Teaching computing students about the importance of evidence and about the use of empirical methods for evaluating computing technologies can be difficult, especially within dual honors undergraduate degree programs. The aims of this study were to explore the effectiveness of second-year undergraduate computing students in carrying out a systematic literature review and to identify the elements of the process that the students found most difficult. A multicase case study of students carrying out an assignment to perform a systematic literature review (SLR) was undertaken. Students worked in groups and were studying across a range of computing programs. Data was collected from three sources: student grades, the comments made by the teaching staff on the submitted reports, and a debriefing questionnaire. All of the groups successfully completed the assignment. Results on which parts of the process were the most difficult were mixed, although much of the evidence suggests that the students found the conduct phase more problematic than the planning phase. It can be concluded that undergraduates can do SLRs, but the task is clearly quite challenging and time-consuming. SLRs are well suited to being undertaken by groups.
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