An empirical study in software engineering: the effects of project-based and project-supported methods on product and academic achievements
Uysal, Murat Pasa
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The studies show that many software projects exceed the estimated budget and schedule every year, or they are canceled on account of failure, and thus, this causes the waste of resources expressed in billion dollars. Software engineering education is one of the research areas aiming to produce solutions to this important problem. However, it is seen that there is still a need for large amount of skilled and educated software engineers required for the industry, and this workforce gap is also in an increasing fashion. One of the main reasons is thought to be the traditional or teacher-centered methods that are widely adopted in universities. On the other hand, software product development as well as learning and teaching processes, include a series of activities, which require their applications with a range at different levels. Therefore, the instructional methods should be adopted, which primarily concern the knowledge and skills that need to be acquired by engineering students together with the requirements and attributes of software systems to be developed in courses. Project-Assisted Instruction (PAI) and Project-Based Learning (PBL) can be given as examples for this type of methods. Therefore, in this research, the PBL and PAI methods are used in teaching the Database Management Systems Course, and their effects on academic achievements, product and project performances are explored. It is possible to say that the study has two contributions to the engineering research domain. First, (a) it is a study that compares PAI and PBL in an experimental setting. Second, (b) it presents the guidelines and prescriptions for the application of these methods for the domains of computer and software engineering education based on empirical findings.