April 10, 2015

Engineering course invites students to design the official SFU app

Students of Herbert Tsang (above) are competing to develop an app that integrates common SFU systems and services. The partial screen shot comes from an earlier, unofficial SFU app created by Farhan Patel, a former student of Tsang, in 2011.

Adapted in part from a story in the April 7 issue of The Peak. Read the original story here.

Students in CMPT 275, a second-year computing science course, are helping to design an official app for SFU. The app will, among other things, provide access to SFU transit information, Connect, Canvas and calendars. The interesting element from a teaching and learning perspective is that 15 student teams will compete to develop the winning design.

It's part of an experiential approach employed by Herbert Tsang, CMPT 275 instructor and adjunct professor in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology.

Tsang maintains the course’s experiential component by choosing new and relevant themes for the class each semester. Students work within the structure of real-world software teams and provide a finished project to an authentic client, in this case SFU.

The 15 teams have been designing apps that meet specifications for common functionalities such as SFU transit information, Connect and Canvas. However, Tsang has found that many teams are integrating their own experiences as SFU students into their apps. As a result, teams have included extra features such as wayfinding on campus, a tracking system for library books, and loyalty programs for dining services.

The winning team will be chosen at the end of April, and the members will be hired to perfect the SFU official app.

Related links

Read the original story in The Peak.

Read more about Herbert Tsang and CMPT 275 in the the Teaching and Learning Centre's Experiential Learning Casebook.