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Applying Peer Reviews in Software Engineering Education: An Experiment and Lessons Learned

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1 Author(s)
Garousi, V. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada

Based on the demonstrated value of peer reviews in the engineering industry, numerous industry experts have listed it at the top of the list of desirable development practices. Experience has shown that problems (defects) are eliminated earlier if a development process incorporates peer reviews and that these reviews are as effective as or even more effective than testing. It is therefore important for engineering students to peer review each other's work during design projects. However, surprisingly, few engineering courses in universities and colleges include peer-review activities in their design projects. The author thus decided to incorporate peer reviews in the design project of a senior software engineering course in two offerings of the course. The purpose of this article is to present the experimental findings, lessons learned, possible challenges, and recommendations that may be used to promote learning and also the use of peer-review activities in teaching other software, electrical, and computer engineering courses. The results of the experiment show promising signs of using peer review in the design project of the course.

Published in:

Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:53 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

May 2010

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