Empirical Study from Final Exams of Computer Science Courses Demystifying the Notion of 'an Average Software Engineer'
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Empirical Study from Final Exams of Computer Science Courses Demystifying the Notion of 'an Average Software Engineer'

Authors: Alex Elentukh


The paper is based on data collected from final exams administered during five years teaching the graduate course in software engineering. The visualization instrument with four distinct personas has been used to improve effectiveness of each class. The study offers a plethora of clues toward students' behavioral preferences. Diversity among students (professional background, physical proximity) is too significant to assume a single face of a learner. This is particularly true for a body of on-line graduate students in computer science. Conclusions of the study (each learner is unique and each class is unique) are extrapolated to demystify the notion of an 'average software engineer'. An immediate direction for an educator is to assure a course applies to a wide audience of very different individuals. On another hand, a student should be clear about his/her abilities and preferences - to follow the most effective learning path.

Keywords: K.3.2 computer & information science education, learner profiling, adaptive learning, software engineering.

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