Abstract-Good requirements are an essential prerequisite for successful IT projects. Consequently, IT students should already be exposed to requirements-related intricacies at universities. Some authors argue that requirements engineering education should include an external customer for making things more tangible and realistic. In this paper, we present and analyse two learning settings involving such a customer that we used at our universities for several years.
The main contribution of this paper lies in identifying significant differences in how customers may be involved in requirements engineering education. Although the two settings look quite similar at first sight, a detailed analysis reveals important differences that are rooted in different intended learning outcomes. Consequently, there is no single “ideal” setting, not even for involving a customer in requirements engineering education, which stands out against the others. Besides, no such setting may be used as a best practice right away without paying crucial attention to the context and, in particular, the underlying intended learning outcomes.