Applying Software-Engineering Thinking to Teaching in EMI Sino-Foreign Higher Education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingBook Chapterpeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020–2023 caught many teachers unprepared for remote and hybrid learning; as educators, we had to quickly adapt our teaching methods to the new context. The lessons learned remain relevant as the pandemic fades into history. We have also recognized that our software-engineering (SE) experience and skills (including working with globally-distributed teams) are useful for educators facing this new environment. In this chapter, we explore the ways in which our SE background helped us to address and overcome teaching and learning (T&L) challenges posed by remote and hybrid learning. In particular, we explore the application of “SE thinking” to the provision of specific feedback to computer science (CS) students. We present how SE thinking can be used to provide detailed and targeted feedback for non-trivial programming assignments. We also present the application of the “Agile method”, commonly used in SE, as an approach for soliciting and responding to student feedback. We discuss how this approach may better support distributed working, an important consideration for the future of higher education. Finally, we conclude by detailing how this approach may be adopted or beneficial to other disciplines beyond CS.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMultilingual Education Yearbook 2023: Teaching with Technology in English-Medium Instruction Universities in Multilingual China
EditorsJohn Corbett, Edith M.Y. Yan, Jackie Yeoh, Juyoung Lee
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9783031328114
ISBN (Print)9783031328138, 9783031328107
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2023


  • English as a medium of instruction (EMI)
  • Chinese higher education
  • Software engineering (SE)
  • Computer science (CS)
  • Education and technology
  • Feedback


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