Improving Student Group Work with Collaboration Patterns: A Case Study

Author(s): Christian Koppe, Marko van Eekelen, Stijn Hoppenbrouwers
Venue: International Conference on Software Engineering
Date: 2015

Type of Experiement: Case Study
Sample Size: 54
Class/Experience Level: Undergraduate Student
Participant Selection: Students respond to survey after a project
Data Collection Method: Survey


This paper presents a study related to using collaborative patterns for group projects in the computer science classes. The goal of this paper is to determine if group collaboration can be improved by using eleven collaboration patterns determined by students whom have worked in group projects. The important factors for this study were presenting the patterns at the beginning of the class, before problems within the team could occur and the patterns focused on reflection, analysis and communication between group members.

Fifty four students were given an entire course to use the collaboration patterns during an interdisciplinary softwareing engineering project at Radboud University Nijmegen. These students were given a survey at the end of the project and the survey data was used in this paper. The paper discovers that the patterns were easy to understand but not very helpful to the project. Many students said they would apply the patterns if the specific situations came up in another project. Also that some of the patterns were used more often were likely the patterns that could be used at the beginning of a project.