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Durham University

Research & business

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Publication details

Kitchenham, Barbara, Brereton, Pearl & Budgen, David (2010), The Educational Value of Mapping Studies of Software Engineering Literature, 1: 32nd International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2010) ACM Press. Cape Town, South Africa, ACM, 589-598.

Author(s) from Durham


We identify three challenges related to the provenance of the material we use in teaching software engineering. We suggest that these challenges can be addressed by using evidence-based software engineering (EBSE) and its primary tool of systematic literature reviews (SLRs). This paper aims to assess the educational and scientific value of undergraduate and postgraduate students undertaking a specific form of SLR called a mapping study. Using a case study methodology, we asked three postgraduate students and three undergraduates and their supervisor to complete a questionnaire concerning the educational value of mapping studies and any problems they experienced. Students found undertaking a mapping study to be a valuable experience providing both reusable research skills and a good overview of a research topic. Postgraduates found it useful as a starting point for their studies. Undergraduates reported problems undertaking the study in the required timescales. Searching and classifying the literature was difficult.