Effective Methods of Software Testing (EMST) Participant,  

Thank you for considering the 6 session EMST Course that will start in the Fourth quarter of 2013 on October 08, 2013. The course will run weekly through November 19, 2013. This course will also be offered during the First quarter during January - February 2014. There are no prerequisites for this course however prior experience in software testing will enhance the learning experience. This course is not designed to be a preparatory course for the Certified Software Tester (CSTE) exam although the materials covered in the course will be useful to those candidates preparing for the CSTE examination. Participants in this course earn 12 or more CPE (continuing professional education) points authorized by the International Software Certifications Board (ISCB) for CSTE recertification (12 contact hours plus actual time spent on ‘homework’).

You will receive an e-mail reminder notice of the Live Virtual Classroom (LVC) before each session. Most sessions will also have a separate Question and Answer session and breakout sessions based on the prior session's materials and assignments as well.  In addition to live exercises conducted online in the LVC, each session will also have Knowledge and Essay exams to be taken online after each LVC. Feedback will be provided.

  • Most all meetings are currently on Tuesdays.
  • Occasionally, a subsequent session in the series will actually be held in the same calendar week as the previous session to allow for holidays and instructor schedules.  If this should happen, it is usually scheduled for Thursdays. 
  • Sometime before the start of the series, you will receive an email with a login ID and password to both a special website and also the online program that is an integral part of the course. 
  • To get a needed head start, we suggest you login to that website, examining and downloading materials from the first 3 tabs in the menu bar as described below, well prior to the start of the series. This includes self-assessments.
  • Audio is conducted over phone lines, via telephone teleconference, as well as VOIP over the internet for the presenter only. We require connection with you over the phone for two way interaction. Speakers are not required at your workstation, although they are useful when we play videos. 
  • No special software needs to be installed at your workstation, other than the Adobe flash player, which comes pre-installed on virtually all computers.  Version 10.3 or higher is required.

If you want a sneak peek of what lies ahead:
video sample of the course.

Important Prework Materials

Prior to the first session - Read the Welcome Info, download and print the Course Materials, and view / take the prework materials on the prework drop-down within the LVC Sessions tab. 


  • Welcome Info Tab:
    • View the Instructor Bio as desired.
    • Make note of the Additional Information containing the telephone teleconference phone number and passcode.  The information also contains a free SKYPE toll-free alternative especially for callers outside the USA .
  • Supporting Material Tab:
    • Link to Improvement Workplan with materials that will be discussed in the first session and utilized throughout the course.
    • Link to Additional Resources has links to various web sites and books on software quality which you might find helpful.
    • Link to Suggested Reading for books on software testing, QA, Agile, PM, etc.
  • LVC Sessions Tab, Prework drop-down box:
    • You can preview the LVC Orientation (Live Virtual Classroom Orientation) slides to get an idea of what the LVC screens will look like.  These same slides will be used as an orientation during the first session.  Make a written record of your current screen resolution and color quality.  Be prepared to change the resolution to 1024 X 768 and quality to minimum (16 bit or 256 color) prior to each session.  You can change it back to original settings after each session if you wish.
    • LVC log in and use instructions shows you the screens you get when you click on the meeting Link to LVC Sessions for the meeting session you are in.
    • You can take the Pre-Test to pre-assess your present level of knowledge. It uses 30 multiple choice questions. It is automatically scored upon conclusion. Although the instructor gets a copy, don't worry about how you do; course discussion is limited to group responses.  This is an excellent way of doing a "dry run."  
    • You can download the Skill Self-Assessment spreadsheet and self-assess your degree of knowledge in various testing categories, before the first session.  This will help you identify your current level of knowledge in each area.  Although this is not sent to the instructor, we recommend you complete it prior to the first class, as we will be giving instructions for grading the self-assessment on your own during class. It consists of 20 questions.  


The course usually meets on Tuesday of each week. Occasionally we meet on Thursday to bypass scheduled events. You will be sent the link for the LVC on or before the Monday of each session. We honor daylight savings time when that occurs.

