A Case Study — Hindrances and Success Factors in Student Projects

  • Marta Kristin Larusdottir
Part of the IFIP – International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT, volume 289)

Third year undergraduate students in Computer Science at Reykjavik University complete a practical project in which co-operation between the students and the industry is emphasized. The students form small groups and develop software for eighteen weeks at a company's site where they get access to all needed facilities. In this study the students were asked to state the hindrances they experienced. Data was gathered from eleven student groups both with interviews and on-line questionnaires three times during the project period. Furthermore a contact person at each company was interviewed one month after the delivery date and asked to rate the quality of the project work. Based on that rating the groups were divided in three categories, the best, the middle and the worst. The success factors characterizing the best groups were analysed. Also the customers were asked to rate what quality factors of the product they emphasized the most. The students did not experience many hindrances five weeks after the commencement of the project, but after nine weeks 73% of the groups named that understanding the requirements of the project was a hindrance. The methods of Human-Computer Interaction could be of great value for the students in these two periods, understanding the user, their tasks and the context of use. When only 4 weeks were left of the project the biggest hindrances for the groups were technical problems and lack of time. A study of the work of the best groups showed that the main success factors are: being very organized, keeping good co-operation in the group, and getting feedback from the customer and the users.


Software Project Project Work Feedback Channel Project Period Student Project 
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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Computer ScienceReykjavik UniversityReykjavikIceland

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