Greeting! Welcome back to the blog of SuperEssay.com and today we are covering the second part of agile-based learning we began back in January (you can check it out ).
For those of you who did not read that article, let me quickly remind you what we are talking about. Agile methodologies were borrowed from software development in order to address learning process as a complex project. In the article, we’ve covered main values and basic principles applied to the learning process.
So this article will be covering some important aspects and elements related to Agile Based Learning (hereinafter referred to as ABL) process
Important Aspects and Elements Related to Agile Based Learning
Let’s begin with a definition of spring in terms of ABL: this is a short period of time during a certain amount of works should be down and that covers all the basic steps of the cycle. Usually such iterations last 2 weeks (in rare cases it could be either 1 week or 1 month)
One of the most important rules of Agile that applies to this iterations is ‘the amount of work for this specific time frame cannot be changed once it began’
Why is it helpful: while regular teaching/learning process takes a month and shows to a visible change in knowledge change, time-boxed durations have proven to be much more effective as they provide constant feedback and schedule assessments.
While in software development this refers to daily meetings, in ABL this can be used for a weekly or biweekly meeting of professor and students to ask any questions, tack progress etc.; or refer to any other frequent meeting or project team. Such meeting usually helps all members keep up with the progress made, solve problems earlier and achieve better results. It also helps develop communication and improves team works.
This is a great idea borrowed from IT world where 2 people can work at the same place/machine. If you read our previous article, you probably remember that Agile puts communication over technology and the same applies here as such approach helps save time not writing unnecessary e-mails and trying to install Team Viewer, but providing effective help and learning experience one-on-one.
As a friend of mine who works for a big IT company once explained a user story is a simple way do a certain amount of work without having to write a 20-page description.
For educational purposes we can say that each task can be split into the set of smaller things students need to do with simple description, that answers: who, what and why questions.
Bonus: it will help students remain more motivated as they will understand the meaning of each task.
In terms of ABL and short sprints having small chunks of information to prepare for exam or test is so much easier than having thousands of pages to re-read before the exam week. It helps provide easier learning process, better assessment result, and long-lasting progress. And if any requirements change, it’s easier to adapt to the change (let’s say the professor decided this year students shall make a group project instead of the written exam).
This is my favorite thins about Agile Based Learning process. In simple words, Scrums is the framework that, if used properly, provides great results by making every teamwork for a common goal, encourages self-organization and sets the ground for flexibility in changing the environment.
It helps provide the minimum viable projects if the shortest terms making sure there is a place for a change. Can you imagine what results can be achieved?
And it also makes sure there will be a certain amount of work done in this iteration.
This is my weak point as know many professors keep pushing students over the edge throwing in as many essays and assignments as possible. ABL teaches us that every team member has the same amount of time during the iteration there will be a limited amount of work they could do. And this is a problem with college and university education: they ignore the fact other teachers can have extra tasks for students to deal with.
My sister, a sophomore student at one of the top universities, once tried to count how much time she actually needs to cover all the assignments she had to deal with. As the result, she found out she needed 6.5 extra hours a day if she focused on her education only, had no part-time job, one extracurricular twice a week, had less than 5 hours and 30 mins of sleep and approximately 12 to 15 min for each meal.
Sound crazy, right?
How much easier would it be if teachers actually paid attention to the fact students have limited number of hours in the day?
So basically, such studying process would be looking like short iterations with small tests or assessments, regular communication, and respect for the time we all have. And while it is still hard for many of us to understand the implementation of Agile Based Learning, the perspective of this are so great.