CS 569, Fall 2014, Dr. Burnett
Homework #2: Anatomy of a case study (Team)
The Seaman/Basili ICSE'97 paper (on the class web page) is an example of a good software engineering case study. This homework is to analyze their case study attribute by attribute, so that you can understand the choices they made and how these choices compare with what we know about how to do case studies.
You will need to understand the Runeson readings in Chapters 1 through 3.2.7 to complete HW #2a, and Chapter 4 and Section 5.4 to complete HW #2b. The questions are expressed according to the vocabulary and criteria used in the book.
With your temporary teammate, answer the following questions about this paper:
- HW #2a: What type of case study was it? (Exploratory, Descriptive, Explanatory, Improving). Explain your answer.
- HW #2a: What were relationships of the case study to theory? (eg, what theory were they trying to understand? Or were they developing a new theory and if so, what new theory emerged? Or did they draw upon existing theories in interpreting their results (if so, which ones)? Or ...?)
- HW #2a: What do you think their study's initial research questions were, exactly? What do these questions establish about the unit of analysis, and about what type of data to gather?
- HW #2a: What exactly is the "case"?
- HW #2a: What type of design did they use, according to Runeson's Fig. 3.1? Explain your answer.
- HW #2b: Comment upon the 4 validity attributes from Runeson Section 5.4: construct validity, internal validity, external validity, and reliability. Explain your answer.
- HW #2b: Summarize the logic that tied their data to each of their propositions in producing their results. By this I mean, repeat their logic for each proposition as a list of short statements that lead from the data to the result. Especially pay attention to any forms of triangulation that you find.
What to turn in: Turn in **hard copy**. Be sure both teammates' names are on it.
When to turn in HW #2A and HW #2B: See the class schedule page.