All students and instructors in this class have one thing in common–we are all members of the Association for Software Testing. That means we care a lot about testing. While we have common interests, we also have some significant differences. Among the common subgroups of students are:

  • novices,
  • university students,
  • professional testers (or testers-to-be) in the general public.

Students’ learning and course management objectives vary a lot:

  • Novices are just entering the profession and tend to be drowning in vocabulary and basic applications of the simple techniques. Many are impatient with disputes over terminology, find distinctions among the techniques confusing, and find the variety of techniques available overwhelming. Procedural instruction (step-by-step instructions) is particularly valued by novices.
  • University students tend to be a lot more interested in the underlying theory, more willing to read theoretical papers, more tolerant (and appreciative) of relevant homework, and much more interested in their grade.
  • Working professionals who sign up on their own tend to be more diverse. Some are very knowledgeable, others are just beginning to study testing. Some are taking the course because they’re curious about our particular approach to the material; others are hoping to become “certified” in software testing, partially on the basis of what they learn in the course.