  • Tuesday 2:00pm - 2:30pm (USA Eastern time) – The LVC's Q&A session meets to go over the assignments and clear up any questions you may have about the material covered on the previous session or sessions. This time will also be used to conduct breakout room sessions reviewing prior case study assignments. During the first session, this time will be used as an introduction to the LVC, participant introductions, and preliminary questions.
  • Tuesday 2:30pm - 4:00pm ( USA Eastern time) – During this hour and thirty minute session the seminar leader will present the course materials encouraging all participants to join in the discussion of the topics. There may be occasions when the time or date of the LVC Session needs to be adjusted.  
  • Special times, Section A of the course, early in the quarter – During session 2 only, all times are shifted later by ˝ hour.  Other sessions are unaffected.  Section B of the course, late in the quarter, do not have this adjustment.

  •   Fourth quarter planned dates, subject to occasional, infrequent change: 

    • Tuesday, October 08
    • Thursday, October 10
    • Tuesday, October 15
    • Tuesday, November 05
    • Tuesday, November 12
    • Thursday, November 19

  • First quarter planned dates 2014 , most Tuesdays January thru February (detailed dates publicized in November ).


Your LVC session instructor will emphasizing category orientation, importance of material, orientation to other skill categories, and monitored participant discussions. In addition, your instructor facilitate phone conference discussion sessions to review exercises and case studies.

Session multiple choice and essay assignments will be given.  All assignments should be completed on or before the Q&A session the following session. Feedback will be provided to you in an e-mail on all assignments submitted.  



Completing the Self Assessment, Developing a Personal Action Program.

Prior to First Meeting - Take the 30 question sample test which will be reviewed with the class as a group .



Session 1
October 08

Learning Objective 1: Understanding the Testing Challenge and the Vocabulary of Testing

This session focuses on the various challenges faced by today's software test professional.  This discussion helps set the context for the practices and procedures taught in subsequent sessions.  This session also reviews the standard terminology used in the testing profession.



Session 2
October 10

Learning Objective 2: Understanding Test Strategy and the Testing Process
This session covers why and how we develop a testing strategy.  The testing strategy defines the scope and general direction for testing.  It is a high-level plan and should be developed very early in the project life cycle.  The testing process has 4 specific steps: setting test objectives, developing the test plan, executing the tests and summarizing and reporting results.  Also covered in this session is step 1 of the testing process, setting test objectives.



Session 3
October 15

Learning Objective 3: Continuing Discussion on the Testing Process
This session will cover step 2 in the testing process, Test Planning.  The key deliverable from the planning process is the test plan.  Test plans serve two primary purposes, they are the test teams 'contract' with the overall project team, and it serves as a roadmap that testers can follow throughout the test project.  An initial discussion of executing the tests is covered here also.



Session 4
November 05

Learning Objective 4: The Test Process ... Executing the Tests
This session will focus Identifying Test Conditions, Developing Test Cases and Developing and Managing Test Data.  



Session 5
November 12

Learning Objective 5: Continue Discussions on Test Execution
This session will complete the discussion on test execution.  Designing test cases, equivalence partitioning, boundary analysis, decision tables and developing test scripts are some of the items discussed.



Session 6
November 19

Learning Objective 6: Deploying the Test Process and Test Reporting.
Session 6 will covers the deployment process and how to manage the test process with measurements and metrics.  The final section of the course will be to complete a 'plan of action' so information learned in the LVC course can be utilized in your organization today!


Course Website

We have created a special Website for you and this course. Please protect the User ID and Password. We will post any downloads and assignments at the start of each Session. Once posted, we will keep that information on the site for the entire duration of the course. Check back often since we’ll be adding items to the Web page frequently. All e-mail should be addressed to lvcEMST@qaicampus.com.


Connecting to the LVC Sessions

Please note that the video and audio segments of the LVCs are accessed independently. For the video portion, we are using a system called Adobe Connect which allows you to see the instructor and the weekly presentations. You will NOT have to download any special drivers or media player software; however, your system must have the latest version of Flash installed. To connect to the live video portion of the LVC, click the address link on the e-mail you receive each Session. You will need to enter your e-mail address and Password in the "Enter with your login and password" area of the main screen to enter the meeting. Although you will not need speakers at your PC, they are helpful when we play videos.

To hear the audio portion and participate in discussions, you must place a phone call to the phone number listed on the LVC website under the Additional Info link.


Open communication is encouraged not only between the participants and the instructors but also among the participants of the course. Such communications can be of a great assistance especially if a local study group is not available. Any e-mail that you send concerning course information should be addressed to all attendees so we can share this information. If you have concerns about the course please feel free to contact me directly at lvcEMST@qaicampus.com.