The Workshop on Teaching Software Testing is concerned with the practical aspects of teaching university-caliber software testing courses to academic or commercial students.
This year, we are particularly interested in activities and assignments that help students understand testing principles or develop testing skills.
We invite participation by:
- academics who have experience teaching testing courses
- practitioners who teach professional seminars on software testing
- academic or practitioner instructors with significant online teaching experience and wisdom
- one or two graduate students
- a few seasoned teachers or testers who are beginning to build their strengths in teaching software testing.
There is no fee to attend this meeting. You pay for your seat through the value of your participation.
Participation in the workshop is by invitation based on a proposal. We expect to accept 15 participants with an absolute upper bound of 25.
WTST is a workshop, not a typical conference. Our presentations serve to drive discussion. The target readers of workshop papers are the other participants, not archival readers. We are glad to start from already-published papers, if they are presented by the author and they would serve as a strong focus for valuable discussion.
In a typical presentation, the presenter speaks 10 to 90 minutes, followed by discussion. There is no fixed time for discussion. Past sessions' discussions have run from 1 minute to 3 hours. During the discussion, a participant might ask the presenter simple or detailed questions, describe consistent or contrary experiences or data, present a different approach to the same problem, or (respectfully and collegially) argue with the presenter. In 20 hours of formal sessions, we expect to cover six to eight presentations.
We also have lightning presentations, time-limited to 5 minutes (plus discussion). These are fun and they often stimulate extended discussions over lunch and at night.
Presenters must provide materials that they share with the workshop under a Creative Commons license, allowing reuse by other teachers. Such materials will be posted at http://www.wtst.org.
There are few courses in software testing, but a large percentage of software engineering practitioners do test-related work as their main focus. Whether they are academic or commercial, face-to-face or online, courses face a tradeoff between time for additional topics and time for activities that help students develop skill and insight.
Here are *examples* of ideas that might help us learn more about test-related activities and assignments that will enhance our courses
- Instructive examples: Do you have particularly successful activities or assignments? What are their details? What do students learn? How do you know? What problems do students have in attempting these and how do you recommend that we deal with them (if we reuse your activity)?
- Instructive examples from other domains: Have you used particularly successful activities or assignments in other courses that you believe would help us develop strong activities for testing courses (or test-related segments of other courses)? What are the details? Why do you expect these to successfully transfer to testing?
- Resources for test-related activities and assignments: we have all heard of MERLOT and NSDL and several other repositories of learning objects. Have you found any good resources for software testing in any of these repositories? What have you found? How did you search? Can you give a demo, including your search strategy?Assessment: What techniques should we use to determine whether our assignments and activities are working? Have you used these assessment techniques? Can you give examples?
- Qualitative assessment methods: From sloppy anecdotal reports to rigorous qualitative design. How can we use qualitative methods to conduct research on the teaching of computing, including software testing?
- Differences in characteristics of learners that predict differences in effectiveness of activities or assignments?
- Publication: Where should we publish these activities and assignments? APA has a good collection in its books on learning activities, but where is the comparable outlet for CS, Software Engineering, or IT? Is there a good place or is this something that AST Update should expand coverage to handle?
TO ATTEND AS A PRESENTER
Please send a proposal BY DECEMBER 18, 2008 to Cem Kaner <firstname.lastname@example.org> that identifies who you are, what your background is, what you would like to present, how long the presentation will take, any special equipment needs, and what written materials you will provide. Along with traditional presentations, we will gladly consider proposed activities and interactive demonstrations.
We will begin reviewing proposals on December 1. We encourage early submissions. It is unlikely but possible that we will have accepted a full set of presentation proposals by December 18.
Proposals should be between two and four pages long, in PDF format. We will post accepted proposals to http://www.wtst.org.
We review proposals in terms of their contribution to knowledge of HOW TO TEACH software testing. Proposals that present a purely theoretical advance in software testing, with weak ties to teaching and application, will not be accepted. Presentations that reiterate materials you have presented elsewhere might be welcome, but it is imperative that you identify the publication history of such work.
By submitting your proposal, you agree that, if we accept your proposal, you will submit a scholarly paper for discussion at the workshop by January 15, 2009. Workshop papers may be of any length and follow any standard scholarly style. We will post these at http://www.wtst.org as they are received, for workshop participants to review before the workshop.
TO ATTEND AS A NON-PRESENTING PARTICIPANT:
Please send a message by DECEMBER 18, 2008, to Cem Kaner <email@example.com> that describes your background and interest in teaching software testing. What skills or knowledge do you bring to the meeting that would be of interest to the other participants?
ADVISORY BOARD MEETING
Florida Tech's Center for Software Testing Education & Research has been developing a collection of hybrid and online course materials for teaching black box software testing. We now have NSF funding to adapt these materials for implementation by a broader audience. We have formed an Advisory Board to guide this adaptation and the associated research on the effectiveness of the materials in diverse contexts. We are interested in having a few new members. The Board will meet before WTST, on January 29, 2009.
- If you are interested in joining the Board and attending the January meeting, please read this invitation and submit an application.
- If you are already a member and are willing to come on January 29, please let us know ASAP.
- In either case, please let us know whether you plan to stay for WTST.
We can afford to subsidize travel expenses for Board members (subsidizing airfare and hotel) who attend the meeting and WTST. We’ll discuss this in more detail in correspondence with the Advisory Board.
WTST 9 is co-hosted by Cem Kaner, Scott Barber, and Rebecca Fiedler. Paul Holland is the facilitator of WTST 9.
3. CONFIRMED PARTICIPANTS
The agenda will undoubtedly change. We'll post papers as we receive them.
Opinions expressed at WTST or published in connection with WTST do not recessarily reflect the views of NSF. WTST is often co-sponsored by the Association for Software Testing (AST) .