Incorporating Human Error Education into Software Engineering Courses via Error-based Inspections

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Journal / Book Title

Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education


In spite of the human-centric aspect of software engineering (SE) discipline, human error knowledge has been ignored by SE educators as it is often thought of as something that belongs in the realm of Psychology. SE curriculum is also severely devoid of educational content on human errors, while other human-centric disciplines (aviation, medicine, process control) have developed human error training and other interventions. To evaluate the feasibility of using such interventions to teach students about human errors in SE, this paper describes an exploratory study to evaluate whether requirements inspections driven by human errors can be used to deliver both requirements validation knowledge (a key industry skill) and human error knowledge to students. The results suggest that human error based inspections can enhance the fault detection abilities of students, a primary learning outcome of inspection exercises conducted in software engineering courses. Additionally, results showed that students found human error information useful for understanding the underlying causes of requirement faults.



Published Citation

Anu, V., Walia, G., and Bradshaw, G. "Incorporating Human Error Education into Software Engineering Courses via Error-based Inspections", 48th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2017. March 8 – 11, 2017, Seattle, Washington, USA.