A methodology for exploring students' experiences and interaction with large-scale software through role-play and phenomenography
Zu finden in: ICER 2008 (Seite 27 bis 38), 2008
Traditional interview methods within qualitative research often capture the purely academic perspective on phenomena. To address this problem, an innovative research method, combining role-playing with phenomenography is proposed. The approach suggested in this paper aims to stimulate participants to widen their perspectives by encouraging them to a deeper engagement with a specific activity, thereby enabling them to re ect actively on their actions and on concepts involved in a specific situated context. In the outlined strategy, the role-playing involved realistic work with large-scale software. This was immediately followed by a debriefing using phenomenographic research interviews when the participants still had the experience fresh in mind. The phenomenographic analysis of the interview transcripts confirmed that the method was successful. The subjects frequently expressed their understanding of theoretical concepts in relation to their experiences from working with the software. The more advanced ways to experience the phenomena was often expressed - and sometimes inspired - by the software's way to take advantage of the concepts. The specific use of the described method resulted in empirical insights into how students experience object-oriented concepts in software engineering, such as the Java Interface.
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