University meets industry: Calling in real stakeholders

Birgit Penzenstadler, Martin Mahaux, Patrick Heymans

Research output: Contribution in Book/Catalog/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Teaching the discipline of requirements engineering (RE) is slowly establishing at universities within the software engineering curriculum. While several studies have shown that case study-based education was more efficient in RE, many teachers are still reluctant to change their teaching style, and stay with classical lectures and complementary exercises. These courses often fail to relate the different steps and stages of RE to each other and do not address crucial communication and project management issues that are common in industrial RE practice. They also miss the chance for using the classroom as a near-to-real-settings research lab, and won't show students the stakes existing in doing engineering in our society. We describe our experiences in teaching RE with a case study in two universities, achieving a triple-win: putting students in contact with real stakeholders, showing students their responsibility towards a sustainable world and doing empirical research in the classroom. We report on the course design, the evaluation, the lessons learned, and the potential success factors for such courses. We conclude that case study-based approaches to teaching RE considerably improve skills valued by industry, are feasible at a reasonable cost, and are enjoyable for the students, the teachers and the stakeholders. With this paper, we want to encourage RE educators to implement such courses in their setting.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSoftware Engineering Education Conference, Proceedings
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2013
Event2013 26th International Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training, CSEE and T 2013 - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: 19 May 201321 May 2013


Conference2013 26th International Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training, CSEE and T 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


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