Status indicators in software engineering group projects.

J. Syst. Softw.(2023)

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A segment of studies on group structure and performance in software engineering (SE) project-based learning (PjBL) have focused on roles, including studies that use Belbin team roles and studies that address problematic roles such as social loafing. The present study focuses on the status, which is basically missing in SE PjBL studies, although relating to roles. The study investigates the aspects that students identified as indicators of rising or declining status in their project groups. The status theory was utilized as the framework that motivated the research and on which the results were reflected. An inductive qualitative content analysis was applied to learning reports in which students reflected on their statuses. The indicators of rising status included technical know-how, commitment, management responsibility, and idea ownership, while also group-level attributes such as a caring atmosphere and joint responsibility. The indicators of a declining status included aspects that appear as counterparts of rising status indicators, while also more refined aspects such as no one willing to be a leader or study background. The results are concluded to provide material for educating students about intra-group relations and promoting self-regulation for fruitful collaboration in groups. The authors believe that the results also initiate further PjBL research in which status theory can be utilized.
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Key words
Group work,Status concept,Higher education
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