Clive Rosen

Clive in India

Clive Rosen  Biopic

I started working for International Computers Limited (ICL) in 1979 writing test software for what were then called fixed and exchangeable disks (hard disks in today’s parlance). The latest technology was a 160mb fixed disk. This came in its own cabinet that was 1.5m high by 0.5m square. The tests checked the reliability and resilience of the disk as well as the mechanical operation.

After a couple of years I moved on to developing a network traffic emulator (NETSIM) which was designed to examine the response time of ICL’s latest generation of mainframe computers for defined workloads. Netsim could generate sufficient traffic across a network to emulate up to 10,000 concurrent (dumb) terminals connected, and in use. It helped sell VME series machines to the Inland Revenue, and is still being used by IR and ICL to test the performance of database applications.

Between 1984 and 1994 I had various roles as team leader, project manager, programme manager and quality manager, developing ICL’s mainframe operating system VME, which I still say knocks spots of any other operating system in the world, and makes Windows XP appear positively Jurassic.

In 1994 I joined the staff at Derby after receiving a Masters degree in Industrial Education and Training from Manchester University. I have been as Derby ever since. I have taught introductory computer programming, software engineering (the software development process; my research interest) and have a special interest in group project work. I like to use inventive and imaginative ways of teaching. Students from the 1990s still come up to me and say they remember my lecture using a toy train and a duck (used to teach conditionals!), and I used Frisbees to teach parameter passing. I believe that active participation in learning and problem based learning are more effective than traditional didactic methods. I am a strong proponent of peer assessment and have used it extensively in group project work (see publications).

In 2008 I was awarded my Ph.D. from Keele University the subject of which was “The Influence of Interpersonal Factors on the Software Development Process”. In my view, software engineering has concentrated on analysing the stages of the development process and trying to define rules to be obeyed in order to produce high quality software on time and to budget. This approach has been less than successful. It appears that there are other factors affecting the development process that require investigation.

One of these is the influence of people involved in the process and their ability to communicate with each other. I am interested in how such factors affect the process and investigating ways in which these factors can be explored. Hence the subject of my PhD.

I am involved in an experiential research group (“T” Group Development Group) that for the past fifteen years has been exploring how people in an ongoing group, develop relationships and how these influence and are influenced by the broader community.

Groups and group projects provide one of the most significant opportunities for integrating learning achieved in other modules. It also provides an opportunity to develop the skills in communication and teamwork most employers consistently report that they look for in graduates.

I am interested in how this opportunity can best be used, and developing new approaches to teaching and learning that maximise the opportunities for students to learn from this experience. I use “Facilitated Peer Assessment” as a key element in this approach.