Students as partners in an immersive agile learning environment

Nicholas Mitchell, Lesley May, Nicky Danino

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Since education began experiencing a paradigm shift away from teaching-as-instruction towards student-centred learning, educators have had to re-evaluate both the approach of their delivery and their methods of assessment. The notion of students as partners is one that connects many discussions within pedagogy in higher education, such as assessment and feedback, retention, attainment and research informed teaching. Policy proposals in higher education in the UK have been increasingly highlighting the importance of engaging students as active participants in their learning, realising active roles in influencing and developing their learning experiences.

This paper describes aspects of the design and delivery of a first year undergraduate computing module, in which the engagement of students is addressed via the establishment of a partnership process. Throughout this process, learning communities are created and supported throughout via the application of Agile principles and practices.

The driver behind the module was primarily to increase student motivation and engagement with the through a team-based month-long end-to-end development project. By arranging both the team organisation and the project itself along Agile principles, the students are given a positive (if somewhat scaffolded) experience of Agile team-working from the very beginning of their course. This experience acts as a framework in which to understand the theory later on in their academic career. Individuals get to experience team working and learning in a collaborative environment by using the Agile values to develop the supportive culture required in industry. Through incremental development and working closely with ‘clients’ the teams learn to deal with the inconsistencies and change associated with software development whilst maintaining a focus on delivering value. This approach of instilling the right culture first before teaching specific Agile practices and techniques aims to make the student progression to second year modules more successful and produce more rounded students.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationINTED2019 Proceedings
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)9788409086191
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference - Valencia, Spain
Duration: 11 Mar 201913 Mar 2019

Academic conference

Academic conference13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference


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