Luther first-year researches unit testing in a classroom setting

June 29, 2018

Unit testing involves testing individual components of software to assure each smaller section performs as it was designed before testing the larger unit’s functionality. Through his summer research project, David Oniani, Luther College first-year of Tbilisi, Georgia, is exploring whether unit testing could be used in a classroom setting to provide immediate feedback for students.

Oniani, the son of Lorena Rigvava and Avtandil Oniani, is a 2016 graduate of V. Komarovi Physics and Mathematics School in Tbilisi. He is pursuing a double major in computer science and mathematics at Luther.

“Since Luther College is an educational institution, one of its primary objectives is to make it easy for students to learn. I think that our research has a direct connection to this idea. The primary goal was to implement unit testing to help students in completing assignments by providing immediate feedback on their performance and giving some hints on what they could have done better,” said Oniani.

Oniani is working with Roman Yasinovskyy, Luther visiting assistant professor in computer science, on his project, “Using unit testing frameworks in a classroom.”

Oniani’s project examines the feasibility of using unit testing to provide immediate feedback following a test rather than waiting for feedback from an instructor. Oniani redesigned the mini-testing frameworks to help students get an immediate feedback. In addition to what he’s learning specific to his research, he has also discovered how important research is for a college institution and for each student.

“Research is a tool for building knowledge as well as the important practice which promotes growth and innovation in various fields. Without research, many fields may attain a state of rigidity and stagnation with no growth and changes. I also think that the idea of research aligns well with the mission of the college,” said Oniani. “I think research is a great challenge. One has to sacrifice the significant amount of time and energy to do it. On the other hand, the outcomes might be very impressive.”

Oniani and Yasinovskyy’s collaboration is one of 30 summer student-faculty research projects funded through Luther’s College Scholars Program and Dean’s Office. The Student-Faculty Summer Research projects provide students an opportunity to research topics of interest alongside Luther faculty. This program is one of a wide selection of experiential learning opportunities that are part of Luther’s academic core and intend to deepen the learning process.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college’s website: