PPIG 2022 - 33rd Annual Workshop
The impact of POGIL-like learning on student understanding of software testing and DevOps: A qualitative study
Bhuvana Gopal, Ryan Bockmon, Stephen Cooper
Abstract: In this study, we analyze students’ understanding of unit testing, integration testing and continuous integration in a semester long undergraduate software engineering course, after they underwent instruction using POGIL-like, a guided inquiry based pedagogy. At the end of the course, we collected student responses to open ended questions regarding their understanding of these topics, combining them with researcher memos as well as reflective researcher journals. We analyzed these written responses and identified the themes that we came up with regarding how students learned and potentially overcame difficulties with software testing and DevOps. Some of those themes that emerged from our qualitative analysis were: What makes writing and maintaining tests difficult? Where do you start unit testing a method? How do you know if you have written enough tests for the System Under Test (SUT)? How do you identify the most important functionality to test, in a SUT? Does your testing accomplish all functionality goals?
We investigate and discuss students’ answers to these questions in detail. We attempt to understand if the POGIL-like approach helped students overcome some of the difficulties students expressed in our earlier work on the same topic in a previously published study.