Experiment assignment for ESE 2013 course


  • Assignment posted on 30 June 2013.
  • Phase 1 (team assembly & experiment sketch): 30 June 2013 — 4 July.
  • Discussion/supervision on phase 1: 4 July 2013.
  • Register teams and project via email (reply): 6 July 2013.
  • Phase 2 (experiment design): 6 July - 18 July 2013.
  • Discussion/supervision on phase 2: 11 July 2013.
  • Pre-final student presentations due on 18 July 2013.

(The pre-final student presentations are called that way because there will be another chance to discuss the experiment design briefly during the oral exam. The idea is though that the discussion/supervision events as well as the final meeting are sufficient to pretty much finish the design.)

You are also welcome to make alternative appointments.


Go carefully through the process of completing an initial research question to a plausible experiment design with the assumption of involving subjects. (If you think about actually designing and executing an experiment as part of a thesis or a research practical, please come forward any time. Generally, students with ESE interests more than welcome.)


  • Teams with head count 1-2.
  • The experiments will not be executed as part of the course.
  • The experiment designs will be briefly discussed in the oral exam.
  • Write down your experiment design as a slide deck.


Design an experiment on empirical software engineering. Please identify a suitable "metamodel" based on the lectures and articles provided in the beginning of the course. Overall, there would be elements as follows:

  • Overall research question
  • More specific hypotheses
  • Kind of experiment (AB, AB/BA, etc.)
  • Tasks, questionnaire, and other artifacts supporting the experiment
  • Sketch of a theory to support research question and hypotheses
  • Assumptions for subjects (assuming student subjects overall)
  • Expected threats to validity

Available topics

See my email to the course participants as of 16 May 2013. Subject line: "[ese13] Themennotizen von heute". You are free to pick from those overall topics, but you are very welcome to pick new topics. Please register teams and topics before 7 July via reply to the email which broadcasts this assignment. (Perhaps consider registering early to avoid conflicts.)


Teams and topics will be listed here past the registration deadline.