An Approach for an Efficient Software Engineering Course Project

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The course project is a major part of the software engineering course. Instructors are required to train their students on the professional skills to be ready for the real world businesses, which require the students to work on real projects. However, because of the low quality of the students' work, not all of the professional organizations are cooperating to offer the chance for the software engineering students to work on real projects. Therefore, most of the software engineering courses' projects are in-class project, in which the instructors represent the clients. In this paper, I propose an approach that contributes to solving this problem. This approach is based on my experience in involving the software engineering students in real world projects. The proposed approach suggests that, the instructor should take advantage of the local community centers' needs by assigning the students to work on projects that provide these local centers with systematic solution to their systems' needs.  This approach has been measured based on a study of the students' perceptions of involving them with the analysis, design, and development of real software systems that are needed by the local community centers. The results of this study have shown that, this approach enables the students to work on real projects and deal with real clients. Also, this approach helps the students to gain professional skills as well as inspiring them with the ethics that are necessary for the software engineers. In addition, this approach showed the students that they can apply the software engineering principles on the real world software systems. Although this approach provides solution to some challenges of the software engineering education, it faces some obstacles, specifically, the project's size and the technical writing skills. The software engineering instructors should select a course project that is small enough to be completed on one academic semester, and provide their students with a standard guide for the technical writing.
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Software Engineering Education; Course Project

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