Bridging the research-practice gap in requirements engineering through effective teaching and peer learning
In this paper, we introduce the concept of the research-practice gap as it is perceived in the field of software requirements engineering. An analysis of this gap has shown that two key causes for the research-practice gap are lack of effective communication and the relatively light coverage of requirements engineering material in University programmes. We discuss the design and delivery of a masters course in software requirements engineering (SRE) that is designed to overcome some of the issues that have caused the research-practice gap. By encouraging students to share their experiences in a peer learning environment, we aim to improve shared understanding between students (many of whom are current industry practitioners) and researchers (including academic staff members) to improve the potential for effective collaborations, whilst simultaneously developing the requirements engineering skill sets of the enrolled students. Feedback from students in the course is discussed and directions for the future development of the curriculum and learning strategies are given.