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Journal Papers

The following is a list of all publications generated by the Foundation Coalition, listed by author. These documents require the use of the Adobe Acrobat software in order to view their contents.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z



  • Upchurch, R.L., Sims-Knight, J.E., 1997, “Designing Process-Based Software Curriculum,” Proceedings of the Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training.
  • Upchurch, R.L., Sims-Knight, J.E., 1997, “Integrating Software Process in Computer Science Curriculum,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.


  • Upchurch, R.L., Sims-Knight, J.E., 1998, “In Support of Student Process Improvement,” Proceedings of the Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training.
  • Upchurch, R.L., Sims-Knight, J.E., 1998, “The Acquisition of Expertise in Software Engineering Education,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.


  • Upchurch, R.L., Sims-Knight, J.E., 1999, “Reflective Essays in Software Engineering,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.


  • Fowler, E., Sims-Knight, J.E., Pendergrass, N.A., Upchurch, R.L., 2000, “Course-based Assessment: Engaging Faculty in Reflective Practice,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: The College of Engineering (COE) at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has begun to implement course-based assessment as part of our curricular continuous improvement program. The targeted faculty are those who are developing innovative courses supported by the Foundation Coalition (FC), a collaborative project funded by National Science Foundation. We began in Spring, 1999, and have since tried five different strategies—taking faculty to a two-day assessment workshop, a general lecture on embedding an assessment-based continuous improvement loop into courses, a written set of guidelines, individual meetings with faculty, and an interactive half-day workshop. We discovered that faculty accept and implement assessment-based continuous improvement in their classes once they understand that (a) it is in their control, (b) it can be done in ways that are cost-effective in terms of time, and (c) that it can reduce frustration in teaching because it makes visible aspects of courses that can be improved.


  • Anderson-Rowland, M.R., Urban, J.E., 2001, “Evaluating Freshmen Retention Efforts in Engineering Housing,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: Freshman engineering retention is a national problem. At Arizona State University, freshmen retention is a major focus of the Office of Student Affairs in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS). The CEAS Fall 2000 freshmen class numbered 969 students. Major programs that have recently been developed to increase CEAS freshmen retention include engineering residence hall floors and academic and career mentoring through an Inclusive Learning Communities Program. The success of the engineering residence halls program is evaluated through the use of a survey of the Fall 2000 students participating in this program. The successes and challenges in running these programs are discussed.

  • Upchurch, R.L., Sims-Knight, J.E., 2001, “The Learning Portal,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: Undergraduate engineering education is experiencing a paradigm shift, from teacher-centered to student-centered pedagogy characterized by student teamwork and integrative curricula 1. The research and experiences underlying this shift have revealed that effective learners not only learn actively, but they develop an awareness of their skills in learning, and engage in self-assessment and reflection. Research in psychology has found that the reflective process engages students and helps them develop, particularly as self-regulated learners. As the educational enterprise undergoes this radical change, there is an increased recognition of the need for methods that allow students to develop such cognitive and metacognitive skills.

    This paper presents our explorations in defining and constructing a system that helps students organize their work, review their and othersÂ’ work, and reflect on their progress. The system we are building includes the support tools for student-centered knowledge construction and management. We examine our early prototypes and discuss how our experiences with those systems led to the current system requirements. These requirements include the knowledge/document management, self-assessment, reflection, planning, and collaboration. We discuss the intended uses for the system, and provide examples from our current uses of the system to highlight the potential. The paper includes a review of the literature supporting our work.

  • Sims-Knight, J.E., Upchurch, R.L., 2001, “What's Wrong with Giving Students Feedback?,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: This paper reviewed the extensive evidence on the effectiveness of feedback on learning. The research supported five claims about feedback. First, informational feedback is effective in domains with clear right or wrong answers when tested immediately after training. Second, when the same maximal feedback conditions are tested for retention or transfer, they are less effective than conditions with less feedback. Third, feedback can draw attention away from the learning task. Fourth, feedback apparently plays a minor role in actual classroom situations. Fifth, teaching students to provide their own feedback and explanation is an effective alternative. These findings suggest that instructors may be more effective if they put less effort into grading and commenting on studentsÂ’ products and more effort into structuring their courses to help students learn how to assess and reflect on their state of learning themselves. Two specific pedagogical strategies are suggested. First, giving students more assignments than the instructor could grade or comment on will provide more of the kinds of practice they need to develop expertise. Second, helping students to learn how to assess and reflect on their state of learning will help them learn how to provide their own feedback and thus help them to become independent life-long learners.


  • Upchurch, R.L., Sims-Knight, J.E., 2002, “Portfolio Use in Software Engineering Education: An Experience Report,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: This paper discusses the use of an electronic portfolio in a software engineering course at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. The Learning Portal provides the standard function of such systems for students to post their work. It also provides a syllabus function so instructors can post all information and assignments to the Portal. It goes beyond these basic functions, however, to facilitate reflective practice. It allows both students and faculty to give feedback to student work, and it collects various types of student work, including survey forms that require students to reflect upon their work. It also provides functions for team interaction. In this paper we will describe how the electronic portfolio was used in this course, including what artifacts were captured and how students used the system. We conducted an interview study of students after they finished the course to ascertain how they felt the portfolio changed the way they learned, the issues they encountered in working within such an environment, and their perspectives on how such a support system might influence their behavior in the future.

  • Sims-Knight, J.E., Upchurch, R.L., Powers, T.A., Haden, S.C., Topciu, R.A., 2002, “Teams in Software Engineering Education,” Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference.

    Abstract: The ability to work as an effective member of a development team is a primary goal of engineering education and one of the ABET student learning outcomes. As such, teaming has received increased attention in both the classroom and the literature over the past several years. Instructors of software engineering courses typically organize students into teams but expect, erroneously, that students learn the skills they need and learn to avoid dysfunctional patterns simply by working in teams. This paper describes the development of tools that can incorporate an assessment-based continuous improvement process on team skills into engineering classes. The primary focus in on the development of (1) a self-report assessment tool that would provide pointers toward improvement and (2) a test of students' knowledge of best teaming practices. The paper also describes a first pass at embedding these assessment tools into a continuous improvement process.


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