Project and Team-Based Strategies for Teaching Software Architecture

Abstract

Software Architecture remains a difficult topic to teach. This is because of the problem’s complexity, and the integration of interpersonal and technical skills with knowledge from different areas. This paper presents the introduction of Project-Based Learning (PBL) and Team-Based Learning (TBL) in a Software Architecture undergraduate course. The goal for students is to apply in practice the concepts learned using ATAM (Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method) to evaluate case studies of real-world architecture. PBL is known for allowing students to experiment with realistic problems and improve their negotiation and communication skills. TBL offers a different approach to group-based activities, by using them to determine the structure of the course. This approach is applied in an optional course in a Systems Engineering degree; its results are positive, having increased students’ attendance and active participation levels. A student survey also shows acceptance of the new methodology.

Publication
In International Journal of Engineering Education. Vol. 34(5), pp1701-1708