Although significant effort is usually exerted in teaching at higher education institutions, the outcomes at the end may not be in-line with the effort exerted at the first place. In more precise terms, the quality of the learning outcomes does not compare favourably to the effort spent in teaching. Is it the students, lecturers, and/or environment? In this research I investigate my experience of teaching software engineering subject in large groups and assess the outcomes of this experience with the objective of implementing a reflective approach to improve learning and teaching of software engineering in large groups. First, I introduce the research method used supported by a suggested reflective spiral process. Then, I present observations on the outcomes obtained from examination, group-project coursework followed by discussions on the informal evaluation of feedback from students and tutors, management of group-projects, and an agenda for a reflective lecturer/tutor. Finally, a conclusion is presented to summarize the main outcomes of this research.
2. The Research Method
Before describing the method I used in conducting this research, I first present the software engineering module being investigated and its aims. The Software Engineering module (UQC107S2) is taught at the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol, UK. This is a second year module, for which I am the module leader that contributes to more than award but mainly to B.Sc. in Software Engineering, Computer Science, and Computing for Real-Time Systems. The intake in this module is around 191 students of mixed gender (168 male and 21 female), full and part-time students. There are 24 one-hour lectures spread over 24 weeks in one academic year. And, the practical sessions have the same schedule. I conduct the lectures, and there are three tutors including myself. In this module, a number of key-issues are stressed including team-work, the engineering discipline to...