Agile Course Design: Multi-University Faculty Collaboration to Design the IS Course for an Online MBA Program

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Journal of Information Systems Education


This paper outlines a collaborative course design process to develop and implement a required IS course in an online cohort-based MBA program using principles of The Agile Manifesto. The primary goal of this study is to analyze how students in traditionally developed courses and those in collaboratively developed courses differ. Specifically, we sought to reduce variability in student satisfaction across multiple sections offered by instructors who hail from different universities. We compared three semesters of students who took the course before (n = 101) and after (n = 162) use of the agile course development process. We found less variability in student evaluations in the ‘after’ group as compared to the ‘before’ group, providing support that the agile course development process provided a more consistent and similar experience for students. The second goal is to evaluate changes in student evaluations, comparing ‘before’ and ‘after’ groups. We did not expect to see substantial improvement since all instructors already received very high evaluations. Scores for all questions on the student evaluations increased after using the agile process, but the increases were not statistically significant. The final goal is to prepare an agenda for future research on agile course development based on components of The Agile Manifesto that were not used in the course development process. Opportunities include: comparing the agile course development process to other methods; adding more targeted questions to the student survey to better gauge changes in student satisfaction; partnering with alumni, current students, and industry to develop more relevant course material; and extending the process to other contexts.


Information Systems and Computer Science

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