June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Software Engineering Constituent Committee
24.1115.1 - 24.1115.16
Student Learning and Use of Tools in an Undergraduate Software Testing ClassAs software becomes more ubiquitous, the need to improve its quality is becoming more critical.Software bugs continue to plague many industries ranging from business to the military, and arecosting companies in the global economy in excess of $300 Billion per year. As a result of thehigh cost of these bugs, some companies are now requiring their developers to have some formof training in software testing. This is mainly due to the fact that software testing continues to beone of the most widely used and effective means of software validation.Although practical training in software testing tools and methodologies is vital for ensuringsoftware quality in industry, academic course curricula do not appear to be providing studentswith enough hands-on experience in software testing. Furthermore, there are few research studiesthat discuss how different pedagogical approaches to such training are helping students toimprove their testing skills. Providing easy access to software testing tools offers the ability toinvestigate interesting pedagogical research questions, two of which are as follows: How arethese tools currently used in the classroom? How is the easy access to tools improving thestudents' testing skills?In this paper, we describe how software testing tools are introduced and used in an undergraduatetesting course at a large state university. As part of a semester-long course project, studentsaccess self-study tutorials on black-box and white-box testing tools via a Web-Based Repositoryof Software Testing Tools (WReSTT). WReSTT provides students with a collaborative learningenvironment where they can work on software testing tasks during the semester. We alsodescribe the structure of the testing course and how to access the repository for those instructorsinteresting in replicating the study.During Fall 2012, we conducted a case study to answer to following questions: (1) Does the useof code coverage testing tools motivate students to improve their test suites during testing? (2)Do the results generated by the code coverage tools support the subsumes relation betweenstatement coverage and branch coverage? (3) Do students find WReSTT a useful learningresource for testing techniques and tools?The sample size of the study contained 35 students who were assigned to six project teams. Thedata for the study was collected using: (a) a review of the project artifacts, (b) observations of in-class project presentations, and (c) a student survey. Our findings suggest that code coveragetools and techniques are an effective motivator for students to improve the quality of their testcases. In addition, the students find WReSTT to be a useful resource for learning softwaretesting techniques as well as a resource for learning how to use testing tools.
Clarke, P. J., & Davis, D. L., & Chang Lau, R., & King, T. M. (2014, June), Student Learning and Use of Tools in an Undergraduate Software Testing Class Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/23048
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