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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

Abstract

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.