FLOSS in Software Engineering Education: Supporting the Instructor in the Quest for Providing Real Experience for Students

  • Fernanda Gomes Silva
  • Moara Sousa Brito
  • Jenifer Vieira Toledo Tavares
  • Christina von Flach G. Chavez


Software engineering courses play an important role in computer science programs and are expected to provide the required basic knowledge and skills for professional practice in software industry. However, teaching software engineering principles, concepts and practices, and relating them to real-world scenarios are challenging tasks. The adoption of open source software projects may address such challenges. In this paper we report on an experience of the teaching object-oriented modeling with Unified Modeling Language (UML) Class Diagrams using open source projects. We conducted a case study with students of the software engineering discipline of the Computer Science course. We supported the instructor in some activities related to syllabus planning, including the selection of a Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects and the creation of examples to be used in the classroom. The instructor selected and used a small FLOSS project to support the modeling activities. Then, the instructor applied an evaluation activity and a perception questionnaire about the methodology used. After the end of the classes, we conducted an interview with the instructor to present a brief report of his experience in the classroom. In the perception of students, the experience with FLOSS projects enhanced their ability to handle real projects and third-party code, and to deal with the job market. They also reported developing skills such as proactivity and communication. From the instructor's perspective, the group was enthusiastic and dynamic, and interacted more during practical activities.



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SILVA, Fernanda Gomes; BRITO, Moara Sousa; TAVARES, Jenifer Vieira Toledo; CHAVEZ, Christina von Flach G.. FLOSS in Software Engineering Education: Supporting the Instructor in the Quest for Providing Real Experience for Students. In: EDUCATION - SIMPÓSIO BRASILEIRO DE ENGENHARIA DE SOFTWARE (SBES), 33. , 2019, Salvador. Anais [...]. Porto Alegre: Sociedade Brasileira de Computação, 2020 .