Season 2 : Episode 11 - Published December 22, 2021

Meaningful Learning in Software Engineering Classes with Dr. Ellis

Engaging STEM students early in solving complex problems that better their communities not only helps to prepare them for the future professional environment, but also positively impacts their motivation by making their work meaningful and impactful. Dr. Ellis shares her reflections about student engagement in the learning process from years of experience teaching online software engineering classes, as well as her research that explores student learning via participation in a humanitarian, open-source project.

Reference(s) mentioned in this episode:

Web site that supports the research effort:

Supporting student involvement in open source projects:


Dr. Ellis is Professor of Computer Science and Information Technology at Western New England University. Her research interests include software engineering education and learning in open source software projects. Dr. Ellis is one of the founding members of the Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software project which focuses on involving students in open source projects that improve the human condition. She has been involving students in HFOSS projects since 2006 and she has been PI on five NSF projects related to student learning in HFOSS. Heidi has been active in computing education for the past 20 years and has multiple publications related to involving students in HFOSS projects.