Evaluation of a tool for Java specification testing

Dil, Anton and Osunde, Joseph (2018). Evaluation of a tool for Java specification testing. In: 7th Esteem Annual Conference, 25-26 Apr 2018, The Open University.


Although a number of tools for evaluating Java code style and black box functionality exist, little work has been done on evaluating Java code with respect to a structural specification, for example, one that specifies the existence of required classes, fields, methods and constructors. The CheckM250 project developed and evaluated the use of a tool to perform an automated check of such a structural specification. Tutors were surveyed on the usefulness of the tool when marking students’ code, and on its potential usefulness for students to use when working on their assignments, in comparison with other resources. Most tutors using the specification checking tool reported it to be useful, and some reported that it increased their accuracy in marking. Reasons for not using the tool included lack of awareness, lack of time, and the simplicity of the assignment it was trialled on.

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