About SWEnet - The Network Community for Software Engineering Education

SWENET - The Network Community for Software Engineering Education - is a project to produce and organize high-quality materials supporting software engineering education. As a first step in this process, a framework will be developed which serves as a high-level taxonomy for the areas of knowledge comprising software engineering. The framework will not be developed ab initio, but rather will build on the work of the ABET program criteria for software engineering education and the classification proposed by the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK) project sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society and the Association for Computer Machinery. Four areas of particular importance to undergraduate software engineering - design, quality, requirements, and process - have been singled out as the most appropriate starting points for developing curricular materials.

Each of these areas will be further subdivided into modules, each encompassing one to six lecture hours of material. These are not to be construed as providing a canonical way of presenting software engineering concepts. Indeed, this project will not define a particular curriculum model. A more modest (but achievable) goal is to provide tested materials that can be adopted, modified, and enhanced by engineering educators across the nation. The modules serve simply to organize these materials - data sets, program samples, lab activities, etc. - in a coherent fashion. The repository thus created will be a dynamic, evolving clearinghouse to which all members of the software engineering community can add new and improved materials.

The repository will, first and foremost, aid those faculty members interested in learning about software engineering and incorporating these principles in their courses. In some cases this will lead to full baccalaureate programs in software engineering; at the other end of the spectrum, basic concepts may form threads that are woven through the computing courses of a different engineering discipline. The non-prescriptive nature of the repository will both encourage and support experimentation with the best way to teach software engineering in each institution's specific context.

A second effect will be the collection in one location of materials that have been tried and tested in classrooms and laboratories. The relative immaturity of software engineering means that such materials, which are common in more established disciplines, are difficult to acquire. The synergy created by encouraging both the use and contribution of material will help alleviate this problem.

It is also expected that these materials will find use other than in standard academic programs. Industrial training courses can be built from these resources, thus addressing the common situation where junior engineers are involved in software-intensive projects for which their education is insufficient. High school teachers can use the repository to build software engineering into traditional science and technology courses. Finally, the results of using the repository will shed light on the adequacy of the initial framework, leading to improved versions of documents such as those from SWEBOK.

The project will require three years, with each year primarily devoted to one particular aspect. In the first year, the focus will be on the design of the framework architecture, the creation of a web site (or sites) modeled on this framework, and the definition and development of modules and materials in the four areas of emphasis. The second year will see the incorporation of these materials in new or existing courses at the project institutions, and the subsequent assessment of student performance and evaluation of the materials themselves. Based on this information, the materials will be refined, and in the third year they will be introduced in a select few volunteer institutions outside the original group. In addition, the third year will be devoted to dissemination and publicity. The project plan calls for a series of publications, tutorials, and workshops to inform engineering educators about SWENET, and to entice them to acquire, adopt, and adapt the materials. This in turn will fuel the effort to expand and improve SWENET indefinitely.

Project Principals

Michael J. Lutz (PI)

134 Lomb Memorial Dr.
Rochester, NY 14623
Phone: 585-475-2472
Email: mikelutz@mail.rit.edu

W. Michael McCracken (PI)

College of Computing
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0280
Phone: 404-894-6172
Email: mike@cc.gatech.edu

Susan Mengel (PI)

Texas Tech University
P.O. Box 43104
Lubbock, TX 79403-3104
Phone: 806-742-3527 or 800-528-5583
Email: Mengel@ttu.edu

Mark Sebern

1025 North Broadway
Milwaukee, WI 53202-3109
Phone: 414-277-7213
Email: sebern@msoe.edu

Gregory W. Hislop

Drexel University
3141 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2875
Phone: 215-895-2179
Email: hislop@drexel.edu

Thomas B. Hilburn

Embry-Riddle University
600 S. Clyde Morris Blvd
Office: LB 145
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Phone: 386-226-6889
Email: hilburn@erau.edu