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Teaching cooperation and requirements elicitation via a computer-supported cooperative problem solving environment

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3 Author(s)
Swigger, K.M. ; North Texas Univ., Denton, TX, USA ; Brazile, R. ; Dongil Shin

As the geographical distance among programmers and users continues to grow we are being forced to re-examine the way we teach students to think. This paper suggests that in today's workplace, programmers must be adept at both technical as well as cooperative skills. It also suggests that we must be prepared to teach programmers how to work in collaborative environments that promote users' needs. Towards this end, we built a computer-supported cooperative problem solving environment designed to teach programmers located in different areas how to work together in performing a requirements elicitation task. We believe that requirements elicitation and cooperative skills are highly interrelated and, as such, can be exercised more effectively in a computer-supported cooperative environment. Our special interface encourages cooperative work, and yet monitors both individual and group performance. In order to succeed in this environment, the programmers must learn how to cooperate with each other through a special computer interface. Results from our studies indicate that groups using the interface demonstrate more effective skills than groups who perform the same task face-to-face. Furthermore, the studies show that the competencies relating to group problem description and generation of alternative solutions are the most predictive of successful cooperation

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference, 1995. Proceedings., 1995  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

1-4 Nov 1995