Often, little attention is given to “software testing” in curricula, poorly preparing graduates to deal adequately with the quality standards demanded by the industry. Fortunately, our colleagues from UPorto are working on this issue, as proven by the acceptance of the scientific paper “Collecting cognitive strategies applied by students during test case design” in the LEARNER (“evaLuation and assEssment in softwARe eNgineers’ Education and tRaining”) workshop, collocated with the International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering (EASE) conference, 2023

The problem of lack of presence for software testing in higher education can be solved with bite-sized software testing educational capsules with a practical component that allows teachers to introduce the subject in a less time-consuming way, facilitating learning. Herein, it is important to understand the cognitive model used by students during test case design, to adequately develop those capsules.

This work in progress proposes an experimental design to understand students’ cognitive strategies during test case design based on real-life cases. It aims to answer the following research questions:

  • RQ1. What are the cognitive processes applied by students during test case design?
  • RQ2. How does previous experience in software testing affect these cognitive processes?
  • RQ3. Does providing different software artefacts (requirements, model, code) impact the cognitive processes?

A cognitive model will be made by using grounded theory on the obtained results. Finally, the cognitive model can be used to develop educational support for teaching software testing.

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