OSS in Software Engineering Education
Mapping Characteristics of Brazilian Instructors
Keywords:Software Engineering Education, Open Source Software, Classroom Practices, Instructor Characteristics, Survey Study, Data Mining Techniques
Software Engineering is a crucial topic in undergraduate computing-related courses and provides the basic knowledge and skills necessary for professional practice in the software industry. Teaching Software Engineering principles, concepts, and practices and relating them to real-world scenarios are challenging tasks, and the adoption of Open Source Software (OSS) projects can help to face these challenges. On the other hand, adopting OSS projects as a didactic resource may introduce additional challenges to instructors who are not familiar with the OSS ecosystem. Objective: In this paper, we identified and mapped the profiles of instructors of Software Engineering courses concerning their classroom practices and use of OSS projects in Software Engineering Education. Method: We surveyed 90 higher education instructors in Brazil to collect data regarding their familiarity with the Software Engineering knowledge areas, pedagogical methods and resources used, and familiarity with and use of OSS projects in the classroom. Then, we resorted to data mining techniques, for instance, K-modes and Decision Tree algorithms, to identify instructors’ characteristics according to their classroom practices and use of OSS projects in the course activities. Results: Our findings include the characterization of instructors who use and instructors that do not use OSS projects in Software Engineering Education and the grouping of instructors after the application of the K-modes algorithm, and after the application of the Decision Tree algorithm, with similar characteristics of the pedagogical practices. The main result of this work is that the familiarity with OSS projects and the use of active learning methods were characteristics present in the application of the K-modes and Decision Tree algorithms, that distinguished instructors who used OSS projects from those that did not use them in Software Engineering Education. Finally, we confirmed that familiarity with OSS projects could have a positive influence on the instructors’ interest and potential for adopting this approach in Software Engineering Education.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Fernanda Gomes Silva, Paulo Ezequiel D. Santos, Christina von Flach
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