Agile Methods in Higher Education: Adapting and Using eduScrum with Real World Projects

by   Michael Neumann, et al.

This Innovative Practice Full Paper presents our learnings of the process to perform a Master of Science class with eduScrum integrating real world problems as projects. We prepared, performed, and evaluated an agile educational concept for the new Master of Science program Digital Transformation organized and provided by the department of business computing at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts - Hochschule Hannover in Germany. The course deals with innovative methodologies of agile project management and is attended by 25 students. We performed the class due the summer term in 2019 and 2020 as a teaching pair. The eduScrum method has been used in different educational contexts, including higher education. During the approach preparation, we decided to use challenges, problems, or questions from the industry. Thus, we acquired four companies and prepared in coordination with them dedicated project descriptions. Each project description was refined in the form of a backlog (list of requirements). We divided the class into four eduScrum teams, one team for each project. The subdivision of the class was done randomly. Since we wanted to integrate realistic projects into industry partners' implementation, we decided to adapt the eduScrum approach. The eduScrum teams were challenged with different projects, e.g., analyzing a dedicated phenomenon in a real project or creating a theoretical model for a company's new project management approach. We present our experiences of the whole process to prepare, perform and evaluate an agile educational approach combined with projects from practice. We found, that the students value the agile method using real world problems. The paper contributes to the distribution of methods for higher education teaching in the classroom and distance learning.



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