MuTEd: A Comparative Study of Classic and Extreme Mutation Testing for Teaching Software Testing
Although software testing is critical in software engineering, studies have shown a significant gap between students’ knowledge of software testing and the industry’s needs, hinting at the need to explore novel approaches to teach software testing. Among them, classical mutation testing has already proven to be effective in helping students. We hypothesise that extreme mutation testing could be more effective by introducing more obvious mutants to kill. In order to study this question, we organised an experiment with two undergraduate classes comparing the usage of two tools, one applying classical mutation testing, and the other one applying extreme mutation testing. The results contradicted our hypothesis. Indeed, students with access to the classic mutation testing tool obtained a better mutation score, while the others seem to have mostly covered more code. Finally, we have published and anonymised the students’ test suites in adherence to best open-science practices, and we have developed guidance based on previous evaluations and our own results.
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