Analyzing student's software redesign strategies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Article in proceedingAcademicpeer-review


The design of software is known to be difficult for novice computer scientists. In this paper, we focus on software redesign and on the refactoring necessary to implement a redesign. Redesigning an application aims to improve non-functional aspects such as extensibility, without changing the functionality. Redesign is a complex task, involving knowledge and skills from software design in general and the use of design patterns in particular.
This study is part of an educational design research project aiming at developing scaffolding for students’ software redesign activities in the form of procedural guidance. We investigated students’ strategies and usage of concepts during a software redesign assignment using students’ reports and team colllaboration recordings as data sources, thus focusing on the process instead of on the design results, in contrast with existing studies. We identified several difficulties that can serve as starting points for procedural guidance. For instance, students seem to avoid using a structured analysis method. Our findings indicate that students’ activities were mainly directed towards the code rather than the design problem.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKoli Calling '16: Proceedings of the 16th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research
EditorsJudy Sheard, Calkin Suero Montero
Place of PublicationNew York, USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781450347709
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2016
Event16th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research - Koli, Finland
Duration: 24 Nov 201627 Nov 2016
Conference number: 16


Conference16th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research
Abbreviated titleKoli Calling '16


  • Redesign
  • Refactoring
  • Design patterns
  • Procedural guidelines
  • Education


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