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Evaluating the learning effectiveness of using simulations in software project management education: results from a twice replicated experiment

Pfahl, Dietmar LU ; Laitenberger, Oliver; Ruhe, Günther; Dorsch, Jörg and Krivobokova, Tatyana (2004) In Information and Software Technology 46(2). p.127-147
Abstract
The increasing demand for software project managers in industry requires strategies for the development of management-related knowledge and skills of the current and future software workforce. Although several educational approaches help to develop the necessary skills in a university setting, few empirical studies are currently available to characterise and compare their effects. This paper presents the results of a twice replicated experiment that evaluates the learning effectiveness of using a process simulation model for educating computer science students in software project management. While the experimental group applied a System Dynamics simulation model, the control group used the well-known COCOMO model as a predictive tool for... (More)
The increasing demand for software project managers in industry requires strategies for the development of management-related knowledge and skills of the current and future software workforce. Although several educational approaches help to develop the necessary skills in a university setting, few empirical studies are currently available to characterise and compare their effects. This paper presents the results of a twice replicated experiment that evaluates the learning effectiveness of using a process simulation model for educating computer science students in software project management. While the experimental group applied a System Dynamics simulation model, the control group used the well-known COCOMO model as a predictive tool for project planning. The results of each empirical study indicate that students using the simulation model gain a better understanding about typical behaviour patterns of software development projects. The combination of the results from the initial experiment and the two replications with meta-analysis techniques corroborates this finding. Additional analysis shows that the observed effect can mainly be attributed to the use of the simulation model in combination with a web-based role-play scenario. This finding is strongly supported by information gathered from the debriefing questionnaires of subjects in the experimental group. They consistently rated the simulation-based role-play scenario as a very useful approach for learning about issues in software project management. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
learning effectiveness, cocomo, software project management education, system dynamics simulation, replicated experiment
in
Information and Software Technology
volume
46
issue
2
pages
127 - 147
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:0346973020
ISSN
0950-5849
DOI
10.1016/S0950-5849(03)00115-0
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
29e0736f-6707-44d7-9ab7-74a50d33a95a (old id 1662695)
date added to LUP
2010-09-07 11:08:05
date last changed
2017-07-09 04:39:18
@article{29e0736f-6707-44d7-9ab7-74a50d33a95a,
  abstract     = {The increasing demand for software project managers in industry requires strategies for the development of management-related knowledge and skills of the current and future software workforce. Although several educational approaches help to develop the necessary skills in a university setting, few empirical studies are currently available to characterise and compare their effects. This paper presents the results of a twice replicated experiment that evaluates the learning effectiveness of using a process simulation model for educating computer science students in software project management. While the experimental group applied a System Dynamics simulation model, the control group used the well-known COCOMO model as a predictive tool for project planning. The results of each empirical study indicate that students using the simulation model gain a better understanding about typical behaviour patterns of software development projects. The combination of the results from the initial experiment and the two replications with meta-analysis techniques corroborates this finding. Additional analysis shows that the observed effect can mainly be attributed to the use of the simulation model in combination with a web-based role-play scenario. This finding is strongly supported by information gathered from the debriefing questionnaires of subjects in the experimental group. They consistently rated the simulation-based role-play scenario as a very useful approach for learning about issues in software project management. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Pfahl, Dietmar and Laitenberger, Oliver and Ruhe, Günther and Dorsch, Jörg and Krivobokova, Tatyana},
  issn         = {0950-5849},
  keyword      = {learning effectiveness,cocomo,software project management education,system dynamics simulation,replicated experiment},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {127--147},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Information and Software Technology},
  title        = {Evaluating the learning effectiveness of using simulations in software project management education: results from a twice replicated experiment},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0950-5849(03)00115-0},
  volume       = {46},
  year         = {2004},
}