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Durham Research Online
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Using Facebook to improve communication in undergraduate software development teams.

Charlton, T. and Devlin, M. and Drummond, S. (2009) 'Using Facebook to improve communication in undergraduate software development teams.', Computer science education., 19 (4). pp. 273-292.

Abstract

As part of the CETL ALiC initiative (Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning: Active Learning in Computing), undergraduate computing science students at Newcastle and Durham universities participated in a cross-site team software development project. To ensure we offer adequate resources to support this collaboration, we conducted an experience survey amongst teams and a content analysis of their reports. This article reports on the findings of that investigation, and shows that success in the project was often determined by the students' communication strategies and use of available technology. Significantly, students often abandoned the technologies provided and adopted Web 2.0 technologies such as Facebook instead. Based on these findings we have developed a tool called CommonGround, designed to run on the Facebook platform, which harnesses the students' engagement with the service. CommonGround couples the communication and ‘social awareness’ features inherent in the Facebook platform with basic meeting, schedule and project planning facilities. Initial feedback from students using CommonGround is encouraging.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Cross-site software development, Social networking, Communication behaviour and tools.
Full text:PDF - Accepted Version (429Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08993400903384935
Publisher statement:This is an electronic version of an article published in Charlton, T. and Devlin, M. and Drummond, S. (2009) 'Using Facebook to improve communication in undergraduate software development teams.', Computer science education., 19 (4). pp. 273-292. Computer science education is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=0899-3408&volume=19&issue=4&spage=273
Record Created:14 Jun 2012 11:05
Last Modified:18 Jul 2012 12:05

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