2023: Evaluating and Optimizing the iPraktikum’s intro course

Bachelor's theses

Stefanie Manger



The COVID-19 pandemic precipitated an unprecedented paradigm shift in higher education, compelling swift adaptation to online teaching methods. Consequently, the merits of remote education, including increased flexibility and geographic independence, were emphasized. At the same time, however, the problems associated with distance education became apparent, such as the lack of networking, collaborative learning, and social interactions. Also at the Technical University of Munich, course concepts had to be adapted, including an introductory programming course, which serves as a precursor to the practical software engineering course called iPraktikum. Upon easing of COVID-19 related restrictions, the instructors simultaneously offered online and onsite instructions for the intro course. However, such a proposition presents substantial logistical challenges, necessitating additional resources, labor, and organizational overhead. Furthermore, several other course concepts exist. Thus, there is a need to decide which one should be pursued long-term. The objective of this thesis is to give recommendations for the design of the optimal iPraktikum intro course, based on the students’ needs and desires. This data was elicited within two case studies conducted in the context of the iPraktikum’s intro courses in WS22/23 and SS23. Our research methodology includes interviews, online surveys, and a reiteration of concepts. The first case study’s outcomes include that students prefer onsite learning. Reasons attributed to this preference included enhanced social interactions, greater enjoyment, and increased motivation. We enhanced the course concept based on the students’ feedback. Improvements include more social interactions, breaks, and the concept of a Project App. However, the critique in the second case study still centered around the pace and the stress level emanating from the intro course, even preventing students from listening to the lectures. Amongst other suggestions, we therefore recommend offering an online self-paced pre-intro course for Swift beginners and restructuring the timetable to have more time for exercising and working on the Project App.

Head of Research Group

Prof. Dr. Stephan Krusche

Administrative office

Sophia Adelmeier

Office: 01.07.052
Phone: +49 (89) 289-18206
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85748 Garching b. München