Evaluation of a game to teach requirements collection and analysis in software engineering at tertiary education level

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A highly important part of software engineering education is requirements collection and analysis which is one of the initial stages of the Database Application Lifecycle and arguably the most important stage of the Software Development Lifecycle. No other conceptual work is as difficult to rectify at a later stage or as damaging to the overall system if performed incorrectly. As software engineering is a field with a reputation for producing graduates who are inappropriately prepared for applying their skills in real life software engineering scenarios, it suggests that traditional educational techniques such as role-play, live-through case studies and paper-based case studies are insufficient preparation and that other approaches are required. To attempt to combat this problem we have developed a games-based learning application to teach requirements collection and analysis at tertiary education level as games-based learning is seen as a highly motivating, engaging form of media and is a rapidly expanding field. This paper will describe the evaluation of the requirements collection and analysis game particularly from a pedagogical perspective. The game will be compared to traditional methods of software engineering education using a pre-test/post-test, control group/experimental group design to assess if the game can act as a suitable supplement to traditional techniques and assess if it can potentially overcome shortcomings. The game will be evaluated in five separate experiments at tertiary education level. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-35
JournalComputers & Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • Games-based learning
  • Software engineering
  • Requirements collection and analysis
  • Evaluation
  • Pedagogy


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