ITiCSE 2017: Identifying Domain-Specific Cognitive Strategies For Software Engineering

CSER PHD student, Shifa Haidry, is exploring how we can scaffold the development of self-regulated learning skills specific to Software Engineering. Shifa has had a paper accepted at ITiCSE that describes her initial work in surveying self-regulated learning strategies that are specific to Software Engineering, and initial results from here scaffolding experiments.

Shifa-E-Zehra Haidry, Katrina Falkner and Claudia Szabo, Identifying Domain-Specific Cognitive Strategies For Software Engineering. Accepted for ITiCSE 2017. 

Due to the rapidly changing nature of today’s work envi- ronment, software engineering (SE) students are required to have self-regulated learning (SRL) and problem solving skills. Previous research suggests that training students in the use of domain-specific cognitive strategies and using scaffolded instruction for strategy training improves stu- dents’ SRL and problem solving task performance. In order to identify SE-specific cognitive strategies, we conducted a survey of advanced-level SE students. We then conducted a pre-test and post-test experiment with one control and two treatment groups, to analyze the effectiveness of identified strategies in improving students’ task performance. The control group was not exposed to any strategies, while one treatment group was instructed verbally in the use of strategies and the other was trained using a newly developed scaffolded strategy training module. The results of the experiment demonstrate significant improvement in post-test task performance for both treatment groups, with a further increase in performance for those undertaking the training module.

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