Scrum in education helps students from 18 to 68 to study more successfully. The eduScrum Team Germany meets Professor James "Jim" Hannon, inventor of "ScrumThink", in Boston.
This august we flew to Boston to visit Scrum Inc. Scrum Inc. is the company of Scrum inventor Jeff Sutherland. Patrick Roach, one of the Product Owners of Scrum Inc., introduced us to Jim Hannon.
Jim uses Scrum for his courses with the main emphasis on management and finances at Cambridge College, at Boston University and Northeastern University.
Like Willy Wijnands, eduScrum inventor from the Netherlands, Jim saw that learners could only be a passive and consumptive part of up-front education. Jim tells us about his students, a big part of them are late learners or career changers: "I had a father with tree kids, one was just born. He came into my class - and fell asleep. Every time. I recognized, that I had to make these students part of the learning process, that I had to activate and excite them."
Jim asked himself the following questions:
How do we reengage students in a meaningful way?
How do we create a great student experience?
How do we make students accountable for the learning process?
How do we give students the tools that they need to succeed?
How do we help instructors share their insight and knowledge effectively?
How does Scrum in Jims lectures work?
Jim teaches his students in 14-16 week blocks with a 2-3 hour lecture once a week. His sprints are week sprints in which his students work in teams of four to deliver a learning increment. To achieve their goal they even meet outside the "classroom" to do Stand-Ups e.g. via Google Hangouts.
Unlike in eduScrum, Jim prepares the learning stories, the students do the rest. Individual as well as group achievements are graded. Due to the weekly delivery of an increment of knowledge and the retrospectives on teamwork, Scrum in university is a feedback machine. Learners learn, improve, grow.
As side effect, Jims students can have Agile Working added to their certificates, which they appreciate. "Students can choose from over 500 courses. Of course they like to pick these courses working with agile."
Jims Students can't wait to come to his next seminar
To use Scrum in his lectures had unexpected impact on learning process as well as learning happiness of his students. "I have a couple of adults in my classes who work beside their studies, who have difficult backgrounds. They have a lot to do, but still they can't wait to come to class next week. They love it. They have fun!"
And Jim knows, that he offers tools to his students that are not only good for learning, but good for life.
eduScrum from the Netherlands, eduScrum Germany and Agile in Education build up their collaboration from september on.
You can find Jim Hannons Website here: http://www.scrumthink.info/
Alisa Stolze und Peter Fischbach