Experience Management Wikis for Reflective Practice in Software Capstone Projects

Eric Ras, Ralf Carbon, BjÖrn Decker, JÖrg Rech
2007 IEEE Transactions on Education  
Software engineering curriculum guidelines state that students should practice methods, techniques, and tools. A capstone project is one possibility to address this aim. A capstone project helps the students to increase their problem solving competencies, improve their social skills (e.g., communication skills), and gather practical experience. A crux of such projects is that students perform "reflective" practice in order to learn from their experiences. The authors believe that experience
more » ... ering and reuse are effective techniques to stimulate reflective activities. An adapted free-and open-source Wiki-based system called software organization platform (SOP) is used to support students in managing their observations and experiences. The system can be used for experience exchange within the team and for experience reuse in forthcoming projects. The results of a case study show that standard Wiki functions improve communication and information sharing by means of explicit observation and experience documentation. A total of 183 documented observations and experiences at the end of the project provide a measure for the amount of reflection students have had during the capstone project. Still, the advantages of using Wikis will decrease when no technical adaptations of the Wiki to the learning objectives and to the software engineering tasks are made. Limitations of the case study, future evaluation steps, and planned developments of SOP will be provided in this paper. Index Terms-Capstone project, experience management, knowledge-based systems, open-source software, reflection, software engineering.
doi:10.1109/te.2007.904580 fatcat:imisrm5pe5c6dadsjfklblfigu