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Case Studies as Assessment Tools in Software Engineering Classrooms

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2 Author(s)
Garg, K. ; Int. Inst. of Inf. Technol., Hyderabad ; Varma, V.

Software engineering (SE) courses aim to make students well-versed in solving authentic and complex problems by applying varied SE knowledge skills along with problem solving, critical thinking, use of tools, communication skills etc. Thus they have multiple, complex and some higher order cognitive learning goals. Traditional assessment tools like multiple choice questions, subjective questions, etc., may not always be an optimal choice for such a SE course and may not satisfy learning sciences principle and guidelines of assessment design. Case studies in SE have been used since long for research and investigation, recently in teaching, but not as assessment tools. In this paper, we propose and examine the use of SE case studies as assessment tools. We also describe an approach for objective and easy evaluation of solutions. This work reasons that carefully designed case studies can be effective as well as efficient assessment tools for SE education such that they are not only closely aligned with learning goals, but are also in accordance with learning sciences.

Published in:

Software Engineering Education and Training, 2009. CSEET '09. 22nd Conference on

Date of Conference:

17-20 Feb. 2009