Fincher, Sally and Petre, Marian and Tenenberg, Josh and Blaha, Ken and Bouvier, Dennis and Chen, Tzu-Yi and Chinn, Donald and Cooper, Stephen and Eckerdal, Anna and Johnson, Hubert
A multi-national, multi-institutional study of student-generated software.
In: Korhonen, Ari and Malmi, Lauri, eds.
Proceedings of the Fourth Finnish/Baltic Sea Conference on Computer Science Education.
(Full text available)
This paper reports a multi-national, multi-institutional study to investigate Computer
Science students' understanding of software design and software design criteria. Student
participants were recruited from two groups: students early in their degree studies and students
completing their Bachelor degrees. Computer Science educators were also recruited
as a comparison group. The study, including over 300 participants from 21 institutions in
4 countries, aimed to understand characteristics of student-generated software designs, to
investigate student recognition of requirement ambiguities, and to elicit students' valuation
of key design activities. The results indicate that with experience, students become
more aware of ambiguous problem speci�cations and are able to address more of the requirements
in their software designs, that they use fewer textual design notations and
more graphical and standardized notations, that they systemically ignore groupings and
interactions among the di�erent parts of their designs, and that students change their
valuation of key design activities in response to changes in problem-solving context.
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