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The learner experience of student-led international group project work in software engineering.

McDermott, Roger; Bass, Julian; Lalchandani, Jay Prakash


Roger McDermott

Julian Bass

Jay Prakash Lalchandani


Software development has become increasingly globalized because of technological innovation, the evolution of work and business processes, as well as prevailing educational systems and national policies [1]. This paper addresses the challenges faced when creating realistic opportunities for students to participate in team working on a globally distributed software engineering project. We examine the experience of one set of students who undertook a single semester software development project, the technical objective of which was to create a product using online collaboration tools [2]. The students involved were studying at two widely-separated universities: Robert Gordon University (RGU), UK, and the International Institute for Information Technology, Bangalore (IIIT-B), India. A classroom-based action research approach has been used to evolve and reflect on the project [3]. Detailed student feedback was canvassed using an open-ended questionnaire. The students report favourably on acquisition of employability, collaboration and professional skills. A number of challenges remain in areas of project management, the use of collaborative technology and of scaling the project to larger classes, while retaining a manageable supervision overhead.

Start Date Oct 22, 2014
Publication Date Feb 19, 2015
Print ISSN 0190-5848
Publisher Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Article Number 7044181
Series ISSN 0190-5848
Institution Citation MCDERMOTT, R., BASS, J. and LALCHANDANI, J.P. 2014. The learner experience of student-led international group project work in software engineering. In Proceedings of the 2014 Frontiers in education conference (FIE 2014): opening innovations and internationalization in engineering education, 22-25 October 2014, Madrid, Spain. Piscataway: IEEE [online], article number 7044181. Available from:
Keywords International group project; Global software engineering; Collaborative technology; Employability; Student experience


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