A Guideline of Using Case Method in Software Engineering Courses

  •  Dzulaiha Zainal    
  •  Rozilawati Razali    
  •  Zarina Shukur    


Software Engineering (SE) education has been reported to fall short in producing high quality software engineers. In seeking alternative solutions, Case Method (CM) is regarded as having potential to solve the issue. CM is a teaching and learning (T&L) method that has been found to be effective in Social Science education. In principle, instructors should be guided appropriately in order to adopt CM in T&L. SE education however lacks of such guidelines. This paper addresses this concern by identifying the factors and their corresponding elements and conditions that contribute to the effective use of CM in T&L SE courses. The factors, elements and conditions were then collated as a framework in the form of a guideline. The factors, elements and conditions were gathered through a series of studies, namely a theoretical study, two surveys and two expert reviews. The theoretical study involved reviewing previous research, while the surveys were performed with five groups of students who experienced CM in learning SE courses. The students were from various education and work backgrounds. Two types of survey instruments were employed, which are questionnaire and group interviews. To form the guideline, the gathered data were analysed qualitatively using contents analysis. The guideline was then validated by two experts through expert reviews. There are four main factors that constitute the guideline of using CM in T&L SE courses: Case, Instructor, Student and Infrastructure. Each factor has its corresponding elements and conditions. The guideline is useful for SE instructors to adopt CM in T&L SE courses at their institutions.

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