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A Hands-On Approach for Teaching Systematic Review

TitleA Hands-On Approach for Teaching Systematic Review
Author(s)Maria Teresa Baldassarre, Nicola Boffoli, Danilo Caivano and Giuseppe Visaggio
DetailsConference Proceedings: 2008
AbstractAn essential part of a software engineering education is technology innovation. Indeed software engineers, as future practitioners, must be able to identify the most appropriate technologies to adopt in projects. As so, it is important to develop the skills that will allow them to evaluate and make decisions on tools, technologies, techniques and methods according to the available empirical evidence reported in literature. In this sense, a rigorous manner for analyzing and critically addressing literature is Systematic Review. It requires formalizing an answerable research question according to the problem or issues to face; search the literature for available evidence according to a systematic protocol and retrieve data from the identified sources; analyze the collected evidence and use it to support decision making and conclusions. In this paper we report on how Systematic Review has been integrated in the “Empirical Software Engineering Methods” course that is taught at the Department of Informatics at the University of Bari, and how students have been introduced to this type of literature review through a hands-on approach. As far as we know, it is the first attempt of including a complex topic like systematic review in a university course on empirical software engineering. We have no empirical evidence on the effectiveness of the approach adopted, other than practice-based experience that we have acquired. Nonetheless, we have collected qualitative data through a questionnaire submitted to the students of the course. Their positive answers and impressions are a first informal confirmation of the successful application of our strategy.
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TopicsApplicationEducationPrimary StudySoftware Engineering