs in software engineering. Over the past decade, the technological environment in which software engineering education (SEE) resides has been rapidly changing. To be able to design, develop, and evaluate software applications and systems, future software engineers have to learn to adopt new technologies and acquire new skills. This chapter examines the educational impact of Social Web applications in classroom activities pertaining to SEE. The feasibility issues of the selection and adoption of collaborative technologies and applications are emphasized, and the pedagogical patterns are discussed. The potential prospects of such an integration and related concerns are illustrated through examples.
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For the sake of this chapter, collaboration is defined as collective work to achieve common goals. In this section, motivation for collaboration in software engineering is provided and related work in the area is briefly highlighted.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Objectivism: A theory of learning that views knowledge as some entity existing independent of the mind of individuals. The goal of instruction is to communicate or transfer knowledge to learners in the most effective manner possible.

Open Source Software: A single encompassing term for software that satisfies the following conditions: (1) non-time delimited, complete software whose source is publicly available for (re)distribution without cost to the user, (2) imposes minimal, non-restrictive licensing conditions, and (3) is itself either based on non-proprietary technologies or on proprietary technologies that conform to (1) and (2).

Software Process: A set of activities, methods, and transformations that are used to develop and maintain software and its associated products.

Mind Map: A diagram that represents goals, tasks, or other concepts linked to and arranged radially around a central theme or an idea. It is used to generate, visualize, and organize ideas, and as an aid to understanding, problem solving, and decision making.

Web 2.0: A set of economic, social, and technological trends that collectively form the basis for the future Web as a medium characterized by user participation, openness, and network effects.

Software Engineering: A discipline that advocates a systematic approach of developing high-quality software on a large-scale while taking into account the factors of sustainability and longevity, as well as, organizational constraints of resources.

Constructivism: A theory of learning that views learning as a process in which the learner actively constructs or builds new ideas or concepts based upon current and past knowledge. It is based on the premise that learning involves constructing one’s own knowledge from one’s own experiences.

Information Technology: Technology for activities related to information, such as acquisition, creation, communication, dissemination, processing, archival, retrieval, transformation, and so on, within the context of the Internet and the Web.

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