Course Syllabus


NOTE: Some links on this page may only be accessible to registered students.

Welcome to CS361: Software Engineering I

Start Here

Please begin the course by clicking the Start Here button.

Start Here Button

This course will introduce you to tools and techniques for real-world software development. You will be working on a term-long team programming project using the Agile Scrum approach to software project implementation and management. Along the way, you will learn how to plan out and specify what your software should do and how users should experience it, how to evaluate how well your software design reflects those specifications, how to structure your software in a way that supports iterative growth and ongoing contributions from multiple developers, and other non-technical and technical skills and concepts. We will explore some topics in-depth, and others just enough for you to decide later (during future software projects) whether or not they're applicable to and useful for what you're doing.

Course Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you should be able to...

  • Select the most appropriate software process model to use in a particular situation
  • Synthesize requirements for a realistic software system and write a requirements specification document
  • Produce professional-quality software-related documents
  • Model system requirements using one or more semi-formal notations such as UML, dataflow diagrams, entity-relationship diagrams, or state diagrams
  • Design software systems at an architectural level and at lower levels, using one or more techniques, such as object-oriented design or agile methods, and express these designs in design specification documents
  • Validate designs and adjust the specification or design as necessary
  • Describe several methods of estimating the cost and developing a schedule for a programming project
  • Participate effectively in a team environment

Meet the Instructor


Hey everyone, welcome to CS361. I'm Lara Letaw, your instructor for this course.

This term, you'll be working in 5-person team on a programming project and you'll be using the Agile Scrum methodology.

During the first week, you'll find and form a team, you'll select a project from a list, and then I'll assign you a customer. The customer will be one of your TA's. You'll be meeting the customer synchronously four times this term, once every two weeks.

In addition to the team work, you'll have individual assignments where you'll get to learn specific software methodology skills like UML diagramming and design patterns. The work you do as an individual will feed into your team project.

The output of this course for you will be a portfolio project that hopefully you'll be very proud of and that you can use to impress prospective employers and hopefully anyone.

Keep in mind that it is an eight-week course whereas as usually the course is ten weeks, but we are doing the same amount of work and we're covering the same amount of material so please jump in as soon as you can.

That being said, I know that many of you are working professionals, I know that many of you have family and other commitments, I know that for some of you most of your availability is on the weekend. Because of that, I've tried to set up the course for flexibility.

You will need to be checking in with your team but not every day---at least a couple times a week. If you every need to turn in one of your individual assignments late, you can do so without penalty up to 48 hours late. For more details about the late policy please check out the syllabus. And, remember to do the syllabus quiz.

So, with that, I will let you get started. The place to start is the "Start Here" module in Canvas.

I really look forward to working with you all this term and seeing the cool projects you come up with. Talk to you again soon.

NOTE: Some links on this page may only be accessible to registered students.

Syllabus & Schedule

Syllabus Quiz

After completing all "Start Here" module readings, take this quiz:

NOTE: Some links on this page may only be accessible to registered students.

Communication Policy

I will be logging into the course on a regular basis, approximately 3-5 times each week. Please post all course-related questions on Piazza so the whole class may benefit from the conversation. Please send an email to your instructor or TAs for matters of a personal nature. When you email your TA or myself, you should expect a response within 48 hours. You can expect your assignments to be graded within one week of the due date.

Contact Information & Office Hours

TA office hours start Week 2.

NOTE: Some links on this page may only be accessible to registered students.

Course Tools & Textbooks

So that you will get a sense of what you might encounter as a software professional, you will be required to use several online software tools for managing and implementing your project:

  • GitHub/Git: Git is a system for distributed version control. GitHub hosts Git projects. You'll need to create a GitHub account at (if you haven't already).
  • Asana: A web-based application your team will use for project management. You will receive an Asana invite. Note: Asana team membership is public; others will be able to see who is in your Asana team. You may choose not to use your OSU email address for Asana. You may also choose not to use your real name.

In addition, I will provide multiple communication tools through which you can get your questions answered and talk with TAs, other students, and with me:

  • Piazza: A discussion board for questions about the course material and project requirements, general course questions, providing course feedback/suggestions, etc. Piazza should be one of the first places you look if you have a course question; if you are wondering something, another student may also be wondering the same thing.
  • Slack: A text/voice/video chat app for talking synchronously with TAs, other students, and with me. Slack will be used for office hours.
  • Q&A: General information about the class and questions we've received from students.

Optional Textbooks

Database Access

Use the instruction below to access the OSU-hosted MySQL database you can use this term.

Access via Browser

You must be on the OSU network to access the DB. Connect to the OSU VPN. Then, you can use the following credentials to access your database.

  • Username is: cs361_<your ONID username>
  • Default password is: last 4 digits of your OSU ID number
  • Database host name is:
  • Web access: (select classmysql as the server)

Access via Command Line

  • Login to a flip server
    • ssh <ONID_username>
  • Connect to the DB:
    • mysql -u cs361_<ONID_username> -h -p

Please change your password the first time you access your account. DO NOT use your ONID password as this password could be in config files and is much less secure. To change your password, run the SQL statement:



If you want to keep your data please export it at the end of the term. All databases and associated accounts will be deleted the week after the term ends. No exceptions.

NOTE: Some links on this page may only be accessible to registered students.


Academic or Student Support Services

For all other academic and student support services, refer to the Student Services link found in the course menu.

The following services are available to all Ecampus students:

Accessibility Statements

This course uses technologies that may support accessibility in different ways. Please refer to the accessibility statement for each technology provider for details as to the level and types of accessibility that are supported.

Follow this link to access Accessibility Statements for commonly used software.

Accessibility Tools for Canvas

The following tools are available within your Ecampus course. 

ReadSpeaker - is a tool that reads text on Canvas course pages aloud.

TextAid - is an additional tool that allows users to have nearly any text highlighted and read aloud, including documents, Web sites, text composed by a user, and more. For more information, please visit ReadSpeaker Text Aid.

Canvas Technical Questions

If you have a technical issue or question when using Canvas, 24/7 support is available in Canvas via chat, phone, or e-mail through the Help link in the menu on your left .

Additional technical support (use of software/browsers) can be accessed through the OSU Computer Helpdesk.

Copyright & Ownership of Materials

  • The materials on this course website are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated.
  • Course materials are cited within the Syllabus and Modules based on the copyright policy of each item.
  • When copyright permission is required, Ecampus has contacted the copyright owner.
  • When a fair use determination has been made, this has been documented.
  • Images that are not cited have been obtained from the public domain or via a paid subscription or are images taken by the instructor.

Please contact the instructor if you have any questions about the copyright and ownership of materials presented in this course.

Peer Tutoring

(Free) OSU Online CS peer tutoring happens via Zoom, and there are two ways you can engage: drop-in tutoring hours and scheduled tutoring appointments.

  • Drop-in Tutoring Hours: Regularly held tutoring hours where you can call into the existing session to engage with peer tutors about your questions.
    • View the calendar here.
    • Click on the appointment, then click more details to view the Zoom meeting link.
    • Click on the Zoom meeting link to join.
  • Scheduled Tutoring Appointments: Scheduled tutoring appointments with peer tutors.
    • Start completing the tutoring request form.
    • Be sure to select "Schedule an appointment"
    • Click on the appropriate link to schedule a time.
    • Be sure to come back and complete the tutoring request form by entering your appointment time and clicking "Submit."

Privacy Policies for External Tools

Follow this link to access Privacy Policies for commonly used external tools that require the user to create an account.

Course Summary:

Date Details