Frequently Asked Questions

What changes will I see in my student outcomes if I implement Agile?

"It gives teams tools to be an effective and collaborative team." - Andrea Hulshult

"I think it helps students to think about breaking problems into small pieces and the prioritizing work. Helping teams with a structured 'way of working' that improves communication and forces teams to deliver results early." - Douglas Troy

I lead a fairly complete Agile classroom, but I want to know more. Where do I go from here?

"In my case, it was easy because I incorporated just some elements of agile in my teaching practice. I did not switch entirely to agile class. I would advise every faculty member to adopt a few agile practices and try to see how they work in their classes." - Douglas Troy

Can I or do I have to become Agile overnight?

"Helps students learn a set of practices to use for team management. The set of practices such as iterations, showcases and retrospectives give them a practices that improve communications and help to create accountability between team members and to the client." -Douglas Troy

Where do I begin?

"It is rather difficult and challenging to switch to an Agile way of thinking and working. When switching to Agile, one must evaluate if they have the potential to go Agile, how much the methodologies and principles adhere to their work style and if they are willing to go fully Agile or not. Before implementing Agile in much broader way such as a classroom, one must test to see if they can accomplish Agile on an individual level." - Roshanak Basty

How can Agile benefit me as an educator if it was initially created for software development?

"Agile thinking and Agile process help work better in teams. It also helps to better retain the content." - Andrea Hulshult

Agile is a great way for students and professors to ensure they are getting the correct content and knowledge out of the class. Agile allows for a stop and reflect phase, which ensures student learning.

"Agile reinforces going over what you've done, and making the necessary adjustments so the bad things happening if any don't keep happening and there is so much value in that. Agile made me start reflecting on what I had previously done and ways I can improve what I had done for the next time." - Alex Koontz

How is Agile "better" than traditional teaching methods?

"Helps teams work better, Get immediate feedback, and Positive learning environment" - Andrea Hulshult

Do I need to buy all new classroom supplies and rework the layout of the physical space?

"I was able to implement immediately by modifying the way assignments for the class project, which was a semester long project with an external client. But also had to get commitments from the client to attend showcases." - Douglas Troy

Do I need to write new curriculum for each of my classes?

Choosing to utilize Agile would suit best in software development and CIT, CSE courses which include assignments and projects that need to be completed in groups and in certain amount of time. Even if the full concept of Agile may not be fully implemented in a classroom, every instructor or student can look at its methodologies and apply those they like such as running standups, having retrospectives and so forth.

What are some little ways I can "test out" Agile before I commit?

"You can implement small aspects of the agile process at a time to see if it works well in your situation." - Matt Grammel

"Find the techniques and exercises that work best for you." - Bambi Gray

Who can I reach out to when I have questions?

"I also think that if you have questions on how to switch to agile reach out to your professor, a website, or a book for help on learning agile." - Andrew Campbell

How long does it take to fully implement Agile into a classroom?

"Breaking things down took some time as I didn't have the discipline to schedule out when and what I should be working on. In about two college semesters, things started to get easier and that was when I felt like I implemented Agile into my coursework." - Dylan Lawson

What are the benefits and the drawbacks of Agile?

"One major benefit that I can think of is that Agile tries to promote teamwork and understanding inside of a project. It's understandable that when a group starts a project, it can be a little awkward as you may not know the people around you. As the project develops, trust forms and the work becomes more comfortable to complete. This in turn makes learning Agile fun as it can help you connect with other students in the class." - Dylan Lawson

"As a student, the constant feedback and retrospectives of Agile helps me learn. Receiving feedback helps me address areas that I am struggling in at that point in time vs waiting for large test to learn my weaknesses. Retrospectives are also helpful as they offer the opportunity to identify issues. A drawback of Agile is the reliance the process has on all teamwork." - Bambi Gray

"Being able to stop, look at what you have, assess what needs to be done and make the necessary changes. This is built into the Agile process with the retrospectives, iterations, standups, etc where all these things have to occur within Agile. A drawback is it breaks the chain of command so to speak, depending on the culture already in place this could cause huge issues." - Alex Koontz

What is the most useful Agile technique and/or exercise?

"I enjoyed creating story cards for projects and then categorizing what story card should be under Must, Should, Could, or Won't." - Dylan Lawson

"My favorite exercises of Agile are standups and showcases. I think both of these are very helpful to the team members. Standup provides clarity on where the overall project is and showcases allow the teams more clarification on where the project needs to go." - Bambi Gray

What if my students are not responding well to Agile?

"Take small steps in the implementation. Adopt just one or two agile practices and see how they work in your class." - Dr. Tatjana

Does Agile encourage the natural learning process of my students?

"Agile exposes students to new mindsets and perspectives. By putting them out of their comfort zones on many levels, it helps them build their confidence, resilience and improve their interpersonal skills. Agile is an approach that contains lots of trials and errors that can help a student grow and increase their innovation and productivity. They would be exposed to team work and be able to manage collaborations and communications with different perspectives and broaden their horizon." - Roshanak Basty