Conference Paper

Experiences Using Defect Checklists in Software Engineering Education.

Conference: Proceedings of the ISCA 18th International Conference on Computer Applications in Industry and Engineering, November 9-11, 2005, Sheraton Moana Surfrider, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Source: DBLP


There are numerous challenges in teaching software engineering courses, as such courses typically cover multiple technical, managerial and social topics. Within software engineering, software quality assurance (SQA) is a complex area to teach, because it involves aspects from all these three types of topics. Given the complexity of the area and the limited amount of time available to teach a software engineering course educators need to ask the question "How can we effectively teach some of the most important SQA issues and techniques, highlighting the critical relationship between quality and the time and cost of software development?". Here, we present a survey of the literature on checklists and our experiences using defect checklists in software engineering classes at both graduate and undergraduate levels. The study involves 11 teams, who used the checklists to collect defect data on technical deliverables, in both internal (peer) reviews and external (instructor) reviews. Using an iterative waterfall model, students were required to correct the defects discovered in internal and external reviews; the purpose of this was to reinforce the relationship between the quality of the deliverables and the time and effort required for correcting defects. The defect data are analyzed with respect to five conjectures; the strengths and limitations of the approach are discussed using the results. Improvements to the approach and alternatives are suggested, which could aid educators in teaching this important area of software engineering.