A preliminary empirical investigation of the use of evidence based software engineering by under-graduate students.
Recently, Dyba, Jorgensen and Kitchenham have proposed a methodology, Evidence-Based Software Engineering (EBSE), that is intended to help researchers and practitioners evaluate software technologies in practice. We report the conduct of a preliminary empirical investigation of the reported use of Evidence-Based Software Engineering by 15 final-year under-graduate students. The investigation produced inconsistent results: our quantitative data suggests that students are making good use of some of the EBSE guidelines, but our qualitative evidence suggests that the students are not using the guidelines properly. Possible explanations for these results include: the superficial use of EBSE by the students; the limited ‘power’ of our research instruments to assess the use of EBSE guidelines; the difficulties of combining a required coursework with a piece of research; and the different expectations of what makes good evaluations between professional researchers and novice software practitioners.