Join us to discuss teaching team collaboration on Monday 10th June at 2pm BST

CC licensed Dream image by flaticon.com

Teamwork makes the dreamwork, or so the cliché goes. But how do you teach and assess it? Teaching students to collaborate in teams (agile or otherwise) is notoriously problematic, from motivating the free-riders to restraining the self-appointed dictators, the dreamwork can rapidly descend into nightmares over who deserves the credit. Join us to discuss how to develop students confidence and abilities to collaborate in engineering teams, from a paper published at ITiCSE. [1] From the Abstract

We had an outdated, unsuitable pair of courses covering software engineering over an academic year, which were rewritten last summer. Out went the plan-driven project approach of GANNT charts, and a belief that ‘better estimates’ would save the day. In came a lightweight focus on a mix of extreme programming and scrum to incrementally, and iteratively build products. The classroom changed too. Out went lecture slides in the classroom, plus self-directed pick and choose practical sessions. In came video-led lectures based on the pandemic experience, experiential learning, and more suitable practical sessions to guide students in what they need know to build their product prototypes.The initial results suggest we are headed in the right direction. It still needs more work, but shows students are developing products more confidently as teams of students.

We’ll be joined by Bruce Scharlau, author of the paper, who’ll give us a five minute lightning talk to kick-off our discussion about teaching team collaboration. All welcome, joining details at sigcse.cs.manchester.ac.uk/join-us/

References

  1. Scharlau, Bruce (2023). Being Agile in the Software Engineering Classroom: Using Agile Approaches Instead of Plan-driven Approaches. Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE), pages 583–584, DOI: 10.1145/3587103.3594154

Join us to discuss using agile group projects to develop more employable graduates on Monday 13th May at 2pm BST

CC licensed agile image from flaticon.com

Employers often love academic group projects while students often loathe them. How can Agile group projects be used to develop students skills, both hard technical skills and softer people skills? Join us on Monday 13th May at 2pm BST to discuss a paper on this published by Jordan Allison and his collaborators at the University of Gloucestershire and the University of Bristol in the Journal of Further and Higher Education. [1] From the abstract:

This article presents the usage of Integrated Course Design (ICD) in the design and evaluation of applying agile methodologies within an undergraduate module of study to foster the development of computer science students employability skills. Undergraduate programs of computer science typically follow traditional educational methods which can lead to students unable to connect knowledge learned in class to actual situations and students are often assessed individually, whereas collaborative group projects are more akin to industry practice. The teaching experience reported gives students the opportunity to relate concepts learnt in class to a practical group-based project. Students must meet the requirements of a ‘client’ who will provide feedback and additional challenges for students while following the Agile framework SCRUM. Positive student feedback and module grades 7.70% higher than the department average over a four year period indicates the teaching structure and assessment presented is an effective method to foster the development of technical and soft skills of undergraduate computer science students.

We’ll be joined by the co-authors who will give us a five-minute lightning talk summary of their paper to kick-off our discussion. All welcome, joining details at sigcse.cs.manchester.ac.uk/join-us

References

  1. Jordan Allison, Abu Alam, Luke Gassmann, Gareth Nelson & Kamal Zidan (2024): Fostering the development of computer science graduate employability through agile projects, Journal of Further and Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/0309877X.2024.2340642