Software testing, despite being a widely utilized technique for ensuring quality in industry, continues to be undervalued in computer science education. Consequently, students often lack the necessary skills to effectively test their software. We advocate acquiring a comprehensive understanding of the process of sensemaking employed by students during test case design, which can truly advance our efforts towards testing education improvement. Our partners from UPV are working on this topic, as it is observed in the scientific paper recently published at Data & Knowledge Engineering journal [1].

The paper presents a follow-up study conducted at a large university in Spain to understand the different sensemaking approaches employed by students during the creation of test models. The participants were tasked with creating a test model based on a provided description of a system. The evaluation encompassed measuring the alignment between these models and the system, examining the sensemaking process undertaken by students during model creation, and exploring their perceptions of the modeling task.

Through the study on the sensemaking processes employed by students during the creation of test cases for a given system, we have achieved a deeper understanding of this cognitive phenomenon. The insights garnered from our research have allowed us to refine our prior findings while also reveal novel sensemaking approaches, e.g.  the convergent tester approach, the developer approach, and the divergent tester approach, among others.

Drawing upon these findings, we can now deep further into exploring strategies to influence and shape the sensemaking process within educational contexts.

More details of the sensemaking approaches and the study can be found in the reference below. The work leading to this paper has received funding from the European Union by the ENACTEST project (101055874-ENACTEST-ERASMUS-EDU-2021-PI-ALL-INNO) and the Erasmus+ project QPeD under contract number 2020-1-NL01-KA203-064626.

[1] Doorn, N., Vos, T. E., & Marín, B. (2023). Towards understanding students’ sensemaking of test case design. Data & Knowledge Engineering, 102199.

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