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Jasmina Nicolik, Karl Royle

Jasmina Nicolik

Jasmina Nikolic Works at the University of Belgrade, Serbia. She is a Higher Education Reform Expert at the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Serbia. She is Project Manager for the TEMPUS REFLESS project that aims at Reforming Foreign Language Studies in Serbia. She also teaches Spanish literature at the University of Belgrade, Serbia. She was at the head of the first Bologna-compliant accreditation process of foreign language studies at the University of Belgrade, involved in instructional design and consulting. She is a global pioneer in transferring agile methodologies from the world of software development into the field of higher education and instructional design. She is a certified Scrum Master, Certified Product Owner, Open Space facilitator and agile practitioner.

Her latest paper for the British Council Going Global: Going Agile is summarised here on video: http://youtu.be/pe5kAC0NcpI

Karl Royle

Karl Royle is Principal Lecturer for Curriculum Innovation and Knowledge Transfer at the Centre for Developmental and Applied Research in Education (CeDARE), University of Wolverhampton where he works as a research project director. Karl has considerable experience of project management (Certified Scrum Master) and materials development for both screen and print-based media and has a background in teacher education, professional development and education management. His current interests are around the development of agile pedagogy, agency and capability theory  and its interface with learners’ digital habits, ubiquitous technology and its transfer to educational contexts. He is currently working on several trans national projects with Higher Education teacher training establishments in Palestine and as a consultant for UNRWA on the accreditation process for their educational reform programme, an In-Service School Based Teacher development initiative. More information on Karl Royle papers, presentations and conferences is available at: http://www.wlv.ac.uk/Default.aspx?page=13242


Agilifying Learning: How agile (SCRUM) organisation techniques can enable learner agency, dialogue and democratisation in learning within any curricula. Two examples from Serbia and UK.

This workshop shows how borrowing from the world of agile software development ,Agile Alliance (2001), can build learner capabilities Sen (1992, 1999) and provide a structured framework for the democratisation of learning in formal education.

Increasingly, problem and project based learning, Thomas (2000) design led, and product-oriented learning Zhao (2012) have been put forward as solutions for creating learners that are creative, collaborative and self directed. These approaches do not always fit with the culture of formal education as Hase and Kenyon  (2000:2) note: “Change is so rapid that traditional methods of training and education are totally inadequate; discipline based knowledge is inappropriate to prepare for living in modern communities and workplaces; learning is increasingly aligned with what we do; requiring flexible learning practices”

The Agile Pedagogy (AP), Nikolic, J. and Gledic, J. (2012), Stewart et Al (2009) Parker and Davey (2010) Radziwill and Benton (2011), Redden (2012) Berry (2012) Royle and Nikolic (2013), concept bridges the gap between (traditional) teacher and learner centred project based approaches by providing a project development framework that supports existing cultural relationships within the classroom but opens a space for new ways of working and development that is learner centred and teacher facilitated. This means that learner capabilities can be developed more freely. It also leverages the digital habits of learners by using networked public digital tools such as kanban systems via www.trello.com , participatory approaches to knowledge generation such as Open Space Technology http://www.openspaceworld.org/cgi/wiki.cgi?AboutOpenSpace  and leancoffee http://leancoffee.org/

In this demo we demonstrate how Scrum can bring joy to students, their potential future employers, and teachers within and beyond the formal educational setting!

We will present two examples of how this has worked

    1.        In  Higher Education in Belgrade University

    2.        In the Scrum(my) school project in Wolverhampton

Belgrade scrummywikipedia project in a nutshell.

The presented initiative was launched at the University of Belgrade by four teachers of Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and Swedish Studies, who have a long track of either implementing or supporting disruptive and innovative pedagogy. In line with the set scope of the curriculum, four regular university courses were adapted to include the production of Wikipedia articles through Scrum as part of the learning outcome and course requirements. In the determination of key principles, roles and processes to be implemented, we tackled the challenges of marrying the agile nature of Scrum and the rigid nature of the university, and of introducing non-traditional stakeholders as clients of the education system. Overall, the implementation of Scrum was very successful. The products delighted the clients, while also giving them the opportunity to work in an agile setting using Kanban to provide feedback and follow the work progress. Students learned new skills and developed those they already had, while finding a new, hands-on joy and sense of ownership in reaching the goal of the learning process. A close collaboration with the Serbian Wikipedia was established.


Is the implementation of scrum principles in project based learning: This Demo will outline how scrum is being implemented in Urban Secondary Schools in Wolverhampton as an ongoing research project. It will also highlight the NeeNaw police app project. This was a collaboration between the University of Wolverhampton, a local Secondary School and West Mercia Police Force. This mirrors the Belgrade project in that it had an authentic client.

The process started in 2013 with a half-day Open Space meeting to generate the ideas with the police, students, and university staff. Actual development came next, over the space of one full day. Royle decided to use a "rapid version" of Scrum that could work within the structured and diverse school day and incorporate 20-minute sprints. There were a total of five sprints during the day, and after the first one the students were self-managing. The end result was an app design and paper prototype along with an "elevator pitch" presentation for the police.

Scrum helps create an environment where students can work together in teams, and it allows them to work things out for themselves. This helps them feel more engaged in the project.

Using an Agile learning philosophy with Scrum is about developing what team members can do rather than what they can't. Rather than assessing what children cannot do, the Scrum framework allows them the opportunity to use their inherent capabilities and to develop new skills in a safe environment. It also reduces the inherent “risks” in project based learning for teachers in a performative culture. It opens a space for diversity, inclusion and personal and collective agency.

In Agile learning with Scrum, the team solve issues and organize themselves to achieve the tasks required. These mechanisms place the emphasis on self-help within the team in order to achieve the set tasks and for pupils to learn about themselves, the way they learn, and the skills they have and need to develop.