The 16th IASTED International Conference on
Software Engineering and Applications
SEA 2012

November 12 – 14, 2012
Las Vegas, USA


Software Enterprise Pedagogy for Project Courses

Assoc. Prof. Kevin Gary
Arizona State University, USA

Dr. Srividya Bansal
Arizona State University, USA

Prof. Arbi Ghazarian
Arizona State University, USA


3 hours


Software Engineering Education
The Software Enterprise is a blended pedagogical model that combines traditional lecture with newer, forward-thinking techniques in problem-based and project-based learning. The Software Enterprise model leads students through a modular series of lessons that combine foundational concepts with skills-based competencies. In this tutorial, software engineering and software development educators in higher education will learn the methodology, get exposed to assessment techniques such as e-portfolios and concept maps, and become familiarized with the open resources available to educators that adopt the pedagogy. This tutorial should be of interest to any educator interested in making their project-based courses more engaging and more relevant to students needing to be ready to practice the profession from the first day they exit the university environment.

The Software Enterprise has been in use at Arizona State University since 2004, and now forms the "project spine" that runs the full four years of the new B.S. in software engineering degree program and the two-year M.S. in Computing Studies graduate program. The primary goal of the Enterprise is to move students rapidly from foundational concepts to industry best practices, so students completing the degree program are prepared from day one to meaningfully contribute to the profession. The Enterprise pedagogy takes students from introduction of a concept to scalable practice in a real project in the span of a 3-week "sprint." This is in contrast to typical degree programs that introduce a concept with toy problems in one course and then expect students to synthesize the multiple concepts in a capstone project in a different course (perhaps years later).

The Software Enterprise is supported by a National Science Foundation CCLI Phase I award.

Other sponsors include an IBM Jazz Innovations award an Arizona Board of Regents award.


The Software Enterprise's main objective is to accelerate the transition from concept to practice through a highly iterative, blended pedagogy. By completing this tutorial, participants will:
1. understand how to lead a project-centric class according the to Enterprise pedagogy;
2. familiarize themselves with the open curricular and supporting resources to help them in the classroom including downloadable modules and software tool support;
3. learn assessment techniques relevant inside and outside the Software Enterprise, including surveys, e-portfolios, and concept maps;
4. have the opportunity to join a community of fellow educators working to make their teaching relevant to today's industry demands.


1. Introductions and objectives of participants (15 minutes)
2. The evolution of project-based education as it pertains to software engineering (20 minutes)
3. The sequence of a software engineering module in the Software Enterprise (interactive, 45 minutes)
4. Assessment in the Software Enterprise (interactive, 45 minutes)
5. Planning a course (or courses) in the Software Enterprise (20 minutes)
6. Resources available to the Software Enterprise community (20 minutes)
7. Wrap-up (15 minutes)

Target Audience

All delegates of the IASTED Las Vegas 2012 conferences.

Background Knowledge Expected of the Participants

Participants need only basic knowledge of software engineering and software development best practices.

Qualifications of the Instructor(s)s

Dr. Gary designed and created the Software Enterprise in 2004. He has received over $200K in support funding and mentored over 40 student team projects for industry. Prior to joining ASU, Dr. Gary spent several years in industry as an enterprise systems architect. His motivation is to promote the education of software engineering through rigorous pedagogy and close attention to current best practices.

Dr. Bansal is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering at Arizona State University, joining the faculty in 2010. Prior to joining ASU, Dr. Bansal held a Visiting Professorship at Georgetown University and earned her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Texas-Dallas. Dr. Bansal teaches the sophomore year of the Software Enterprise at ASU, and mentors senior Enterprise capstone projects. Dr. Bansal's research interests are in the area of semantic web services.

Dr. Ghazarian obtained his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the University of Toronto. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Software Engineering at Arizona State University. His research interests lie in Software Engineering and Data Science.Dr. Ghazarian is also on the graduate faculty for the Simulation and Modeling program at Arizona State University. Dr Ghazarian has served on the technical program committees for several conferences and is also on the editorial board for the international journal of cognitive performance support.