F1-AS1-3 - Did our Course Design on Software Architecture meet our Student’s Learning Expectations?

1. Innovative Practice Full Paper
Eng Lieh Ouh1 , Benjamin Kok Siew Gan1, Yunghans Irawan2
1 Singapore Management University
2 Indeed Singapore

This Innovative Practice Full Paper discusses our course design on software architecture to meet the learning expectations of two groups of software engineers. Software engineers with working experiences frequently find themselves the need to upskill in their lifelong learning journey. Their learning expectations are shaped not just by their need to know but also other learning characteristics such as their working experiences. In many cases, we design courses based on the required learning outcomes and assessment criteria. In this paper, we wish to find out whether our course design on software architecture has met the learning expectations of our students over eight years. Our study data involves two groups of software engineers to upskill in two courses (1) software engineering practitioners taking a public software architecture design course (2) postgraduate students taking a Master’s level software engineering programme.  We explain how we evolve the course design based on their students’ feedback after each run of the courses. Although the feedback of each run show encouraging results, we discover gaps in our design when we cumulatively analyze the trends of their learning expectations with their qualitative comments over the years. Our design is able to consistently meet some but not all the learning expectations that recur over the years and we discuss the reasons for this outcome and potential further interventions. We hope this discussion and trend analysis process can help course designers to improve their course design.