Students as co-producers in a multidisciplinary software engineering project: addressing cultural distance and cross-cohort handover

David Foster, Filippo Gilardi, Paul Martin, Wei Song, Dave Towey, Andrew White

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article reports an undergraduate software engineering project in which, over a period of 2 years, four student teams from different cohorts developed a note-taking app for four academic clients at the students’ own university. We investigated how projects involving internal clients can give students the benefits of engaging in real software development while also giving them experience of a student-staff collaboration that has its own benefits for students, academics, and the university more broadly. As the university involved is a Sino-Foreign university located in China, where most students are Chinese and most teaching staff are not, this ‘student as co-producer’ approach interacts with another feature of the project: cultural distance. Based on analysis of notes, reports, interviews, and focus groups, we recommend that students should be provided with communicative strategies for dealing with academics as clients; universities should develop policies on ownership of student-staff collaborations; and projects should include a formalised handover process. This article can serve as guidance for educators considering a ‘students as co-producers’ approach for software development projects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)840-853
Number of pages14
JournalTeachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice
Volume24
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • Students as co-producers
  • [software engineering]
  • inter-cultural communication
  • multi-cultural education
  • multi-disciplinary projects
  • student projects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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