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Using Students as Experiment Subjects – An Analysis on Graduate and Freshmen Student Data

Runeson, Per LU (2003) In Proceedings 7th International Conference on Empirical Assessment & Evaluation in Software Engineering p.95-102
Abstract
The question whether students can be used as subjects in software engineering experiments is debated. In order to investigate the feasibility of using students as subjects, a study is conducted in the context of the Personal Software Process (PSP) in which the performance of freshmen students and graduate students are compared and also related to another study in an industrial setting. The hypothesis is that graduate students perform similarly to industry personnel, while freshmen student’s performance differ. A quantitative analysis compares the freshmen’ and graduate students. The improvement trends are also compared to industry data, although limited data access does not allow a full comparison. It can be concluded that very much the... (More)
The question whether students can be used as subjects in software engineering experiments is debated. In order to investigate the feasibility of using students as subjects, a study is conducted in the context of the Personal Software Process (PSP) in which the performance of freshmen students and graduate students are compared and also related to another study in an industrial setting. The hypothesis is that graduate students perform similarly to industry personnel, while freshmen student’s performance differ. A quantitative analysis compares the freshmen’ and graduate students. The improvement trends are also compared to industry data, although limited data access does not allow a full comparison. It can be concluded that very much the same improvement trends can be identified for the three groups. However, the dispersion is larger in the freshmen group. The absolute levels of the measured characteristics are significantly different between the student groups primarily with respect to time, i.e. graduate students do the tasks in shorter time. The data does not give a sufficient answer to the hypothesis, but is a basis for further studies on the issue. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
SoTL
categories
Higher Education
in
Proceedings 7th International Conference on Empirical Assessment & Evaluation in Software Engineering
pages
95 - 102
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
7353f8ba-81c9-4ca3-ae8d-0197c63d50da (old id 708340)
date added to LUP
2007-12-12 12:32:41
date last changed
2016-04-16 12:20:52
@misc{7353f8ba-81c9-4ca3-ae8d-0197c63d50da,
  abstract     = {The question whether students can be used as subjects in software engineering experiments is debated. In order to investigate the feasibility of using students as subjects, a study is conducted in the context of the Personal Software Process (PSP) in which the performance of freshmen students and graduate students are compared and also related to another study in an industrial setting. The hypothesis is that graduate students perform similarly to industry personnel, while freshmen student’s performance differ. A quantitative analysis compares the freshmen’ and graduate students. The improvement trends are also compared to industry data, although limited data access does not allow a full comparison. It can be concluded that very much the same improvement trends can be identified for the three groups. However, the dispersion is larger in the freshmen group. The absolute levels of the measured characteristics are significantly different between the student groups primarily with respect to time, i.e. graduate students do the tasks in shorter time. The data does not give a sufficient answer to the hypothesis, but is a basis for further studies on the issue.},
  author       = {Runeson, Per},
  keyword      = {SoTL},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {95--102},
  series       = {Proceedings 7th International Conference on Empirical Assessment & Evaluation in Software Engineering},
  title        = {Using Students as Experiment Subjects – An Analysis on Graduate and Freshmen Student Data},
  year         = {2003},
}