Towards a Model II Theory-in-use for young software engineers and small sofware teams

Vincent Ribaud 1 Philippe Saliou 1
1 Lab-STICC_UBO_CACS_MOCS
UBO - Université de Brest, Lab-STICC - Laboratoire des sciences et techniques de l'information, de la communication et de la connaissance
Abstract : Small teams have to transform in a learning organization to cope with the changes in IT. Argyris and Schon distinguish single-loop and double-loop learning [9]. Single loop learning happens when unintended or counterproductive consequences lead to a change in action but not in the governing variables. Another possibility is to change the governing variables themselves and is called double-loop learning. Single-loop learning is induced from Model I, a prevalent model of theories-in-use - those that can be inferred from action -. Argyris and Schon look to move people from a Model I to a Model II that fosters double-loop learning. In the software engineering field - and especially in small teams, developing a reflective thinking and enhanced learning is a vital issue. We intended to develop these issues in the course of a Master program in Information Technology and Software Engineering. The last year of this program is performed under 'sandwich' conditions with an alternation of study periods in university and training periods in industry. Moreover, alternated university periods are dedicated to a long-term team software project. The education system is a reflective practicum. Such a practicum provides students, working in groups, with the possibility to reflect on her/his action and that may help making explicit theories-in-use. Several reflective practices are seamed in the course of the project providing an students with education of reflective thinking. The work placement system introduces a new challenge that is to relate the university and industrial phases of the student's experience. We propose to use journal writing as a tool to record young engineers' behavior and to extract meaning from events and experiences. The first goal of these different practices is to sustain a reflective thought that may help to question espoused theories and to reveal theories-in-use; a more ambitious goal is that the whole team acts as a learning organization with a theory-in-use mastered by Model II. We report on an experimental case study using a project journal supported by semantic wikis.
Type de document :
Communication dans un congrès
CISE 2009, Jun 2009, Bulgaria. pp.26.1-8, 2009
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Vincent Ribaud, Philippe Saliou. Towards a Model II Theory-in-use for young software engineers and small sofware teams. CISE 2009, Jun 2009, Bulgaria. pp.26.1-8, 2009. 〈hal-00504448〉

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