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Learning from achievement: scaffolding student projects in software engineering
by Bendik Bygstad, Birgit R. Krogstie, Tor-Morten Gronli
International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations (IJNVO), Vol. 6, No. 2, 2009


Abstract: It has become almost a truism that students learn more from working on projects than from lectures. This is reflected in pedagogical approaches such as Problem-based Learning, Project-based Learning (PBL) and Work-based Learning. A problem in PBL, underrated in the literature, is that while trivial tasks hold limited potential for learning, students may not succeed in solving nontrivial ones. We suggest that the solution lies in appropriate scaffolding: providing support for the learner to gradually master what is needed to complete a task. The empirical background for the study is a two-semester Software Engineering (SE) course at the Norwegian School of IT, with data collected over five years. We conclude that PBL in this setting may be successfully scaffolded by a formal, iterative and incremental SE method. As our main contribution we point to six types of scaffolding addressing essential aspects of SE project work.

Online publication date: Thu, 05-Feb-2009


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