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Agile Practices in Higher Education: A Case Study

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