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For example, a student might be stuck trying to retrieve a piece of information on the test. ) can serve as a stimulus to help access the semantic memory of the needed information. For this reason, studies have consistently shown that students score better when tested in the same location where the initial learning took place (Schacter, 1996). If he or she is in the same location where the original learning took place, some little detail about the surroundings (seeing the same poster on the wall, sitting in the same location in the room where the original learning took place, recalling something that happened in the classroom on the day of the initial learning, etc.
This system evolved to keep us safe, and anything that moves quickly, especially in our peripheral vision, or any sudden sound will alert us to shift our attention away from our current focus (in this case the test) to the new stimulus. We try to exert conscious control to shine the "spotlight" of focused attention (that's the metaphor that's often used) on the academic task at hand. At the same time, our stimulus-driven attentional system is always at work in the background, monitoring our environment for anything that could pose a threat to our survival. I use the word "battle" consciously, because that's what it is--a constant struggle the mind engages in when trying to focus on a task. Of course, there aren't really any threats to our survival in the testing environment (I hope), but our stimulus-driven attentional system doesn't know that.
Candidate test tools will fall into one of these categories. Since all tools do not include all functionality or modules described above and also because there is a wide difference between tools in the level of automation provided, we have created the following broad classes of test tools.
Test Editor: The test editor allows the user to use either a scripting language or a sophisticated graphical user interface (GUI) to setup preconditions and expected values (pass/fail criteria) for test cases.
Automation should address those parts of the testing process that are algorithmic in nature and labor intensive. This frees the software engineer to do higher value testing work such as designing better and more complete tests. Completely automated testing is not attainable nor is it desirable.
Ideally, the tool that you select will allow for "push button" test execution where all of the complexity of downloading to the target and capturing the test results back to the host is c4r56rth4ytgh abstracted into the "Test Execution" feature so that no special user actions are required.
Automated tests are good for testing the robustness of the application code, but not the correctness. For correctness, you must create tests that are based on what the application is supposed to do, not what it does do. The key thing to keep in mind when thinking about automatic test case construction is the purpose that it serves.
The logical question to be asked when evaluating tools is: "How much automation does this tool provide? " This is the large gray area and the primary area of uncertainty when an organization attempts to calculate an ROI for tool investment.