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Agile Practices in Higher Education: A Case Study
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Agile Practices in Higher Education: A Case Study


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  • 1. Agile Practices in Higher Education: A Case Study Venkatesh Kamat Goa University [email_address]
  • 2. Outline
    • Motivation for Agile framework in Education
    • Proposed Agile Manifesto in education
    • Case Study
    • Conclusion
    • Q & A
    19th Feb 2012 Agile India 2012
  • 3. Software development Game
    • Key Actors in the Game
      • Programmer / Developer
      • Customer / Client
      • Collaboration results in Software
    Developer Customer Software Collaborate 19th Feb 2012 Agile India 2012
  • 4. Education Game
    • Key Actors in the Game
      • Teacher / Institute
      • Employer / Industry
      • Student
    Teacher / Institution Employer / Industry Student Collaborate? 19th Feb 2012 Agile India 2012
  • 5. Present Scenario
    • Academic programs are rigid and uses waterfall process model in delivery
    • Most academic programs are fixed time, fixed cost and fixed scope projects
    • Change is a bureaucratic process and on an average cycle time is 3-4 years
    • There is over emphasis on what can be taught than what need to be taught
    19th Feb 2012 Agile India 2012
  • 6. Present Scenario cont…
    • Students graduate with little practical skills, no idea of industry expectations
    • There is over compartmentalization of education and no time for integration
    • Instead of resolving the problem, industry has found its own quick fix solutions
    19th Feb 2012 Agile India 2012
  • 7. Frustration!
    • Industry
      • They don’t understand what we want
    • Academia
      • They don’t know what our problems are
    • Student
      • Confused, eager to join industry only to get more confused
    • There is lot of duplication of efforts, waste of time & resources, is anybody listening?
    19th Feb 2012 Agile India 2012
  • 8. Blame Game – Industry View
    • Institutions teach things that are not relevant
    • Marks in the exam is no proof of actual skills
    • Institutions teach as if all students are going to be researchers
    • Institutions are bureaucratic, they are tightly controlled bodies and averse to change
    • and so on . . .
    19th Feb 2012 Agile India 2012
  • 9. Blame Game - Academic View
    • We teach fundamentals, platform specific skills is not our forte
    • We expect industry participation if they want better output
    • We are paid peanuts, what better can you expect?
    • Our environments are not inspiring, come and work here then talk
    19th Feb 2012 Agile India 2012
  • 10. Blame game doesn’t fix the bug
    • Understand the process of education
    • Three key processes in education are
      • Teaching
      • Evaluation
      • Administration
    • The quality of education is directly related to quality of these 3 processes
    19th Feb 2012 Agile India 2012
  • 11. Current Trend in Education
    • Cost of education is rising
    • Classroom size is becoming bigger
    • Conventional classroom teaching ineffective
    • Education is being looked upon as investment
    • Education has become a serious business
    19th Feb 2012 Agile India 2012
  • 12. Current Profile – Student
    • Limited attention span
    • Well informed, well versed with technology
    • Visually oriented
    • Impatient, eager to experiment
    • Finds stereotype teaching boring
    19th Feb 2012 Agile India 2012
  • 13. Current Teaching/Evaluation Practices
    • Engaging class is important but …
    • Accountability is limited to attendance
    • Lot of teacher time spent on mundane jobs
    • Chalk & talk has no scope for reusability
    • Focus is on scoring marks then knowing
    • Essay type questions lack application
    19th Feb 2012 Agile India 2012
  • 14. Current Administrative Woes
    • Procedures more important then outcome
    • Excessive worry about misuse before use
    • Control mindset disabling than enabling
    • Compliance scores over Competence
    • System encourages/propagates mediocrity
    • Lack of trust in teacher and the system
    • System converts assets into liability
    19th Feb 2012 Agile India 2012
  • 15. Agile manifesto in Education
    • Teachers and Students over Administration and Infrastructure
    • Competence and Collaboration over Compliance and Competition
    • Employability and Marketability over Syllabus and Marks
    • Attitude and Learning skills over Aptitude and formal degree
    19th Feb 2012 Agile India 2012
  • 16. What skills are important?
    • Problem solving skills are more important rather than rote learning
    • Classroom control through engagement is more important rather than discipline
    • Ability to ask right question is more important rather than knowing all answers
    • Formulating a problem is more important rather than solving it in gory detail
    19th Feb 2012 Agile India 2012
  • 17. Change in attitude - Teacher
    • Figure of authority to a facilitator
      • Sage on the stage to guide by the side
    • Know it all to let me know
      • Open to new ideas of teaching-learning
    • Innovative in order to be effective
      • Explore opportunities to use new technologies
    19th Feb 2012 Agile India 2012
  • 18. Do not reinvent the wheel
    • Use internet resources judiciously
    • Download – Modify – Reuse but…
    • Content has its own life cycle
    • Use technology effectively for engagement
    19th Feb 2012 Agile India 2012
  • 19. Take feedback often
    • Student is evaluated once in a while, but teacher is evaluated everyday
    • Evaluation is the only way to know how much student has misunderstood
    • Evaluation only determines what student doesn't know and not what student knows
    • Earlier you detect the misunderstanding, easier it is to fix it
    19th Feb 2012 Agile India 2012
  • 20. Food for thought!
    • Each student learns differently than why all students should pass in same time?
    • What is the competence of a student who has scored 40% marks in an exam?
    • Why each teacher should prepare her own lecture content?
    • How do we move from just-in-case to just-in-time delivery model?
    19th Feb 2012 Agile India 2012
  • 21. Case Study - PGDCET
    • 500 ICT school teachers being trained
    • Teachers spread across 350+ schools
    • Training conducted across 11 colleges
    • Master trainers – to prepare content
    • College teachers – to deliver the material
    • All interactions hosted through Moodle – Learning Management System (LMS)
    19th Feb 2012 Agile India 2012
  • 22. Conclusion
    • Technologies are necessary to address the problem of
      • Lack of experienced teacher
      • Scalability
      • Effective & Efficient delivery
    • But technology is not a substitute for good teaching
    19th Feb 2012 Agile India 2012
  • 23. Conclusion
    • There is an urgent need to apply agile framework to education system before it goes through heavy process orientation
    • Lightweight process framework like Agile is recommended to educational setup
    • Our experience shows that it is very much possible to put these practices in use provided there is will and commitment
    19th Feb 2012 Agile India 2012
  • 24. Q & A? Thank You!