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Title Report on Software Project Quality
Version Info Version 1 , submitted by almstrum on 7/8/2005 at 7:19 PM
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Module Identifier almstrum.2005.1
Abstract In order to familiarize themselves with what is involved with creating a software project, as opposed to just a program, this writing assignment requires students to evaluate projects created in earlier semesters. Students must follow a systematic evaluation process, collect data, support conclusions, and synthesize what they have learned in the process. An important side benefit is forcing the students to become familiar with the documentation standards early in the semester by studying them in the context of earlier projects. This assignment is reasonable piece of individual writing within the context of a substantial writing component course.
Size Lecture: 45 minutes (presenting the requirements)
Exercise: 3-10 hours (conducting investigation)
Other: 2-5 hours (writing)
Comments I have refined this assignment over several semesters. It is both an orientation opportunity for the students and a chance for me to obtain feedback on the projects created during earlier semesters (many of which are developed further and/or released to the public).

SEEK Categories

  1. Mathematical and Engineering Fundamentals (FND)
  2. Professional Practice (PRF)
  3. Software Process (PRO)
  4. Software Quality (QUA)


  1. Vicki Almstrum


  1. SWE background affects thrust of assignment: low level of familiarity --> pick up SWE ideas by observation and example; high level of familiarity --> a deeper, more critical evaluation.
  2. Technical background affects type of instruction needed: student must be able to navigate on the web and within directory structure, as well as apply various tools.

Learning Objectives

  1. Knowledge - Understand/learn concepts of software engineering needed to understand the projects produced in earlier semesters.
  2. Knowledge - Be able to navigate a directory structure, either directly via Unix or using anonymous FTP.
  3. Analysis - Navigate a project and its documents, understand how the project relates to the standards and the documents, evaluate both static and dynamic project quality.
  4. Analysis - For each project, consider the quality of the documentation, the design, and the verification. Consider the recommendations the development team gave for future work.
  5. Application - Create HTML version of report, either based on a template or from scratch. Ensure that the underlying HTML is "clean" and well structured.
  6. Synthesis - Compare and contrast the approaches in the two different projects.
  7. Evaluation - Discuss how the lessons learned in evaluating these two projects can be applied during the semester for the student's own team. Provide three pieces of advice for future teams.
  8. Application - Apply a methodical approach to carefully evaluating all aspects of a project, capturing the relevant data and observations.


  1. Documentation standards
  2. Software quality
  3. Accessibility and usability
  4. Verification and validation
  5. Software evolution


  1. The project assignment, which gives the report structure, instructions for production, and grading criteria. (HTML) 0.00/5 [Rate Material]

  2. A template that students may use as the basis for their own HTML file. They are required to submit a nicely laid out document with clean underlying HTML. (HTML) 0.00/5 [Rate Material]

  3. Grading rubric #1 (based on Word printmerge capabiltiy) -- grading of section 1 and section 4, layout issues, and writing issues (PDF) 0.00/5 [Rate Material]

  4. Grading rubric #1 filled in (as an example) (PDF) 0.00/5 [Rate Material]

  5. Grading rubric #2, page 1 (based on Word printmerge capability) -- grading of either section 2 or section 3 plus layout and writing issues directly related to that section (PDF) 0.00/5 [Rate Material]

  6. Grading rubric #2, page 2 (PDF) 0.00/5 [Rate Material]

  7. Grading rubric #2, page 1 -- filled in (as an example) (PDF) 0.00/5 [Rate Material]

  8. Grading rubric #2, page 2 -- filled in (as an example) (PDF) 0.00/5 [Rate Material]


See Also...

No alternate modules.

Other Resources

  1. A list of all the projects created in CS373 from 1997 to the present; many of these are good candidates for students to review as part of this assignment. (Link)
  2. The documentation standards and other documents that guided the creation of the various projects. The standards have evolved over the semesters. (Link)
  3. Reviews from earlier semesters, organized by project and set up to make the student identity anonymous. THIS SHOULD NOT BE REVEALED TO STUDENTS! WHEN I MAKE THE ASSIGNMENT, I OFTEN CONCEAL THIS DIRECTORY ENTIRELY. (This collection of the reviews has been useful int he process of evolving the projects for other uses.) (Link)
  4. The projects at this site are more polished than those in the first resource. These projects have been developed further for inclusion on UT Austin's UTOPIA site. One can still reach the original project page from the menu on the left for each project. (Link)


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