SCRUM LOG JEFF SUTHERLAND - Jeff created the first Scrum team in 1993 and worked with Ken Schwaber to formalize Scrum at OOPSLA'95.
Together, they extended and enhanced Scrum at many software companies, helped write the Agile Manifesto in 2001, and authored the Scrum Guide.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Scrum: The Future for Education?
When we first heard about teachers using Scrum in a classroom we had to know more and got in touch with those teachers through Ilja Heitlager at Schuberg Philis in the Netherlands. Here's what they sent in. It's translated into English from the original Dutch.
eduScrum in Dutch education
How it began …
are a chemistry teacher at a school for secondary education. Your students work
in groups on complex assignments, but you are not completely satisfied about
the results of that teamwork. And then your son-in-law becomes a Scrum Master and
you hear his enthusiastic stories… That is how it began.
How it continued …
and Jan van Rossum, chemistry teachers at Ashram College (secondary education
in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands) have been using an educational version
of scrum since October 2011: eduScrum. They incorporate scrum
into their lessons, to give students the opportunity to study more energetic
and more effective. Using eduScrum also stimulates students to develop
their strength as a team player.
Team work starts in their lessons with an
introduction about confidence and an activity in which students talk about
their personal capabilities and soft skills like punctuality, leadership capabilities,
planning skills etc. After that, they form groups of four, set up to have
additional capabilities. In this way,
individual strengths in a team make individual weaknesses less relevant. Subsequently, they work in groups on the
assignments of the context-rich chemistry module from a detailed sprint
Teacher: ‘I have indicated the number of time
points per assignment (one point equals 10 minutes) and requested them to make
an individual schedule. They have discussed those schedules and processed them
into a group schedule. When I pointed out that I also wanted to do some
whole-class teaching, they told me there was no time for it and that I should
have announced it earlier. Wonderful, that much ownership. But they have to be
in for it, because they have to learn to cope with unexpected events in their
Group of four students, almost simultaneously: ‘This work is
more pleasant in a group rather than individually. It is possible to ask each
other questions and divide the tasks, which saves time. We have divided the
experiments, because they are a good deal of work. But today we are going to work
in groups of four during the entire lesson, because these assignments are very
important and everyone should understand them. That is why we work together, it
is something we have thought about during planning.’
Every group starts the lesson with a short scrum.
This way they know what they have to do and where they stand to each other. A
subsequent step is for them to learn to call each other to account, in case a
group does not function optimally. The first step in doing this is a short but
effective evaluation, executed by the groups themselves. Confidence in each
other is the key theme in this evaluation.
Boy: ‘Our group consist of two boys and two girls. A
group is useful when the group members co-operate. We’re fine in our group.
Everyone takes his or her responsibility.’
Girl from the
same group: ‘Everybody is contributing in our group. We
have committed ourselves to do the work and we all are living up to it. We do
our own tasks, and also work together. We do not study alone, if one of us does
not understand, we explain to each other instead of asking the teacher. The
information we have found we share with our group.’
From a Scrum
perspective this might be trivial, but from a traditional educational
perspective (focusing on the individual cognitive training) this is very
The plans for the future …
and Jan van Rossum are working with with Ellen Reehorst, an education designer
and trainer, to further develop eduScrum and to hand it over to other teachers later. Use these addresses to find out more: