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Teaching students how to work in global software development environments

Swigger, Kathleen
Brazile, Robert
Harrington, Brian
Peng, Xiaobo
Alpaslan, Ferda Nur
Given that outsourcing has become a fact of life, it is becoming increasingly obvious that we need to ensure that computer science students are taught the necessary skills to cope with global software development. Unfortunately, the enormous amount of time that it takes to coordinate and support such activities can deter even the most devoted educator. This paper describes a course that used a computer supported collaborative tool help teach distributed teams from Turkey and the US how to work together to solve programming problems. The system contains both collaborative tools that support groups, as well as course management software for helping instructors with administrative tasks. Examples of the usage of the system and data collected from the undergraduate computer science course that used the software are presented. Based on that experience, future plans to refine the system for early detection of problem teams, and the advantages of implementing the software as a web service are also discussed. This information is designed to provide support for effective multi-institutional learning courses.