Authors: Martin Mahaux, Patrick Heymans

Abstract:
[Context and Motivation] Education is certainly a key element to sustainability. In particular for Engineers, who will decide what tomorrow’s socio-technical systems will be made of. Requirements Engineers will decide if sustainability is indeed a requirement for their systems, and will choose whether or not to include it when analysing and designing them. Requirements Engineering (RE) is by definition a collaborative creative endeavor, but designing more sustainable systems will require being even more creative, and collaborating even more, in particular with sustainability specialists.
[Question/Problem] How can we have our students finishing a one-semester course with a good understanding of RE, a better grasp of sustainability challenges and a feeling of what group creativity means?
[Principal ideas / results] We tailored an action-based course where 4 groups of 5 students were asked to invent and write requirements for a mobile application that would make people’s daily mobility more sustainable and efficient.
Students have shown a real interest in the course, and have worked more than expected. They have delivered authentically novel and useful ideas. They all passed the final individual oral exam. Their preferred learning from the course was the collaboration between IT and management students. We are consequently confidant that our ambitious pedagogical objectives have been reached.
[Contributions] While action-based course are not new in RE, we are not aware of any educational initiative bringing together RE, sustainability, collaboration and creativity.

Submission download:

Reviews

Review 1

  • TITLE: Stifling Sustainability, Collaboration and Creativity in Requirements Engineering Education
  • AUTHORS: Martin Mahaux, Patrick Heymans
Reviewers' expertise from 1 (low) to 5 (high): 3

  • SCORES 1 (Very Bad) 2 (More or less OK) 3 (Very Good)
Adequacy for RE4SuSy: 2
Originality of the content: 2
Significance of the work: 3
Soundness and accuracy of the technical content: 3
Style and clarity of the paper: 3
OVERALL RECOMMENDATION (Strong Reject - Reject - Conditional Accept - Accept - Strong Accept): Accept

  • REVIEW:
An interesting idea indeed - in many ways similar to the idea of Green Hackatons that have proved to be both educational and fun.

Review 2

  • TITLE: Sustainability in RE course
  • AUTHORS: Mahaux and Heymans
Reviewers' expertise from 1 (low) to 5 (high): 4

  • SCORES 1 (Very Bad) 2 (More or less OK) 3 (Very Good)
Adequacy for RE4SuSy: 3
Originality of the content: 2
Significance of the work: 2
Soundness and accuracy of the technical content: could be improved
Style and clarity of the paper: could be improved
OVERALL RECOMMENDATION (Strong Reject - Reject - Conditional Accept - Accept - Strong Accept): Accept

  • REVIEW:
The idea of using sustainability-related problems for a requirements engineering course is a good idea and the course looked interesting. However, I couldn't figure out what the purpose of this one page paper was. The paper tells me that you ran this action-based course. OK, so what? What messages do you want to communicate to readers and workshop participants? What kind of discussion would you like to have around this paper?
I felt most the information in the Contributions paragraph to be irrelevant for the workshop(why should I care for example that tutors were highly available?).
I would have like to know more about the problem statement presented to students and the kinds of solutions the students came up with.
Why is the paper called *stiffling* sustainability, collaboration and creativity? I'm not sure stiffling is the word you want to use here.

Review 3

  • TITLE: Stifling sustainability, collaboration and creativity in requirements engineering education
  • AUTHORS: Martin Mahaux, Patrick Heymans
Reviewers' expertise from 1 (low) to 5 (high): 2

  • SCORES 1 (Very Bad) 2 (More or less OK) 3 (Very Good)
Adequacy for RE4SuSy: 2
Originality of the content: 2
Significance of the work: 2
Soundness and accuracy of the technical content: 2
Style and clarity of the paper: 2
OVERALL RECOMMENDATION (Strong Reject - Reject - Conditional Accept - Accept - Strong Accept): Conditional accept

  • REVIEW:
Paper is basically an outline for course in requirements engineering (RE)
aimed at combining ìRE, sustainability, collaboration and creativity.
The starting point for the paper is that ìRequirements Engineering (RE)
is by definition a collaborative creative endeavor, but designing more
sustainable systems will require being even more creative, and collaborating
even more, in particular with sustainability specialists.
The paper could have validity in the workshop, if the workshop is covering
educational issues. However, even though I am neither an expert in requirements
engineering or in education, I had some problems with the arguments of this paper.
The paper seemed more like a leaflet or an ex post evaluation of a course than a
paper proposal.
I would suggest that the paper could be developed towards research-oriented
direction by putting it to discussion with some relevant theory that considers
such themes like collaboration and creativity. Then the paper should discuss
the course example against this theoretical frame. The course could be discussed
as a case study that describes some of the educational techniques and topics
in detail, and raises especially the issues of creativity and collaboration
to the fore.
The paper could discuss e.g. following questions:
How creativity and collaboration were utilised as part of the educational process?
What new educational methods were utilised?
What kinds of new educational perspectives were opened through this exercise?
What new insights these bring to the educational theories and to the education of RE?

Discussion

please add your comments here and leave your name and email.