Applying Test-Driven Development for Improved Feedback and Automation of Grading in Academic Courses on Software Development

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Grading student assignments and projects in software development courses is a time-consuming task. The lecturer has to download individually each assignment, compile it and manually check that the implementation satisfies the requirements. In addition, the students would like to get early feedback on their solutions, not only as guidelines on whether their solution meets the expectations of the lecturers, but also a way to estimate the current number of points their solution deserves. In this work, we propose the use of the test-driven development process as an approach to both guide the students during the implementation of their projects and as a way to speed up and make the grading process more scalable. Furthermore, we show how we take advantage of community-based software development tools such as GitHub to support our approach. We evaluate the proposed approach by applying it to an academic course for developing web applications. The results show that the approach reduces the grading effort by 60{%} and that the early feedback it provides was appreciated by students.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publicationFrontiers in Software Engineering Education
EditorsJ Bruel, A Capozucca, M Mazzara, B Meyer, A Naumchev, A Sadovykh
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-57663-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-57662-2
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Workshop on Frontiers in Software Engineering Education - First International Workshop on Frontiers in Software Engineering Education, FISEE 2019
Duration: 11 Nov 201913 Nov 2019


ConferenceInternational Workshop on Frontiers in Software Engineering Education


  • Software Development
  • Test-Driven Development
  • self-evaluation

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