Journal of Information Systems Education (JISE)

Volume 31

Volume 31 Issue 3, Pages 196-207

Summer 2020

An Agile Framework for Teaching with Scrum in the IT Project Management Classroom

Daniel E. Rush
Boise State University
Boise, ID 83725, USA

Amy J. Connolly
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA 22807, USA

Abstract: This paper presents a framework for teaching a complete, semester-long IT project management course with traditional PMI-based content (sans software development) while featuring Scrum as the organizing logic for accomplishing coursework. This framework adapts widely-used Scrum practices from industry for use in the classroom, including how to organize student teams, homework, and activities. Organizing an existing course with Scrum is intended to maximize student learning of traditional project management content, as well as the difficult-to-teach, socially-complex, “soft” skills that lead to Scrum team success. This deep integration of Scrum into a traditional, predictive IT project management course goes well beyond single activities or units without crowding out valuable time and material. A brief overview of the agile philosophy and examples of teaching Scrum in the classroom situate this work in the teaching and learning literature. Classroom-tested Scrum rituals and example artifacts are provided to illustrate how to apply the framework. This group-based, iterative, and hands-on approach equips students to better internalize and understand the complex social interactions involved with a self-organizing team, concepts that are difficult to learn without first-hand experience. The proposed framework will help IS educators implement Scrum practices in their own courses, further addressing industry’s increasing demand for IS professionals with Scrum experience.

Keywords: Project management, Agile, Scrum, Pedagogy, Teaching framework, Active learning

Download this article: JISE - Volume 31 Issue 3, Page 196.pdf

Recommended Citation: Rush, D. E. & Connolly, A. J. (2020). An Agile Framework for Teaching with Scrum in the IT Project Management Classroom. Journal of Information Systems Education, 31(3), 196-207.