First-year students select a program of study for a variety of reasons. As a result, many students are not familiar with the basic concepts and career opportunities that exist. At the Rochester Institute of Technology, first-year Software Engineering students participate in a seminar to orient them to the discipline. The course has been redesigned from a lecture format to an active-learning format. The new format uses a set of hands-on and community-building activities to demonstrate basic concepts, with little programming. The more engaging format enables students to explore concepts, gain experience working in teams, and have ownership over their own learning. The seminar structure and activities will be discussed, along with an analysis of student feedback, and lessons learned. The value of the seminar's approach can be used to introduce computing students to fundamental software engineering concepts in a variety of contexts.
Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit
Department, Program, or Center
Software Engineering (GCCIS)
Ludi, Stephanie, "Active-learning activities that introduce students to software engineering fundamentals" (2005). Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus