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Student attitudes toward courses with heavy workloads vary depending on how they assess the value and difficulty of the material. In computer science, it is challenging to teach software engineering because the course relies heavily on ldquosoft skillsrdquo and also because students view the material as ldquocommon senserdquo and the assignments as ldquobusy work.rdquo In order to change these attitudes, we changed our junior-level software engineering course to incorporate a weekly laboratory session in order to meet two goals: to reinforce topics that students struggled with during earlier offerings and to make the course more ldquohands onrdquo and applied. This modification in course structure resulted in increased student satisfaction with the course and engagement with the material.
Date of Conference: 17-20 Feb. 2009