Motivation Process Formalization and Its Application to Education Improvement for the Personal Software Process Course

Masanobu UMEDA  Keiichi KATAMINE  Keiichi ISHIBASHI  Masaaki HASHIMOTO  Takaichi YOSHIDA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E97-D   No.5   pp.1127-1138
Publication Date: 2014/05/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.E97.D.1127
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Knowledge-Based Software Engineering)
personal software process,  motivation,  state transition model,  organizational expectancy model,  education improvement,  

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Software engineering education at universities plays an increasingly important role as software quality is becoming essential in realizing a safe and dependable society. This paper proposes a practical state transition model (Practical-STM) based on the Organizational Expectancy Model for the improvement of software process education based on the Personal Software Process (PSP) from a motivation point of view. The Practical-STM treats an individual trainee of the PSP course as a state machine, and formalizes a motivation process of a trainee using a set of states represented by factors regarding motivation and a set of operations carried out by course instructors. The state transition function of this model represents the features or characteristics of a trainee in terms of motivation. The model allows a formal description of the states of a trainee in terms of motivation and the educational actions of the instructors in the PSP course. The instructors are able to decide effective and efficient actions to take toward the trainees objectively by presuming a state and a state transition function of the trainees formally. Typical patterns of state transitions from an initial state to a final state, which is called a scenario, are useful for inferring possible transitions of a trainee and taking proactive operations from a motivation point of view. Therefore, the model is useful not only for improving the educational effect of the PSP course, but also for the standardization of the course management and the quality management of the instructors.