Abstract—Software process models are fairly abstract tools for organizing large, complex software development projects. Since particularly undergraduate students commonly do not have any experience in being part of such a project, their understanding of the benefits and shortcomings of particular process models is very limited. Even more, frequently they are not aware of the need to follow a particular process model since their previous one-person software assignments were too small for requiring any such model at all.
In this paper, we share some experiences on how we tried to make the role and details of software process models more tangible for students. To that end, we chose two didactic approaches, namely problem-based-learning and project work. For the latter, we conducted fairly complex software development projects in teams of 4 to 6 students in their final year. Most of these projects were run in parallel teams, using different software process models to accomplish the same task. Our experience shows that this setting allows students to get a much better understanding of the characteristics of process models, but also indicate that students tend to get acquainted to traditional plan-driven process models more easily compared to agile models such as SCRUM or Extreme Programming.
As an instance of problem-based learning, students needed to develop a board game that addresses some of the specifics of a particular process model, namely the V-Model.