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Board 67: Evaluating Learning Engagement Strategies in a Cyber Learning Environment during Introductory Computer Programming Courses – an Empirical Investigation

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Computers in Education Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

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Mourya Reddy Narasareddygari North Dakota State University

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Mourya Reddy works as Research Assistant at the Department of Computer Science, North Dakota State University. Mourya's primary research focus is on student learning.

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Gursimran Singh Walia North Dakota State University

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Gursimran S. Walia is an associate professor of Computer Science at North Dakota State University. His main research interests include empirical software engineering, software engineering education, human factors in software engineering, and software quality. He is a member of the IEEE Computer Society. Contact him at

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Alex Radermacher North Dakota State University


Otto Borchert North Dakota State University

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Dr. Borchert received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from North Dakota State University in 2015 and has been teaching introductory computer science courses for three years (at Gonzaga and North Dakota State University). His research interests include immersive virtual environments for education, mobile app development, and STEM education through technology. He is currently teaching as a Lecturer at North Dakota State University.

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Software testing is a critical activity in software engineering and also widely deployed for improving quality of software being produced and maintained. Having skilled testers with domain knowledge is basic and important for accomplishment of any project in software industry. Though it is most significant part of the development, when coming to the computer science training curricula, it is not given much significance and moreover software testing remains as most under assessed activity. To achieve better-trained professionals in industry, it is imperative to integrate software testing in early computer programming courses. Software testing education has traditionally given little coverage especially due to lack of time or resources available for the instructors to integrate testing concepts into the curricula. To address this problem, we have used gamification and other learning strategies to improve student engagement and collaboration as they learn software testing concepts and improve their testing knowledge. In this paper we discuss WReSTT, a Web-based Repository of Software Testing Tutorials ( It is a cyber learning environment that uses several learning and engagement strategies (collaborative learning, problem based learning, gamification and social interaction) as students learn about software testing topics. WReSTT incorporates a collaborative, social networking and gamification environment, where the students can communicate with each other, discuss on topics related to software testing. WReSTT helps them by providing the necessary resources so that they could get more knowledge about the testing tools by browsing through the Learning Objects, videos, quizzes, etc., This paper evaluates the usefulness of WReSTT at integrating software testing tools into the curricula of introductory CS courses at XX university. This study has been conducted across four different sections of introductory Computer Science Course (CS1) that was taught by two instructors. The first section has all the features of WReSTT (Gamification, Social interaction and collaborative learning). The second section has all the features except gamification, for the third section social interaction was turned off and the final fourth section has all of them except collaborative learning feature. The study utilized pre and posttest instrument to measure the impact of using WReSTT with Gamification feature on students’ acquisition of testing knowledge and their proficiency of usage of testing tools when compared to that of the using WReSTT with other features. We also conducted user survey to see if WReSTT resulted in improved learning for students on their assignments and ability to use the testing tools. Pre-test was conducted at the beginning of the semester, followed by the introduction of WReSTT so that students would be using it to complete their assignments, browse through the learning objects and tools. Near the end of the semester, Post-test (this is same as the pretest) will be conducted which is required to evaluate their improvement in knowledge of testing concepts and tools. Also, a user survey will also be provided to students to get feedback regarding the usage of WReSTT and how it affected their learning. We would be collecting different data results and will be evaluating to understand which combination of learning engagement strategies can maximize the student learning gains.

Narasareddygari, M. R., & Walia, G. S., & Radermacher, A., & Borchert, O. (2018, June), Board 67: Evaluating Learning Engagement Strategies in a Cyber Learning Environment during Introductory Computer Programming Courses – an Empirical Investigation Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30084

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