Abstract—In recent years, teaching and learning shifted towards competence-oriented approaches. As a consequence, examinations as well as didactical approaches need to become competence-oriented. Unfortunately, competence-oriented examinations and assessments of the efficacy of didactical approaches are fairly hard – currently, no generally accepted approaches for competence-oriented evaluation are available. To make things worse, software engineering is a complex subject matter. Therefore, intended learning outcomes in software engineering education also tend to be quite complex and vary widely with a course’s context.
This paper provides details on how SECAT, a Software Engineering Competence Assessment Tool, is used to assess the efficacy of didactical approaches in software engineering education in a competence-oriented matter. To that end, SECAT needs to be adapted to the specific context, namely a particular didactical approach with its associated intended learning outcomes. Intended learning outcomes are related to specific competences, including non-technical skills.
The paper presents results from applying SECAT for assessing the efficacy of employed didactical approaches in several software engineering courses. Furthermore, the paper shows an example of how SECAT’s assessment results are used to improve didactical approaches for upcoming instances of these courses.
SECAT and its underlying methodology is one step forward in competence assessment in software engineering.