A Large-Scale Study on the Role of Skills and Personality in Software Engineering Education
Extensive research confirms the benefits of group work in various educational and business domains. There has, however, been little consideration to rigorous formation of groups, especially project teams, in software engineering disciplines to improve the outcomes of these groups. Previous studies show that the outcome of groups will be affected by a number of different factors, such as the context in which these groups interact, the characteristics and the behavior of each individual and the group composition. Now, this research evaluates the extent to which it is possible to enhance the group outcomes by systematically reconstructing the groups of students and hence improve the performances and therefore raise the overall outcome level of a software engineering lecture at two Universities, the Alpen-Adria University of Klagenfurt and the Technical University of Košice. An empirical experiment has been carried out involving 69 groups and 140 individuals. The results of this experiment were then compared with historical data of 961 groups (approx. 2,400 students) on group outcomes over a period of 12 years. The findings show statistically significant improvements of the outcomes for those groups that were systematically constructed. These results could enable business leaders and educators to systematically form their groups for improving the outcomes of these groups.
Software Engineering, Systematic Group Formation, Improving Group Outcomes
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