Building soft skills through a role-play based approach for Requirements Engineering remote education




Requirements Engineering Education, Remote Learning, Collaborative Learning, Role-Play, Send-a-Problem


Teaching Requirements Engineering requires adopting pedagogical techniques to develop students' technical skills for identifying users' needs and designing software solutions. Additionally, since requirements engineering involves group work, students must cultivate social skills such as communication, empathy, and conflict resolution. In remote learning scenarios, developing these skills becomes more challenging due to limited interaction. To address these needs, this paper proposes adapting a project-based collaborative learning approach for remote education that combines Role-Play and Send-a-Problem learning techniques. In this approach, students collaborate on software projects in teams, assuming two roles: customers and software developers. We evaluated this approach during two cycles of Action Research, conducted remotely in two disciplines of a Software Engineering undergraduate course involving advanced and beginner students, respectively. In the advanced students' class, we observed that the methodology enhanced communication skills, analytical reasoning, conflict resolution, and empathy. To validate these results, we conducted a new study with beginning students, achieving positive outcomes despite the need for more support in team communication. As our primary contribution, we provide guidelines for implementing this collaborative learning approach online.


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How to Cite

Macedo, G. T. de, Fontão, A., & Gadelha, B. (2024). Building soft skills through a role-play based approach for Requirements Engineering remote education. Journal of the Brazilian Computer Society, 30(1), 1–16.