Challenges and benefits to software engineering group project contexts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Downloads (Pure)


A significant final year project is a component of many degree programmes, particularly in computing related degree courses. The project provides a final opportunity in a Software Engineering degree programme for students to demonstrate rigorous software engineering skills in the design, development and testing of a solution to a specific problem. Furthermore, there is a significant challenge for the project teaching staff to provide a project context in which students can develop the additional skills of team-working and working with an external customer. These skills are highlighted by employers in the Software Engineering industry as essential and are identified as core skills in Software Engineering curricula guidelines and reviews. Team-working skills can be developed effectively by providing group projects and guiding the team's organisation around communication, task co-ordination and broader project management processes. However, providing projects which will develop the skills of students around working with a customer is more challenging. Traditionally academic staff propose projects in their specific area of research interest and provide regular supervision by “acting” as the customer or client along with academic guidance. Alternative approaches have been used to provide a more realistic experience of working with a customer by sourcing and providing projects from industry partners, cross-university collaborations, and community-based organisations. In this paper, I discuss the relative benefits to the different projects’ contexts from the perspective of the students carrying out the projects, their project mentors or supervisors and the module assessors. I reflect on and present the challenges of providing, supporting, and assessing projects from a variety of contexts and lessons learned after three iterations of a final year software engineering project module.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 15th Annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation, ICERI 2022
EditorsLuis Goméz Chova, Augustin López Martínez, Joanna Lees
ISBN (Electronic)9788409454761
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2022
Event15th Annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation Online Conference - IATED, Seville, Spain
Duration: 07 Nov 202209 Nov 2022

Publication series

NameAnnual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI): Proceedings
ISSN (Electronic)2340-1095


Conference15th Annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation Online Conference
Abbreviated titleICERI 2022
Internet address


  • Software engineering education
  • collaborative learning
  • Project based learning
  • capstone course
  • Community engagement
  • industry partnership


Dive into the research topics of 'Challenges and benefits to software engineering group project contexts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this