Exploring motivation and teamwork in a large software engineering capstone course during the coronavirus pandemic
In the spring of 2020, the Department of Informatics covered a 20 ECTS capstone course in Software Engineering, mainly focusing on developing a complex application. The course used active learning methods, and 240 students were working in 42 cross-functional, agile teams. The pandemic caused by the coronavirus had a significant impact on the teaching given by the University of Oslo, as all physical education and collaboration among the teams had to be digital from March 12. At the end of the semester, we conducted a survey that focused on 1) aspects of teamwork (e.g., communication and coordination in the teams) and the relation to team performance (e.g., the application product) and 2) the students’ motivation and ability to cooperate through digital platforms. A total of 151 respondents in 41 agile student teams answered the survey. This study aimed to investigate how the teamwork and motivation of the students were affected by having to work virtually. The results are compared to results from the same course in 2019 and a similar survey on 71 professional teams published in 2016. Our results show that the teamwork was evaluated similarly to both the evaluation of survey conducted in 2019 and on the professional teams in 2016. The motivation among the students remained high, even though they had to collaborate virtually.
Copyright (c) 2021 Yngve Lindsjørn, Steffen Almås, Viktoria Stray
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
The Nordic Journal of STEM Education licenses all content of the journal under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence. This means, among other things, that anyone is free to copy and distribute the content, as long as they give proper credit to the author(s) and the journal. For further information, see Creative Commons website for human readable or lawyer readable versions.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access