Creating Synergy Between Testing and Education


Teaching software testing in undergraduate CS and SE courses is an effective way to expose students to quality assurance methodologies at an early stage in their academic career. From this perspective, formal education can have a significant impact on the availability of programmers with software testing expertise. Looking at the software testing and education relationship from the opposite direction, the continual increase in the use of computer software for teaching a variety of subject areas, such as science and mathematics, means that software testing is necessary to ensure the production of high quality educational software products. The research projects in this section are focused on software testing education and testing educational software.

Testing the Virtual Cell Game*

Validating a Multi-User Virtual Biology Environment

*This project is supported by the National Institutes of Health under grant 2R44RR024779-02A1

Virtual Cell is a multiplayer game in which students use a submarine to navigate through a role-based, goal-oriented environment, and practice being cell biologists. Working individually, or with others, students learn fundamental concepts of cell biology and strategies for deductive problem solving through their experiences in the virtual space.

Testing research surrounding the Virtual Cell is divided into client-side and server-side efforts. On the client-side, we are applying exploratory software testing techniques to validate fundamental aspects of the game modules. Record and playback techniques are being embedded into the front-end so that we can capture the actions of a representative set of end-users during beta testing. The recorded test scripts will then be analyzed for path coverage, and used to generate test cases that cover a more comprehensive set of paths using software-based agents.

On the server-side, we are developing an automated load testing tool called the Crushinator. This tool uses a state-based model of game events and actions to generate load and stress tests to validate the multiplayer performance of the Virtual Cell.

Current Students: Collaborators:
  • Bob Cosmano, Project Manager, WoWiWe Instruction Co.
  • Matti Kariluoma, Developer, WoWiWe Instruction Co.
  • Bradley Vendor, PI and Developer, WoWiWe Instruction Co.
  • Otto Borchert, Developer, WoWiWe Instruction Co.
  • Guy Hokanson, Developer, WoWiWe Instruction Co.
  • Brian M. Slator, President, WoWiWe Instruction Co.

WReSTT: A Web-Based Testing Repository

Integrating Software Testing into Undergraduate CS and SE Courses

The Web-Based Repository of Software Testing Tools (WReSTT) seeks to provide students and instructors with guided access to vetted software testing tools and program analyzers that will support the development of quality software during their academic training. WReSTT is a collaborative effort between Florida International University, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, and North Dakota State University. Industry partners such as IBM and Ultimate Software have also contributed to the development of the learning materials in WReSTT, which includes multimedia tutorials for popular software testing tools.

Current Students: Collaborators:
Website by Tariq M. King