Uncovering Students' Common Difficulties and Strategies During a Class Diagram Design Process: an Online Experiment

Dave R. Stikkolorum, Truong Ho-Quang, Bilal Karasneh, Michel R. V. Chaudron
2015 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems  
This paper describes an online experiment with the aim to reveal common difficulties and modelling strategies of students during a class diagram design task. To gain more insight in the difficulties, the students were asked to register their questions using an online UML class diagram editor. To gain more insight in the overall class design approach we compared students that use Breadth First strategies with those that use Depth First strategies in terms of grading overall assignment
more » ... and diagram layout. Based on statistical analysis and diagram observations we noticed i) students seem to introduce noise by misunderstanding the assignment text ii) students have difficulties in choosing the right abstractions iii) good layout seems to lead to a good overall grade iv) the difference in grade between the Breadth First and Depth First strategy groups is not significant, however comparing the number of element moves, as possible measure for efficiency, indicates significant difference. We suggest follow-up studies to investigate the results in more detail.
dblp:conf/models/StikkolorumHKC15 fatcat:ajlebwr7h5b45nfhlcf4q72v6m