Software Engineering Frameworks: Textbooks vs. Student PerceptionsReport as inadecuate

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Information Systems Education Journal, v10 n5 p4-14 Oct 2012

This research examines the frameworks used by Computer Science and Information Systems students at the conclusion of their first semester of study of Software Engineering. A questionnaire listing 64 Software Engineering concepts was given to students upon completion of their first Software Engineering course. This survey was given to samples of students at three universities. To identify which topics were most important, students were asked to rate each concept on a ten-point scale. From their responses, we calculated the average perceived importance for each concept. This paper analyzes the results of this survey for the three student samples. We then compare the student ratings with word frequencies exhibited by authors of Software Engineering textbooks. In this way, we show how student frameworks relate to frameworks presented by Software Engineering authors.

Descriptors: Computer Software, Computer Science Education, Engineering, Models, Student Attitudes, College Students, Questionnaires, Rating Scales, Word Frequency, Textbook Content, Textbooks, Correlation, Data Analysis

Information Systems and Computing Academic Professionals. Box 488, Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480. e-mail: publisher[at]; Web site:

Author: McMaster, Kirby; Hadfield, Steven; Wolthuis, Stuart; Sambasivam, Samuel


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