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(FC-Devel) Very urgent help needed

  Hi Freecasers,

  Sorry to annoy you with this, but I've a real big problem and I
need your help. If you're willing to waste half an hour (and I think
worth it), please read the following and do what you can to provide me
opinions, experience, quotations or whatever you believe adequate.
no time to waste for me, I have to act very very quickly.

  One more thing: please if you write any thing at all, add a little
about your experience with OO. I think it'd be better to send mail, if
any one is interested I might compile the answers and publish them.

  Now here it goes:

  As you might already know I'm teaching software engineering. As all my
colleagues, and many of you I think, I learned it by my self. My real
problem is that I think I've got a little experience with it: teaching,
proposing and supervising student projects but also having developed a
realtively complex interdisciplinary software myself, not to add what I
learned and continue to learn from you and from my contacts with
Unfortunately this is not the case of my colleagues of which a few know
and teach OO programming (over the last three I tried every possible way
get them to cooperate with very negative results, they just think that
*fighting* them. Anyway, none has enough software engineering experience
they are proposing to modify out teaching of OO in a drastical and I
say catastrophic way. Here's how it goes:

  Our establishement is an IUP: to simplify I'd say that we admit
after their first year at the University, and they stay 3 years (if
things go
well) to get a "maitre-ingenieur" diploma.

  When I reached here, 4 years ago, I took over what has been done in
software engineering before. That is: a course and a small project on
SE (15 hours each) in the first year, and a larger project (40 hours) in
second year. At first I just did as my predecessor, rigid theory and old
and the such) methods. I needed time to get to OO which is actually what
doing now. That was (and still is) very difficult, because I have also
to learn
them project management, teamwork and CASE tools, but we're starting to
nice things with all that. First year students don't know any thing
OO, but they end up producing very organised, though not fully accurate,
complete files, including their teamwork and OO analysis (I still didn't
the right way to lead them up to the design and implementation). In
year they start OO programming at the same time as software projects.
Many of
them say that they already know what objects, properties, associations,
are. I'll be asking them for more details during the next project

  The new proposition which is on its way to be adopted for good if I
persuade them it is no good goes as follows:

  For national and european level reasons we'll slide from 2-4 to 3-5
(that is
we'll be admitting students after the their second year instead of the
Concerning OO, the new proposal is:

  First year: nothing
  Second year: OO programming (Smalltalk)
  Third year: Advnaced OO programming (sic)
               Methodology and Software engineering.

Now a few notes : this is slightly modified from the original proposal
changing names doesn't change the problem. The original proposal was :
Second year: OO programming (100 hours including a 30 hour project)
Third year : OO Design (50-100 hours)

  And believe it or not, I asked the fomllowing questions to the person
presenting the proposal:

  - how do you articulate this with software engineering ?
  - what do you mean by "OO design" ?
  - what are the contents and the objectives of this module ?

  Though I (and others) had repeat those question in several ways, the
answer we could get is :"I don't know" !!!

  So do you think I need help? Are you willing to do something for the
of hundreds of students? If yes, please, please, do it right now, send
what you think, even if you don't agree with me. I know I'm not that
on SE and OO, I'm just trying to do my best for my students.

  Many thanks for your help and sorry again to annoy you with this.


P.S. Of my old students at the CNAM (evening courses for working
having done SE with me, 5 think that design should be taught 'before'
2 say it should be 'in parallel', none said 'after', and one student
betwen 'before' and 'in parallel'.

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